Foursquare Rum Distillery Principia

Foursquare Rum Distillery Principia Rum review by the fat rum pirateFoursquare Rum Distilery Principia. Finding things to say about Foursquare Distillery and Richard Seale are becoming increasingly difficult. I’m not sure how many Foursquare releases I have reviewed over the past 3 or so years. It must be over 20 easily by now.

When I first got into rum, Foursquare were a respected distillery with a long history in producing classic Bajan rums, such as R L Seale’s and Doorly’s XO. There wasn’t a great deal of change to their portfolio, year in year out. That all changed in 2015 when Richard Seale revived the Exceptional Cask Series and began working more closely with Velier’s Luca Gargano.

This is the third “Velier” Foursquare release. Richard however is at pains to make clear this is still very much a Foursquare product overseen right up to bottling by Richard himself. Luca and Velier are the distributor of the rum.

Clearly there is a great deal of mutual respect between the two men, so it is likely the relationship is more involved than that. However Richard does not want Foursquare’s identity to be compromised by the Velier tag. Which is understandable.

Nevertheless, Foursquare Principia comes housed in the familiar opaque 3/4 Velier bottle. Principia will retail at around the £120 mark. Distribution is likely to be mostly in mainland Europe but hopefully the UK will see some bottlings.

As to be expected of a Foursquare/Velier release you get just about all the information you could want on the label. As a result we know the following without having to do any digging.

Foursquare Principia is Single Blended Rum (Pot and Column Distilled Rum from the same distillery) under the Gargano Classification. Only a blend of 100% Pure rum (no additives) can be noted as Single Blended. The release like its predecessor Triptych comes as a 5,400 bottle run. Foursquare Principia has been matured for 3 years in ex-bourbon and 6 years in ex-sherry casks. It is released at Barrel Proof of 62% ABV. It was distilled in 2008 and bottled in November 2017. So it comes in at over 9 years old. I do not know the exact date of distillation. As it is a blend I suspect the exact date of each component may differ. It has benefited from 100% Tropical Ageing at Foursquare Distillery, Barbados.

The colour scheme red,white and black seems to be the one adopted by Velier for all Foursquare releases. Velier have always done this with their bottlings. Keeping certain colour schemes for certain distilleries and stills.

Anyway, without further ado I shall get on with telling you all just what this rum is like. Expectation is very high. I was fortunate to try this at London Rumfest and it was very good but this has been the first chance I have had to try it in a more familiar, more relaxed environment.

I don’t have a great deal of this rum. Just a very generous sample from someone who was lucky enough to visit Barbados recently. Hats off to them for thinking of me. It’s greatly appreciated.

If I am fortunate to get a bottle or two of this when it goes on release I’ll look at this review again. It may be with only a sample I miss a trick or two. You might wish to see this as my early thoughts on the spirit. Having said that I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to tell if this is any good or not.

In the glass Foursquare Principia is dark brown with an orange tinge. It is a little “murky” with some sediment visible. This is not something that concerns me as it means it has not been filtered. I’m more than happy to try the rum as it comes out of the barrel as much as possible.

The nose is quite oaky, initially it reminded me of Triptych but with a little more time in the glass it reminds me more of the 2004. There is quite a hit of “booze” but its not overly fierce. I wouldn’t guess it was such a high ABV. There is a nice weight of oak and a nice bourbon spicyness. The sherry maturation is much more subtle than the Port and Zinfandel casks.

There is a sweetness and in time you do get the sherry notes. There is a lovely balance of oak, spice, sweetness and just enough “booze” to keep you on your toes. Red Grapes, raisin, all spice, touch of nutmeg and sweet and sour notes. It’s quite rich and the nose is full and very complex.

Sipped, Foursquare Principia is a very different spirit to most of those that have went befFoursquare Rum Distillery Principia Rum Review by the fat rum pirateore it. It reminds me most of Criterion (not a bad thing at all). There are similarities to Triptych as well but I don’t find it quite as woody.

It is a very intense sip. The intial entry is sweet and you get a real hit of sherry. The arrival is huge and lip smacking. The ABV is very deceptive and whilst it is very intense at 62% ABV you can hold it in your mouth long enough to appreciate it. It’s not overly sweet but has a lot of rich plump fruits – blackcurrants, cranberries and some more acidic gooseberries.

The rum moves into a more complex mid palate. This is when you start to enjoy all the complex notes, created by the double maturation. This is as far as Foursquare are concerned quite a “heavy” rum. Familiar notes of vanilla are overtaken by a more sherry influenced wood. The maturation has really worked once you dig in.

The finish is long and very satisfying. Warming oak notes and sweet spice runs nicely alongside a slightly tannic almost red wine like hit of stoned fruits.

The sherry finish which may put some off is not at all overbearing. It just adds an extra layer of complexity and intensity to the rum. This isn’t as sweet as the Zinfandel and  Port Cask rums. Its much more in keeping with the 2006, Triptych and Criterion.

I’m going to need an extra star at this rate…….

 

 

 

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