R L Seale’s 10 Year Old Barbados Rum

R L Seale's 10 Year Old Barbados RumWhat’s that? Is usually the refrain I hear from my less rum orientated visitors (most people to be honest, unfortunately).  My reply is that it is a bottle of fine Bajan Rum is often met with a rather dismissive shake of the head.

For those who aren’t aware R L Seale’s 10 Year Old Rum is produced by Richard Seale at the wonderful Foursquare Distillery in Barbados.  Richard is the great-grandson of Reginald Leon Seale who founded the company in 1926.

Foursquare Distillery is one of the most interesting distilleries in the world.  Their Doorly’s 5 Year Old and XO apart (and mythically a 12-year-old Doorly’s as well) the presentation and branding of each rum is uniquely different.  The example presented here, the R L Seale’s 10 Year Old is based upon the old style leather flask pirates used to keep their kill-devil (rum) in.  You will note in the picture below the imprint for handling the rum!  It’s asymmetrical design is unique and whilst others have attempted to replicate such striking presentation (see Deadhead rum) few have carried it off with such aplomb.  Foursquare’s Spiced Rum is presented in an entirely different long rectangular bottle with candle wax as the sealant at the top of the bottle.

Such meticulous attention to detail is reminiscent of many of the more recent Central American producers (think Dictador or La Hechicera).  However, such presentation is nothing new to Foursquare.  They have been presenting rum in such a way that it practically jumps of the shelf at you for years.

Take for example the picture to our right the gold embossed badge is made of some kind of metal rather than the plastic you would expect.  Heck you even get sipping notes with your rum.  Whilst this may seem a little intrusive in reality it is little more than telling you exactly what to expect from this wonderful rum.R L Seale's 10 Year Old Barbados Rum

In spite of the expense presenting the rum in such a way you can still pick up a bottle of R L Seale’s 10 Year Old for around £30-35 and it is bottled at 43% ABV, slightly higher than usual.

In many ways reviewing this rum is a right of passage.  If you do not enjoy or at the very least appreciate the quality of this rum, then you really should consider if its worth continuing your rum journey.  I was fortunate early on in my rum testing’s to stumble across Cockspur Fine Rum.  A relatively cheap easy mixing rum also from Barbados.  It introduced me to the Bajan style of rum.  A light yet fruity and very classic style of rum.  A reference point for all that is good and pure in rum.  I challenge anyone to find a truly bad Bajan rum.  The worst I have found is Mount Gay Eclipse which is average but still far better than some of the rubbish being pedalled as rum.

The only issue I had with R L Seale’s was when I came to re-open the bottle.  The cork broke and parts went into the rum.  Luckily I was able to rectify the situation and remove the pieces of cork.  Unfortunately due to the unique nature of the bottle finding a replacement cork from my empty bottle proved extremely difficult.  In the end I had to settle for jamming a Pusser’s cork half way in which gives the rum an even more unique (and slightly ridiculous) appearance.

So on with the rum.  Despite my mishap with the cork, the rum still exhibits that classic fruity, floral and light bajan note when opened.  When poured into the glass the rum initially strikes you as being very light almost straw like.  It does exhibit a kind of whisky like appearance.

R L Seale's 10 Year Old Barbados Rum

However it is more the contrast of the foreboding black bottle which tricks you a little.  The rum is light but not that light.

The nose is classically Bajan, not as sweet as Rum Sixty Six or Doorly’s XO perhaps slightly less fruity.  There are notes of chocolate and coffee in the mix along with light vanilla and fruits such as banana and nectarines.  All round its well-balanced and suggest complexity when sipped.

At this stage it is worth noting that the rum in Foursquare’s considerable arsenal is not merely a more aged expression of the younger sibling (Doorly’s and Doorly’s XO aside).  For those expecting a more aged version of Doorly’s you may find yourself a tiny little bit disappointed (I doubt that will last long).  This rum is very different to the fruity Oloroso Sherry Cask influenced blend found in Doorly’s XO.

The rum is quite dry and pretty spicy.  Do not confuse the hints of black pepper, ginger and chilli with a rough rum.  The rum is still smooth and very sippable.  It just happens to be dry and spicy rather than rich and fruity.  That is not to say no fruit flavours are present.  It still has banana and traces of peach/nectarines in the mouth along with hints of cocoa and dark chocolate.  The mouthfeel is a little like a whisky.  This is a complex sipping rum which has a smooth long-lasting if slightly spicy finish.  It leaves notes of oak, nuts and smokiness behind in the finish which is long and pleasant.  If you can hold out before having another sip……

As with the Doorly’s XO (which is brilliant as a mixer as well) and Rum Sixty Six this represents Bajan rum production at its very best.  Crisp, clean, slightly dry, well aged and blended. Classic rum produced by someone with a genuine love of rum.

There will be no cola added to this rum!

R L Seale’s Gets my Vote!

4 stars




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10 comments on “R L Seale’s 10 Year Old Barbados Rum

  1. Hi I need help choosing between this and Mount Gay Black Barrel. I’ve read many of your reviews and these 2 seem to be the driest & most oaky; they’re also the cheapest on my list. I’m new to rum and normally a Rye drinker; I enjoyed El Dorado 12 immensely, but decided to go up the price ladder and get something sweeter & fruitier later.

    • Mount Gay Black Barrel is a lot cheaper here and I find more of a mixer than a sipper, compared to R L Seale 10

      • Yeah RL Seale is only $6 more, so should I just skip MG?

  2. Spend a few bucks more on this rum. Totally worth it!!!

  3. I’m nearing the end of my bottle of Seale’s 10 will have o get a new one soon.

    • You should try the Rum Sixty Six Dai

  4. Excellent rum this…..much more bang for the buck in my parts at US$22.

    • Taxed to death over here. Mind we do get Seales 12 year old Rum Sixty Six. So mustn’t grumble

  5. looking forward to getting my hands on a bottle of this.

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