Compagnie des Indes – Barbados 16 Year Old

CompagniedesindesBARBADOSCompagnie des Indes are a French based Independent bottler.  This Barbados offering is aged for 16 Years.  The distillate hails from the acclaimed Foursquare Distillery in St Philip.

Compagnie des Indes (East India Company) is the brainchild of Florent Beuchet.  Florent previously worked as the US Brand Ambassador for the Joseph Banks rum brand.  You may be familiar with their 5 and 7 Island blends.  They have also released some more expensive and very limited single cask rums.

The companies name and aim is to evoke memories of the 18th century.  A time when sailors would travel far and wide, to bring back the best produce from far flung corners of the globe.  In this instance the best rums in the world.

Unavailable presently in the UK this bottling came to my attention via Steven at Rum Diairies Blog. He insisted I had to try it. It is a 16 year old rum distilled in 1998 by Richard Seale at Foursquare.  Aged for 7 years in Barbados and 9 years in the less tropical climbs of Amsterdam and then Liverpool.  It was aged in ex-Jack Daniels barrels.  It is a blend of pot and column distilled rum.

The rum is bottled at 45% ABV and comes with a price tag of around 90 euros (about £75 with the current exchange rate, maybe more post Brexit).

Compagnie des Indes rums all come in a very fetching stubby style bottle with cork stoppers and a standard logo and label.  Beyond colour scheme changes it changes little, only to indicate the different rum contained within.  A little back story is down the side of the bottle (in French).  I like it when a company produces a uniform appearance for its rums and has a strong brand identity.  I think its particularly important for Independent bottlers.  The rum comes in a nice cut out carboard sleeve.  All good stuff so far.

Compagnie des Indes have already put out an impressive run of rums in France. Despite only being around for a year or so.  Sadly not so many have reached our shores but that seems to be improving.Compagnie des Indes Barbados Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

There has been quite a lot of activity from Foursquare Distillery in their own right over the past 12 months.  Despite that this rum is the first Foursquare offering I have had that is aged longer than 12 years.  It will be interesting to see how the extra 4 years European ageing have impacted the rum.

The rum presents itself as a classic light to golden brown, shimmers of orange as you swirl the rum in the glass.

As a Bajan rum the nose offers few surprises – nicely balanced oak and vanilla notes with some residual fruity sweetness running through it.  The nose is less oaked than Doorly’s 12 but much fruiter than RL Seales 10.

Sipping the rum initially doesn’t offer many surprises.  Lovely aged woody notes are beautifully balanced alongside vanilla and some slightly spicy peppery notes.  It’s quite a dry rum and it has a very long and very spicy finish.

Despite the drier profile and the spicier elements, as a sipper this has little alcohol burn.  It’s not fiery and its all very nicely balanced – classic Foursquare.  The aftertaste is very fresh and almost savoury.

There is no fancy finishing with this rum.  From the information I have gathered it seems this has been aged solely in Bourbon casks.  As a result it is a classic Bajan profile.  The Bourbon/Tennessee Whiskey ageing has its usual influence on the distillate.

Although this is 16 Years Old it seems that the European Ageing has decelerated some of the Oak Ageing.  The result is that the rum is very “fresh and clean” tasting.  The char, sometimes evident when rum is “over oaked” has not occurred.  I really like this rum even though when I’m breaking it down I’m making it sound pretty run of the mill!

I think it has got all the “good” aspects of Tropical and European ageing rolled into one wonderfully balanced, subtle yet complex, mellow sipping rum.  It’s great and I really wish I could get some more!

It is getting very difficult to score all these Foursquare offerings as we are really dealing with such miniscule differences in quality!  If you like Bajan rum then this will not disappoint.

If you can find it……..

4.5 stars




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