Rum Sixty Six Aged 12 Years Cask Strength

Rum Sixty Six 12 Cask Strength rum review by the fat rum pirateRum Sixty Six was originally released a few years ago by Foursquare Distillery to celebrate Bajan independence gained in…..1966.  Over the last 18 months to 2 years the distillery has had a real renaissance.  A number of new expressions have been released that have intrigued and brought great praise from the rum world and beyond.  Rum Sixty Six Cask Strength is another welcome addition.

Foursquare are very much the “hip” rum distillery at the moment.  Master Distiller Richard Seale is one of the most recognized and regaled figures in the rum world.  He is also a bit of a maverick and is in certain realms quite disliked. On a personal level Richard has always been very good to me. I like his honesty and straight talking.  I agree with what he is doing to elavate the rum category alongside Luca Gargano.  His views are factual and straight to the point.  Unlike many others in the rum world……The video of the rum discussion at the Boutique Rum Festival in London this October is hilarious – just watching Richard’s face at times you feel his frustration.

Last year Mount Gay released a Cask Strength version of their flagship XO rum.  That had a price tag which dwarfs what Richard is asking for this Cask Strength version of his 12 Year Old Rum Sixty Six.  Rum Sixty Six Cask Strength will set you back around £45. It is bottled at a meaty 59% ABV.  You are pretty much getting 1 litre of 40% spirit for your money.  Like the 11 year old 2004 expression that proceeded this is priced very competitively.

In the glass, Rum Sixty Six Cask Strength is a classic golden brown.  On rare occasions I think ahead and for the purpose of this review I will offer a more direct comparison to Rum Sixty Six and Foursquare’s other “all bourbon” aged offering – the 2016 Rum of the Year the 2004 Exceptional Casks release.  So I’m placing it up there with some pretty stiff competition.  Colour wise the two look fairly similar.

On the nose even despite the ABV Rum Sixty Six Cask Strength is surprisingly light and sweet.  Familiar Vanilla and milk chocolate notes.  Spicy but not overpowering notes from the Bourbon casks.  It smells quite rich.  That is probably the biggest difference I’m noticing between the Cask Strength Sixty Six and the 2004.  The 2004 is slightly more aggressive, less “soft” the nose is a touch bigger.  Maybe a touch more “mineral”.

I wouldn’t say one is better than the other.  One is richer and warmer the other more “in your face” but we are talking pretty small margins here.  Both are well balanced, well aged in the tropics and both are very much “Foursquare”

A sip of the Cask Strength Rum Sixty Six even at 59% ABV is a very tasty and intense experience.  Small sips are your friend if you wish to enjoy this at full strength.

Over the past few years Foursquare have given me a masterclass in tasting various finishes in rum.  Tasting and enjoying their rums over the past few years has enabled  me to recognise more and more when things have been aged in different barrels.  This is unmistakably a rum aged in the tropics in Bourbon barrels.  Alpha Rum if you like.

It is a fairly sweet rum- light caramel and toffee, vanilla and banana initially.  These lead onto a spicy but not too dry mid palate.  Vibrant oak and spice notes mingle along side a little black pepper and some ginger.

Trying the 2004 alongside this rum I am noticing a slightly medicinal note in the 2004 which seems to make the mid palate and finish last a touch longer.  There isn’t a huge difference between the two rums.  The Rum Sixty Six is just a tiny bit more muted than the 2004.  With a slightly smoother, richer taste.

Rum Sixty Six Cask Strength 12 Year Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Both rums have a really nice warming finish with plenty oak and spice.  The 2004 may have the slightly longer finish but we really are perhaps beginning to split hairs.  Not sure I could pick them out

You can bring the Rum Sixty Six Cask Strength down a little in ABV with a few drops of water but not too much its very drinkable even at a higher ABV.  Just go steady on the sips.

I could have compared this to the original Rum Sixty Six but I couldn’t see much point in doing that.  In many ways this is the very essence of what rum should be.  Bear in mind the cask strength Mount Gay XO was £140……

Outstanding value.  I really hope this becomes a staple of the Foursquare line up as its absolutely wonderful stuff.

 

 

 

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