What is it? Single Blended Rum from the Foursquare distillery in Barbados, so a blend of Pot still and Column still rums produced at the same distillery. Molasses based, the rum is distilled in the respective stills with the resultant spirits being blended together according the recipe for Seale’s 10, the blend is then put into ex-bourbon casks to mature, tropically, for a minimum of 10 years. Note, this isn’t a case of column still and pot still rums being aged separately and then blended at the end, these are blended first before maturation.
Incidentally, this rum is named after Richard Seale’s great-grandfather and founder of Foursquare distillery, Reginald Leon Seale.
Coloured, chill filtered and bottled at 46% abv
Nose: Quite understated and shy on the nose, you really need to get your face into the glass if you want to find the deeper flavours. Plenty of coconut, almond and oak at first, followed by the expected caramels, nutmeg, butter toffee, cloves and cinnamon. There is a little banana, some salted butter, and a touch of vanilla showing up as things move along and also a really nice orange honey cake smell deeper down. All very easy, sweet and unoffensive, however, as you think things are moving along merrily you start to find grease, olive oil, paper that has come straight out of a lazer printer, new leather and pen ink. You know, just to keep you on your toes!
Palate: Full mouth feel, perfect weight. Dry delivery but with sweet identifiable flavours; caramel, vanilla and toffee pennies again, toasted brioch with salted butter, that orange cake from the nose, grated coconut and a whoosh of white pepper. It’s not spicy but it does have some heat to it certainly. There are the savoury notes too with olive oil, vaseline and an almost herby dried banana that is more salty than sweet (it’s really hard to explain), as things move to the finish it does pep up a bit with some chilli infused dark chocolate and salt & pepper cashew nuts.
Finish: Medium and very dry. This is where it gets spicier now; salted chillies, spiced black tea, 90% cocoa dark chocolate and a black pepper infused caramel. A little lift of apple….well, maybe mulled cider I guess, marzipan, coconut and plenty of gripping oak.
Thoughts? A real proper rum. If someone asked me for an example of a “real” aged golden rum then I’d name this. It’s got approachable sweet notes without actually being sweet and good depth/complexity with the savoury side to give that little extra. The balance between the two is, as always with Foursquare, excellent. I just find it a little shy and lacking a bit of whollop; you really need to spend time with it and go hunting for the flavours, they don’t come to you.
Once again though, I find myself looking at the Exception Cask releases, at how incredible they are and then feel disappointed with what’s in my glass.
Ok, let’s not nitpick here though, it’s bloody good rum and at £35 anyone who is into rum should have a bottle of this in the house.
Would I buy again? 100%.