Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente

Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente by the fat rum pirateFoursquare Rum Distillery Détente. As you will all know Détente is French and is used to refer to a relaxation of strained relations, through verbal communication. Well that’s what Wikipedia says anyway………

It is often used when referencing relationships between the USSR and the West during the Cold War. Bearing in mind the current relations between certain rum producers, this choice of name does seem a little odd. Whether this indicates a sign of a “relaxing” of hostilities, I am not so sure. I suspect it might not be!

As with all Foursquare releases we have a lot of information on what has gone into this bottle of rum. First, I will offer my view on this particular release which I believe is following a particular path. I suspect a few of you will have already picked up upon this.

As we all should know Foursquare are very much against sweetened rum, especially sweetened Barbados rum. Now a lot of people believe that “Sweetened” rum can work as a entry into more Premium rums. I know a lot of people in the rum world who got into rum via something like Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, Plantation, Pampero etc. For some Spiced rums were their first experience of rum. I still remember having a “Scary Jerry” or two back in the 00’s……

Now back when the Exceptional Cask Series was re-introduced (after the sole 1998 release) the whole “added sugar” debate was in full swing. A lot of people were really starting to tune into “authentic” rum without additives. Tired of being duped by “Premium” brands. However, to go from “sugar bombs” to cask strength rums from the likes of Caroni and Hampden – is to be fair quite a stretch.

Now if we chart back the Exceptional Cask Series you will see that a number of the rums have been released at Cask Strength. Not all though. You will also note that the second release Port Cask Finish was released at 40% in June 2014, this was followed in September 2015 by the Zinfandel Cask Blend at 43% ABV. We then had to wait around a little while for the next rum, I believe to be in this little series Premise in January 2018 which came in at 46% ABV.

Fast forward to August 2019 and we had Sagacity at 48% ABV. Each of these rums had a mixture of ex-bourbon an ex-wine cask maturation. It is perhaps more telling how “approachable” they were. If you look through the ECS series and the Velier releases you will notice that there is a “connection” between quite a few of the rums. I won’t spoil all your fun so have a little look yourselves.

So as we move through 2020 we are now confronted with Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente released at 51% ABV and partially matured in ex-port casks. Is this the Port Cask Finish for 2020? God knows 2020 needs it!

In short what I am saying is that Foursquare have introduced a range of sweet (but not sweetened) approachable, yet complex rums and have slowly lifted the ABV to suit the changing mood of the market. I dare say there will be a number of people who have followed the Foursquare journey who never thought they would be able to appreciate rum at a 50% plus ABV. Not in any macho kind of way but lets be fair the less water the more flavour.

Anyway thats my theory and I’m sticking to it……….

Shall we get back to Détente now? Yes we best, still got a bit of information on that to cover before I get to the fun part!

Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente by the fat rum pirateAs with all ECS releases the rum comes in the usual stubby bottle with the Foursquare “medal” around the neck and the new(ish) synthetic cork stoppers to stop all the moaning about corks breaking……

Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente is Mark XIV (14 in English). It comprises a blend of rums from both the Artisanal Double-Retort Pot & Traditional Twin Column Coffey Still.

In fact it is a blend of two single blended rums – one aged 10 years entirely in Ex-Bourbon barrels, and the other aged 4 years in Ex-Bourbon Barrels, then transferred to Ex-Port Casks for an additional 6 years.

All rum is aged in total for 10 years. Bottled at 51% ABV in August 2020.
I think it’s about time for the fun part don’t you?
In the glass we have a dark to golden brown rum with a reddish/orange hue. Very slightly murky/hazy (suggesting no chill filtration) but only a touch. It might be my manky glass maybe?
The nose of Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente, is soft and fruity. Strawberries, raisin and some baked apple. Nice hit of Coconut Ice (sweetened coconut confectionary sold over here). Blackcurrants and a very slight note of white pepper and some bourbon and vanilla notes.
For something at 51% ABV it displays very little by way of alcohol. Or for that matter anything bordering on what I might call “boozy fumes”. It has a really wonderful balance to it and the fruity aromas are fantastic.
Sipped, it’s got more body on the initial entry than the nosing might suggest. Which is a good thing. It’s got a lovely sweet note on the initial entry but it has a really welcoming hit of oak spices and some heat, but again the balance overall is exceptional.
Now I really find these 46-52 (ish) percent spirits kind of hit a soft spot for me. Whilst I can and do drink Cask Strength I think this particular “style” of rum works really well for me. I know other people are less keen on the “series” of ECS rums I have detailed earlier. I’m personally a big fan.
The mid palate evolves into a big hit of raisin, blackcurrant, stewed apples and some dark chocolate with red chilli(?).
The blend of ex-bourbon and partially matured ex-port cask rum really brings this rum alive and gives it an a real edge. On one hand you are getting all the sweet notes from the Port cask but at the same time you are getting some of the Bourbon-esque spice and vanilla you find in something like Foursquare 2004. This is a bit like a combo of Port Cask Finish and that rum.
Which is pretty delightful it has to be said.
Foursquare Rum Distillery Détente by the fat rum pirateFinish wise we get some real Port like notes and what I would refer to as some really dry fruity cask like notes. My mouth feels like an oak cask drying out and taking on those flavours. It’s quite a long fade out and it builds with intensity. Lots of stone fruits – blackcurrants, redcurrants and a good smattering of really nice oak spices. It’s a bit christmas cake like on the finish.
I really like this rum it starts out from the nose as quite light and maybe not as complex or intense as you might expect. However, it seems to build itself up in complexity w,ith each sip. The finish does make you stop as well to enjoy it as it really lingers.
To be honest you might want to hold on the finish for a bit as this is very, very drinkable!
PS – Thanks to Foursquare Rum USA Facebook page. Whose pics I am using for the time being, until I get a bottle of this!
We might just have the Port Cask Finish of 2020. Which is just what we needed!



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