The Duchess Barbados Distilled at Foursquare Aged 18 Years

The Duchess Barbados Distilled at Foursquare Aged 18 Years rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Duchess Barbados Distilled at Foursquare Aged 18 Years. Here we have the second of the two very recently released “Hummingbird” series rums from Dutch Independent bottler The Duchess.

And it is fair to say that this one is bound to pique interest. Not only is it from the currently very “trendy” Foursquare Rum Distillery it also has an age statement which will grab peoples attention.

There aren’t that many Foursquare Rum Distillery bottlings around that have an age statement above 14 years. In fact off the top of my head I can’t recall an official release being any older than 14 years old? So for this one to be aged for 18 years will definitely appeal to the enthusiast.

It also leads to a few questions around the rums provenance. Luckily The Duchess are an Independent Bottler, who want to be as transparent and clear with their customers as possible. So I have pretty much all the answers luckily. Firstly though we’ll take a look at the presentation and then we’ll get into the more technical aspects of this rums production.

As noted this rum is part of the “Hummingbird” series. So each bottle is adorned with a picture of a different Hummingbird. This time we have one native to the island of Barbados. Using my extensive knowledge of birds, formulated by typing in “Barbados Hummingbird” to Google I can confirm with a degree of 50/50 certainty that this is the tiny Antilean Crested Hummingbird.

Once again the Dutch artist Hans Dillesse is on hand with the very impressive artwork. The Duchess Barbados Distilled at Foursquare Aged 18 Years has another impressive design and 3/4 bottle is an impressive sight. As is the information provided on the bottle. This rum retails at around €100 and is available only in Europe. I would recommend the following store Zeewijck in the Netherlands. They still have some in stock a lot of other stores are now sold out. So you may wish to move quickly if you want a bottle.

So let’s get all the technical details about this rum out of the way before I can start the fun part. Firstly this is a Single Cask bottling of Pot/Column distilled rum

from Foursquare Rum Distillery. The rum was distilled back in 2001 and was initially aged in ex-bourbon casks for 8 years in Barbados. The cask was then moved to Europe were it completed the remaining 10 years of ageing. Upon concluding the ageing process it was bottled in 2019 at 56.9% ABV Cask Strength which yielded just 205 bottles in total. So this is as limited as things usually get. Especially at a price point of €100.

Right that’s quite enough of that and I’m dying to get my beak into this……..(see what I did there?)

First up in the glass we have a light-ish golden brown liquid. Upon nosing I’m in very familiar and very pleasant territory. This is your class Foursquare Pot/Column ex-bourbon cask profile. Think Rum Sixty Six or the 2004,2005 and 2007 Exceptional Cask Series releases.

So on the nose we have wonderful notes of coconut, banana, a touch of marzipan, lashings of vanilla and some very nice Bourbon-esque woody spices. It is all balanced beautifully and is very inviting.

Sipped, The Duchess Barbados Distilled at Foursquare Aged 18 Years is very woody. Much more than I detected on the nose. It’s pretty spicy as well with lots of ginger and some slightly tannin like notes. It’s pretty intense and very dry on the palate.

There is little by way of sweetness on the first couple of sips. Your palate definitely takes a little time to adjust to the woody-ness of this spirit.

It gets a little easier, a lot softer on the palate as you sip more. I’m getting a smoky tobacco note and some slightly bitter chocolate/cocoa. This mingles on the mid palate with ginger, a touch of leather and some still very spicy wood notes.

The Duchess Barbados Distilled at Foursquare Aged 18 Years rum review by the fat rum pirateFinish wise this is a long, complex and very dry finish. There is a fair amount of heat and the levels of wood are just within my comfort zone. A lot of what I am stating I notice has been echoed by Ivar over at Rum Revelations in his review.

This is one of the driest and most wood/age led rums, I have had from Foursquare/IB’s. Had it been aged 18 years in the tropics I think it would have been like chewing on bark. As it stands the Continental Ageing has kept this within the parameters to still produce a great rum.

Definitely though not a rum for a sweet tooth though.

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