Foursquare Zinfandel Cask Blend – Exceptional Cask Selection Mark IV – 43%
Stats: This was the fourth release from the Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series. It was distilled, blended, and aged in Barbados for 11 years in both ex-bourbon and ex-zinfandel casks before being blended and bottled without sugar or flavor additives at 43% ABV. 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: I picked this up when it was first released and did not much care for it. Stacked up against the previously released Foursquare Port Finish, I felt it paled in comparison. About half the bottle was consumed the first few months, mostly from doling it out to friends while I enjoyed hefty pours of the Port. As more quality rums entered the collection, Zin inevitably got pushed further and further back on the shelf where it eventually grew a thin layer of dust and remained forgotten. Until now! Curious to see how it stacks up…
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: Raisin, fruit cake, mild cinnamon, milk chocolate, cotton candy, baked treats, rye bread, fancy soap or bath bomb shop.
Mouth: Doughy, rich caramel, white chocolate, mild pepper, cinnamon, overripe pineapple, bitter oak, agave syrup, maple syrup, mild salinity. Very little heat.
Final Thoughts: This is the third in the series I’ve reviewed and I feel it’s the first one that really showcases that quintessential Foursquare profile that creates such divisiveness between the lovers and haters of the brand. It’s very bourbon-y. Very lovely. And unmistakably Foursquare. I don’t know what turned me off about it so much before. I thought the influence of the Zin left a lot to be desired back then. Perhaps it did at one point but it’s taken on a new personality with all the air that’s been circulating in the bottle the past several years. Over the course of three sittings this past week, I dig it. Not enough to continually reach for it on the regular, but if I want something fairly light and easy, or to present to a whiskey drinker wanting to start a rum exploration, this is a winner. If it was a continuous release, I’d say it’s the perfect entry level rum for those who enjoy Zacapa, Plantation XO, et al, sans sugar.
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