Review: Foursquare Patrimonio – Velier

At the end of March I returned from my trip to Barbados where, among other things, I visited the Foursquare Distillery. Besides the fact that they make banging rum, I have to say, the whole place is simply gorgeous and so tidy. My sight, smell, and later, taste were all pleased during my isit there. All in all, my tour there culminated with me getting my hands on the newest Foursquare/Velier product – Foursquare Patrimonio.

Outside Foursquare Distillery

I won’t go into details about Foursquare (R.L. Seale) or Velier, but like most of you know, the products that come from this collaboration usually sell out pretty quickly to the point it actually build frustration amongst rum enthusiasts that want to delight their taste buds with their Bajan juice, but are unable to acquire one – and rightly so, because they are delicious.

Foursquare Patrimonio was a release of 6000 bottles (5999, sorry) – Destino had only 2610 bottles – so this one should be easier to find. It’s molasses based, blend of pot and column still (pre-ageing). The liquid in the bottle is a blend of two rums (post-ageing), one of them being matured for 14 years in ex-Bourbon casks and the other one being double matured for 10 years in ex-Bourbon casks and 4 years in ex-Sherry casks, all in Barbados. It’s bottled at cask strength (58% ABV) and free of additives, two of my things.

Copper pot still at Foursquare Distillery
Twin column Coffey still at Foursquare Distillery

On the nose the first thing that I can feel when I pour it in the glass is nail varnish, followed by molasses. I get my nose in and then more flavours arise, olive brine, pepper, prunes and a layer of “Jamaican funk” – ripe bananas, mangos, pears and red apples with a bit of pineapple juice. Earl Grey tea, raspberry jam, apricots, cherry syrup, feels brighter than the Destino. I smell quite a lot of tobacco along with leather and oak shaves notes. Nutty as well with walnuts and smoked almonds.

On the palate it’s warm and gentle. Fairly sweet entry, I can feel molasses again, prunes, plenty of raisins – most likely from the sherry cask, canned mushrooms, sour cherry jam, dark chocolate – these would be the obvious ones for me. As I dig further I find black olives, blackcurrants, red apples, red grapes, walnuts, petroleum, coffee liqueur, estery tropical fruits – ripe banana and pineapple. I never thought sea salt and tobacco would go well together but this rum shows me otherwise. Notes of Earl Grey tea syrup, cloves, a bit of cinnamon, pepper and charred oak complement the whole thing. There is a touch of smokiness too that I usually find in Jamaican rums and works really well with everything else. Have you ever chewed leather soaked in molasses? Me neither, but I feel this is how it should taste like and I bloody love it… hm… that would be a great chewing gum flavour. The ABV, while adding some spiciness and contributing to the intensity of the taste, barely makes an appearance, which makes this a dangerous sipper. On the finish there is olive brine, molasses, smokiness and dry walnuts with some woody spices.

As usual, Foursquare does not disappoint. The Patrimonio is rich, sweet (not in an uncanny way) and savoury. The sherry is there but not overpowering the Bajan rum flavour in any way. I’ll assume that’s why Richard chose to blend the 14 year old ex-Bourbon in. I will have to say out of the two of them I do prefer Destino, although people that are way more qualified than me stated that they prefer this one. It’s superbe nonetheless.

Foursquare Patrimonio – Velier score:
Flavour/taste: 61/70
Value for money: 12/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 88/100


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