Stats: This was the third release from the Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series. It was distilled, blended, and aged in Barbados for 11 years in ex-bourbon casks before being bottled without sugar or flavor additives at 59% ABV (Full Proof). It is a blend of pot and column distillate. 24,000 bottles were produced and split evenly between the US and EU in 2015.
Background: As mentioned in my previous post, Foursquare Port Cask really opened up my eyes to the exciting world of pure, unadulterated, expertly-made rum. Before that, the “premium” rums that I had spent $40-100 a piece on all had stratospheric levels of dosage, which I of course was not aware of. I thought those rums were good, because they were “smooth.” Wasn’t that the point, to not taste the alcohol?
My, how things have changed! My palate has evolved quite a bit over the last few years, and now I crave… get this… flavor! And complexity! Those same rums I thought were so refined and sophisticated taste completely artificial and sickly sweet to me now. Honestly it’s rare that I’m not completely bored by anything bottled at standard 80 proof anymore. Foursquare 2004 was my initiation into cask strength rums, so I’m excited to revisit it after a very long hiatus.
Mission: I believe I’ve purchased every ECS release available to me up until Redoutable. I plan to go through them all, mark by mark, and share my impressions with you all.
Conditions: Sampled neat in a Glencairn over the course of three sittings. No water added.
Nose: Vanilla frosting, confectioners shop, powdered sugar, maple syrup, nail polish remover, green banana peel, green forest, Fruity Pebbles.
Mouth: Thick and oily mouthfeel. Initially brings some heat but settles down in subsequent sips. Graham cracker pie crust, vanilla frosting, maple syrup, musty cigar, copper, mild pot still funk, rotting pineapple, light bitter tannin, sea water.
Final Thoughts: This brings forth a lot of natural sweet notes without adding any actual sugar. Unfortunately it’s just not super dynamic. When this initially came out, I don’t think I was prepared for such a “hot” spirit. It was so different from what I was used to and I didn’t take to it immediately. But what it successfully accomplished was introducing me to a higher standard and way of looking at the category of rum. Pitting it up today against the myriad of cask strength offerings I’ve ingested since this hit, it doesn’t knock my socks off. But like the Port that preceded it, it played an important role in my rum development and appreciation.
My Rating: 3
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle