Foursquare Criterion Single Blended Rum – Exceptional Cask Selection Mark V – 56%
Stats: This was the fifth release from the Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series. It was distilled, blended, and aged in Barbados for 10 years in both ex-bourbon and ex-madeira casks before being blended and bottled without sugar or flavor additives at 56% ABV. It is a blend of pot and column distillate. Only 4,000 bottles were produced and split evenly between the US and EU in 2017.
Background: When this was released I think it retailed for around $100, which seemed like quite a splurge for me at the time. Funny how I drop that now on the regular without batting an eye. I came to rum from the world of tiki and was primarily mixing comparatively inexpensive rums in cocktails. Foursquare Port heightened my interest in sipping “quality” rums, which is now my obsession. I find nowadays I much prefer to sit down with a tasty dram to sip and savor rather than pulling out a dozen esoteric homemade ingredients requiring precise measurements to shake up with ice I had to crush myself and have a mess to clean up afterwards.
Mission: I believe I’ve purchased every ECS release available to me from Mark II up until (but not including) 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: Toasted coconut, hot buttered popcorn, laundry detergent, dark chocolate, maple syrup, caramel chew, cotton candy.
Mouth: Rotted wood, bitter cacao, tobacco, saddle leather, cracked pepper, sweet n sour soup broth, sulphur, super tart lemon oil, motor oil, chocolate.
Final Thoughts: This has that quintessential, unmistakable Foursquare nose. Delightfully sweet, even more so than many of their other expressions. At 56%, it hits a very good balance of maintaining lots of flavor while properly integrating the heat. The sweetness of the nose doesn’t translate to the palate, showcasing bitter and tart notes, but it has a nice long lingering finish. Overall, very enjoyable!
My Rating: 4
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