Foursquare 2009

Foursquare 2009 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateFoursquare 2009. After a brief protest caused by an unfortunate lapse into something approaching O.C.D, I have decided to no longer add the “Rum Distillery” part to my reviews.

Foursquare themselves removed that part from the Exceptional Cask Series title a good while back. I think, possibly Foursquare 2007 was the first to do so. Though don’t quote me on that.

Foursquare 2009 is the 17th release in the Exceptional Cask Series. It is the younger brother of the 2004,2005, 2007 and 2008. I assume a 2006 ECS was not released as a rum named as such was already released in conjunction with Velier.

The lineage of the “yearly” named/dated ECS Foursquare releases is perhaps the most simple of the rums in the line up. They are a blend of Pot/Column still rums aged for around 11/12 years in ex-bourbon casks. The 2004 was the first in the ECS series to be issued at “Cask Strength”.

Although this was fairly recent, it was still quite a daring move by Foursquare. Although Independent Rum and Scotch Whisky bottlers based in Europe had been releasing “Cask Strength” rum for a number of years – traditional Caribbean Distilleries rarely did so.

I would imagine a lot of you reading this review will be aware of the recent issues with obtaining ECS rum, particularly in the UK. This is partly due to the increase in popularity of the brand (sadly not always popular for the right reasons), Brexit (in the UK) and of course the COVID-19 pandemic.

The luxury of being able to pick up bottles of ECS weeks and even months after their release has long since gone. I remember picking up a third bottle of 2004 around 12 months after it was initially released. Maybe more actually.

I’m in an extremely fortunate position in that I do receive advance samples of the ECS. So far I have been able to also buy a bottle of all but the initial 1998 – which was before my time. Well my time in the rum world anyway.

Foursquare 2009 as mentioned already, is a blend of Pot/Column distilled rum. The rums have been aged in ex-bourbon casks and the final output has been bottled at 60% ABV. I’m noticing the ABV of the yearly dated ECS are slowly creeping up…….

Foursquare 2009 retailed at around the £70 mark. RRP was set at £69.95. Most stores that kept close to the RRP have long since sold their allocation. The Whisky Exchange are conducted a ballot for previous customers.

Presentation wise Foursquare 2009 comes in the stubby ECS bottle with the usual colour scheme used for such releases. The front and back label concentrate on giving you the facts about the rum in the bottle. Not fairy tales.

Foursquare 2009 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateNow I tend not to compare previous ECS marques when I conduct my reviews. This is largely because I rarely have the liquid to compare. I drink what I buy. I don’t have a huge collection of opened bottles.

So I’ll just let you know how I found this at the time of the review.

Well thats the pre-amble sorted so lets get down to the fun part and try this rum.

In the glass there are few surprises a dark/golden brown with a slightly orange hue. As the rum is at 60% and non-chill filtered there is a slight cloudiness and you might notice some floaters in the rum. This is nothing any should worry about as it all adds to the flavour………

On the nose Foursquare 2009 is immediately familiar (a word I use a lot in Foursquare reviews but its no bad thing!). It’s quite woody and oaky with very well defined wafts of vanilla and stoned fruits. Plum, raisin and even some softer notes of peach and apricot. Some black cherry as well.

12 years in an ex-bourbon barrel do impart a bourbon influence on this rum. That said I always feel rum has an extra “dimension” to bourbon and has more depth overall.

Further nosing reveals some sweet strawberry and some ginger. The oak notes are nicely integrating and giving this nose a wonderfully warming depth.

Is the nose perfect? Well the balance is exceptional and for a rum aged purely in ex-bourbon casks I can’t think of anything much better. From memory it seems a little sweeter than previous releases (2004,2005 etc) but that might be my palate altering over time.

Sipped Foursquare 2009 is initially quite oaky but not woody it has, once again a really nice balance and depth to the “woody” notes. It’s mildly spicy with a hint of ginger and some white pepper but its mostly vanilla, oak and some dark fruits.

It has a really lovely mouthfeel, even a full strength. It is a very rich and warming rum with a wonderful depth of complexity straight of the bat.

The rum flows and grows through to the mid palate with a lovely hit of fruity red wine, plums and no shortage of warming oak notes and a little spiciness.

There is more fruitiness and richness than you might expect from solely ex-bourbon casks. The rum seem a little less “dry” than previous releases in this series as well.

Did I day I wouldn’t be comparing to previous relelases? Oh well…….

Foursquare 2009 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateFinish wise Foursquare 2009 has a really nice length and flavour on the finish. The fruity notes and the oak notes fade out gently with minimal real “burn” and whilst there is a little burst of spicy ginger at the very tip of the finish – it all works beautifully.

Once again this is a top tier example of traditional Pot/Column blended rum. There’s not really much else to say. If you can find a bottle anywhere near original retail price then buy one.








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