Foursquare Rum Distillery Empery

Foursquare Rum Distillery Empery Rum Review by the fat rum pirateFoursquare Rum Distillery Empery. This is one of three “sherried” rums from Foursquare, which have appeared on the market over the past few weeks.

All are official Foursquare releases and all contain rums aged for 14 years. Foursquare Rum Distillery Empery is an Exceptional Cask Selection release. Mark IX – the ninth in the series. Closely followed by the latest “straight bourbon” matured 2007.

I’ve already reviewed Hereditas, which was the Whisky Exchange Exclusive rum and I will shortly be putting Patrimonio to the test which is distributed in Europe by Velier.

This is the cheapest of the three releases coming in at around £65 it’s available at The Whisky Exchange but isn’t exclusive to them. Other retailers are stocking this rum.

Foursquare Rum Distillery Empery is a blend of Pot/Column distilled rum aged for14 years in ex-bourbon casks and a portion of Pot Column distilled rum which was aged for 10 years in ex-bourbon casks and then matured for a further 4 years in ex-sherry casks. It has been bottled at Cask Strength 56& ABV. So it has a very similar make up to Hereditas and Patrimonio.

Presentation wise the ECS have all been released in “traditional” stubby Foursquare bottles which are also used for the Doorly’s rum range. The labels continue to contain a wealth of information on the actual rum. Following issues with the natural cork stoppers Foursquare are now using synthetic plastic topped stoppers in the main – though my Empery has a wooden stopper.

Foursquare have also begun adding a kind of Olympic medal style pendant on the neck of the bottle. They’ve also dropped the “Rum Distillery” part of the title – I personally preferred it that way. For no particular reason I can think of.

In the glass we are presented with a dark brown spirit with a very vivid orange hue. Nosing reFoursquare Rum Distillery Empery Rum Review by the fat rum pirateveals a sweet easy going, very fruity Barbados rum. I would say most people familiar would recognise this as Foursquare product. The sherry influence isn’t quite as pronounced as it is with Hereditas. It’s still fruity – raisins, sultanas and a hint of blackberry but it doesn’t have quite the same sherried note as Hereditas does.

Dark chocolate – almost like fruit infused chocolate and some pistachio are present. Oak spice and some vanilla do mingle in with the nose but the ex-bourbon cask influence isn’t quite as apparent as with other Foursquare releases.

Empery’s nose is similar to Hereditas, however once you begin sipping you realise the differences between the two rums.

For me this rum drinks more like Dominus or Criterion. It’s rich, dark and quite woody. The fruity elements of the nose are dialled back a notch on the sip.

The initial entry is fairly sweet with notes of raisin and red grapes. This quickly moves into a spicy and quite oaky mid palate. The flavours are intense – lots of dark fruits, tobacco and a ginger and black pepper explosion.

This is a drier, more intense tasting rum than Hereditas. Even though Hereditas was bottled at Cask Strength it was much “lighter” and easier to drink. This is a rum you will probably spend more time, between each sip. It’s just a touch more complex.

Finish wise the Cask Strength really plays it part on the finish. It is very long and leaves a real tingle on the tongue. Rich and oaky with a lot of spice from the barrel.

It’s a very good rum (my near empty bottle is testament to that) if another producer put this out it would cause all kinds of ripples amongst rum geeks. With Foursquare it’s just another excellent rum. No surprise really. The surprise will come when Richard releases something mediocre.

In my review of Hereditas, I alluded to the fact that my scoring scale gives me little wiggle room. I haven’t got the joy of being able to rate a rum as 91 rather than 92. To be honest I didn’t do that for a reason – I just don’t think it’s necessary. I really honestly couldn’t justify why I might give Foursquare 2006 95 points and then give Destino 96. I probably would have driven myself mad ranking and rating all theFoursquare Rum Distillery Empery Rum Review by the fat rum pirate rums I have tasted.

Read what I say about the rum. It might be that, what I don’t like about a rum is what you might find really appealing. The score is important but its only my opinion.

I guess this is leading up to a big BUT with this rum. Not really, to be honest I just want to explain why I am awarding this rum a lower mark than Hereditas.

I just find Hereditas easier to drink – Empery has a slightly drier/bitter note, especially on the finish, where Hereditas is fruitier. It’s a personal preference. I know for a fact a lot of rum lovers will prefer this over Hereditas.

Neither rum has a poor “balance” – something which I have always found with Foursquare rums. The balance and blend of the rums is always nigh on perfect. You always feel the rum is exactly what Richard was looking for. He’s produced 3 rums which look very similar when written down. When blended and bottled we have three very distinct expressions. A review of Patrimonio will follow soon. For more opinions on Empery (and 2007) have a look at Rum Revelations.

My advice on which Foursquare rum to buy?

Buy them all. After all Empery means “Absolute Sovereignty” and at the moment Foursquare are pretty much ruling the rum world.

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