R.L Seale’s Old Brigand Barbados Rum

RL Seales Old Brigand Rum Review by the fat rum pirateR.L Seale’s Old Brigand Barbados Rum.  This rum was formerly known as Alleyne Arthur’s Old Brigand Barbados rum. The rum is quite a staple on the island. Though you will be quite fortunate to find it outside of Barbados. I’ve been fortunate enough that a few very generous friends have brought me back bottles from Barbados.

I was also fortunate to get some information on the brand from Foursquare Rum Distillery’s Master Distiller and Blender Richard Seale. Foursquare now own the brand.

“In Barbados all of the rum “brands” were originally independent bottlers. Not unlike all of the Scotch Whisky blends. It was the law after 1906 as rum distilleries were then only allowed to sell in bulk.

So back in the day there were dozens of brands. All wholesale traders bought rum from the distilleries and bottled in their name. Names like John D Taylor, ESA Field, Alleyne Arthur, Johnson & Redman (survives today as J&R rum), Martin Doorly, R L Seale etc.

So there was and still are Alleyne Arthur rums. But back in the 1960’s? (could be later), Alleyne Arthur created a new brand – Alleyne Arthur’s ‘Old Brigand’ rum with all the features of a modern brand – a nice label, map of Barbados and a pirate. R.L Seale's Old Brigand Barbados Rum Review by the fatr rum pirate

Alleyne Arthur acquired Martin Doorly in the 70’s and we (Foursquare) acquired Alleyne Arthur in 1993.

So we dropped the title name and made it R L Seale’s Old Brigand. We still sell Alleyne Arthur rum. It’s full name is ‘Alleyne Arthur’s Special Barbados Rum’.”

So there is a little history for you. I am very pleased to give a bit extra background to the Old Brigand rum as I also have the “Black Label” Old Brigand Rum to review as well. So any extra information is always welcome. Especially historical information such as this.R.L Seale's Old Brigand Barbados Rum Review by the fatr rum pirate

Back in the present R.L Seale’s Old Brigand Barbados Rum is bottled at (what seems to be quite common on the island) 43% ABV. It is available in just about every bottle size from 50ml to 1 litre. Widely available across the island and extremely popular. Commonly known as the One Eyed Man and is regularly consumed neat or with cola.

It is a mix of pot and column distilled rums from the Foursquare Rum Distillery. Although it has no formal age statement it is largely thought to be a 5 year old rum. I would say based mainly on how inexpensive it is on the island it may be more likely a blend up to 5 years old. But I am often wrong.

In the glass Old Brigand Barbados Rum is a dark/golden brown colour. The nose is very familiar and very Foursquare. From the off I will say that I find the Old Brigand has a bit more bite to it than Doorly’s 5 Year Old or even the XO. I’d say this is more the Foursquare equivalent of Mount Gay’s Black Barrel or perhaps more like their now discontinued Eclipse Black.

As familiar as the nose it – it is still very good. I’m getting quite a lot of charred barrel, which sits alongside a lot of coconut. Sweet, soft, light toffee alongside banana, a touch of ginger and a touch of cocoa and coffee.

Whilst it sounds quite light it does have a certain heavier feel to it. A certain menace lurking possibly from the slightly higher 43% ABV.

Sipped it is fairly hefty for a Bajan rum. It’s not a huge bruising heavy rum but it does have a decent amount of “booze” to it. The charred flavours return alongside some dark chocolate and there is a nice amount of bourbon like zesty spice. It is maybe a touch on the bitter side for a regular sipper. Probably something which you might buy in these little “hip flask” size bottles and have an occasional swig of. Like a proper alcoholic…..

In Barbados they seem to have no inhibitions of snobbiness when it comes to mixing rum with cola. Which is good because this particular reviewer has never made any claims that he doesn’t enjoy a really good rum and cola.

I think this rum makes the best rum and cola I have ever tried. The kick and slight char work really well alongside the cola. It is also a very “smoothing” rum which flattens some of the carbonation in the cola. I don’t like overtly fizzy cola. So this works wonderfully for me. When you begin mixing Old Brigand you realise that all the notes that were on the nose – coconut, banana, toffee etc return.

I dare say some people might scoff at my score for this rum. I know at least one of my friend who visited Barbados and initially passed on this rum as it looked to “cheap” to be any good. For the price it is available for on Barbados it is probably the biggest rum bargain in the world. I personally think Foursquare should look to put this out to the export market. I’d have this over Doorly’s 5 and 8 every time.

I’ve not asked Richard much about this rum as I didn’t want to have any preconceptions. I will however be more than happy to add some more notes to this review to explain exactly what the blend/age of this rum should he read this.

Please note: Richard did indeed read the review and confirmed that the rum in the blend is between 2 and 3 years old. Thanks Richard





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3 comments on “R.L Seale’s Old Brigand Barbados Rum

  1. Last time I went to the Rock we visited FourSquare & did a full tasting. L
    Of everything, this was what really stood out as all-round quality. It’s something we get our folks to bring back every time they’re over (often with a Falernum for the Corn & Oil we were introduced to at FourSquare).

    I like your point about Bajans not being snobby mixing a rum & coke. There’s nothing like buying a bottle of each to enjoy with your fish fry!

  2. Where can we buy R L Seale’s Old Brigand Rum in the UK?

  3. […] island of Barbados. Originally Alleyne Arthur’s Old Brigand Barbados Rum, it is now called R.L Seale’s Old Brigand. It is produced at the Foursquare Rum Distillery. This is the older brother of that […]

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