Foursquare Rum Distillery Dominus

Foursquare Rum Distillery Dominus Rum Review by the fat rum pirateFoursquare Dominus. Dominus is the Latin word for master or owner. The rum is noted as being “Master of the House” on the rear label. This convention continues the theme of similarly named rums from Foursquare such as Tryptych, Principia and Criterion. It is worth noting that such “fancy” names are quite common in the whisky world. The likes of Ardbeg are well-known for their curiously named bottlings.

The difference between those Ardbeg bottlings and other similarly titled whisky is that those fancy names are often in lieu of an age statement. NAS (No Age Statement) whiskies are commonly given fancy or regal sounding names. However, this is Foursquare Rum Distillery we are talking about. Dominus is one of the latest Exceptional Cask series of rums from that distillery. As a result this is not only has a clear age statement, we also get a lot more information about the bottling. As the photographs clearly show we don’t have to go very far to find this information. Most of it is on the front label. So, lets see exactly what Foursquare Dominus is all about.

Foursquare Dominus has been aged for 10 years in total. It is a blend of Pot and Column distilled rum. In the Exceptional Cask series it is notes as being the 7th release. Foursquare Dominus spent 3 years in Ex-Bourbon Barrels and 7 years in Cognac Casks. The pictures I am using today are from the US release – I do not have a bottle at present, just a very generous sample (or two). It notes that this release is limited to 6,000 bottles in the US. I believe Europe will get a single allocation. Dominus has been bottled, in January 2018 at 56% ABV.

Last year the Foursquare release of Criterion was also limited and was exclusively handled in the UK by The Whisky Exchange. If I recall correctly Criterion was released “on its own” – this time I believe the three most recent Exceptional Cask releases – 2005, Dominus and Premise will be in the UK/Europe around about the same time.

I have yet to purchase a bottle as it is not yet available in the UK. I would expect a similar price to Criterion – which was around £60.

Due to the recent “Rum Geeks Barbados Takeover” holiday – which I sadly could not Foursquare Rum Distillery Dominus Rum Review by the fat rum pirateattend, I have been lucky enough to get my hands on samples of latest the Exceptional Cask Series’ rums. So I will review them over the next couple of weeks. I was also unable to attend a tasting in (surprise, surprise)  London which was held a few weeks back. It’s a good job this blog isn’t run off the back of freebies or reports on free tastings, as it would be pretty sparse! (Not to mention boring)

In the glass Foursquare Dominus is dark brown with orange and yellow tinges.

The nose instantly puts me in mind of Principia and Triptych. It has a note which I never quite been able to pin down. A kind of sweet spicy “woodiness”.

At 56% ABV this is noticeably less “sweet” than say Port or Zinfandel Cask. The Cognac influence will be there but initially I am really still getting quite a lot of spicy bourbon notes and firm but nicely balanced notes of zesty alcohol.

Further nosing reveals a really nice balance of more traditional Foursquare notes with some sweeter notes of fortified wine, plums, raisins and a medley of mixed fruit jam.

I’m not a Cognac drinker – I have had a fair amount of Brandy but rarely bother with Cognac. It’s expensive and I have never really found it to be all that exciting. Admittedly it rarely appears in my thoughts. I can however notice an extra layer on the nose – a nice, light fruity sweetness which goes just beyond what I have experienced in a rum in the past.

Sipping Foursquare Dominus is a very intense experience. I would say this is more intense than Triptych and Principia (by a shade) and is more rich and fruity like how I found Criterion. Lovely warming notes of really spicy and zesty almost Christmas pudding like dark fruits. Rum and Raisin ice cream with chocolate sauce. Orange Peel and notes of marmalade.

Depending on your taste you may find a drop or two of water may help with this rum. I often find a few drops in a very small sample, help me pick out more flavours. It can also help with the burn of the alcohol, drinking 56% ABV isn’t a macho pursuit. You should take care even drinking “normal” strength spirits.

After a few sips you begin to really notice the sweet influence of the Cognac Casks especially on the entry. It’s almost sherried in many ways – giving a really nice light red wine like air to the rum. The mid palate is beautifully spicy with a lot of lemon zest and orange peel. The spicy notes from the cask are very full and very intense.

Which gives way to an enormous finish which just builds and builds. Lovely rich, deep fruity notes and a really great hit of oak and spiciness which takes an age to disappear.

As with many Foursquare rums it’s not so much about picking out individual flavours – it’s more about the overall balance and general “feel” of the rum. When you have tasted a good few rums you do start to get a “feel” for a rum – sometimes even from the nosing. It’s not a particular skill it is just something you will notice the rum you drink. It really is that simple. The more rum you sample and taste neat the more you will notice over time. I see a lot of people proclaim a rum is the “best in the world” when they have only had 5 or 6. Best in “their” world maybe.

Which is why scoring the Foursquare Exceptional Cask series becomes so tricky. I enjoyed this more than Triptych but not as much as I enjoyed Principia or Criterion.

With that in mind and with Premise and 2005 (not mentioning Veritas and Destino) coming soon I won’t give this the full 5 star treatment. However, I will re-visit and re-evaluate once I get a full bottle. I’ll also make the photos more exciting.

Don’t hesitate to buy this if you see it, though. It really is wonderful.

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