Review: Foursquare Sagacity – Mark XI

Foursquare Distillery, owned by R.L. Seale & Co was opened in Barbados on the 17th of November 1996 and in the past years it has won numerous awards, the latest being Rum Producer Of The Year 2019 at the International Wine and Spirit Competition – this is no small feat.

Now the 17th of November was recently declared World Foursquare Day by the Facebook group – Foursquare Rum Appreciation Society – and fans around the world organised their own tasting and/or cocktail sessions or just toasted with a glass of FS at their favourite bar. Obviously I couldn’t stay out of it and together with a fellow rum lover, Gareth Bell, organised a small event in Milton Keynes at his place. The reason I’m telling this story is because Richard Seale, the Master Distiller and Blender of Foursquare Distillery, was kind enough to support the event by sending us a bottle of his latest release – Foursquare Sagacity. Thank you!

The selection at the Milton Keynes event

Obviously I had to grab a couple of samples to enjoy/review, so here we are.

Foursquare Sagacity is the 11th bottle from the Exceptional Cask Selection, a series of limited, unadulterated and accessible rums. This one falls in line with the Premise in terms of ABV (48%), with most of the other releases being “Cask Strength”.

Molasses based with a blend of pot and column still distillates, it is then aged in the warm climate of Barbados. The components, as Wes (The Fat Rum Pirate) wrote in his review, are aged for 12 years in ex-Bourbon casks and 12 years in Madeira casks and then blended – similar to Doorly’s 12 specs, but as we’ve been proven before with FS, if multiple rums are similar on paper, they still could be quite different in taste. Bottled at 48% ABV and untouched. Cracking open my samples!

On the nose it smells fairly sweet, but not in a cloying way. Candied strawberries, ripe apples, aromatic oak and sweet earthy notes. Sour cherries (something I always get in FS), fortified wine, and some floral aromas. This could be confused with a very fruity Speyside Single Malt. Cocoa nibs, honey, dusty cardboard, mandarin peel, and spices – cloves with a touch of pepper and ginger.

On the palate it has quite a creamy mouthfeel. Sweet red fruits, strawberries, raspberries and cherries covered in dark chocolate and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Coconut cream, hints of sweetened coffee, some herbal notes, plenty of citrus – oranges/mandarins and a touch of brine. The finish is spicy and lingers for quite a bit with charred oak and red wine notes.

Very easy sipper, both balanced and complex – probably one of my favourite ECS releases – besides 2005 and 2007. With 9000 bottles in Europe and at £48 this definitely delivers. Will get myself a bottle soon.

Foursquare Sagacity – Mark XI score:
Flavour/taste: 60/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 90/100


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