The Barrel Sample: The Duchess – 18 Year Old Foursquare

This is probably the oldest (oak maturation wise) Foursquare (Barbados) I have ever tried. Comes from The Duchess, a Dutch independent bottler I’ve reviewed before on my website, and it’s part of the Hummingbirds series.

Molasses based, a blend of pot and column still distillates from 2001, aged for 8 years in the tropics and 10 years in Europe. Bottled at 56.9% ABV without any extras. This is a single cask, so with a limited number of 205 bottles.

On the nose it has a spicy yet velvety aroma to it. Honey, red chilies, apple pie, maple syrup, maraschino cherries and ripe pears. Has an earthy note in the background along with some damp cardboard. Peach, Amaretto, pink pepper, white grapes, clementines and some saffron. Not as woody as I was expecting.

On the palate it changes quite a bit. It starts quite sweet and fruity, red apples, almonds, ripe pears, sweet cherries, tobacco and then it quickly goes towards woody and dry with some intense smokiness. Raisins, pink grapefruit, cinnamon, vanilla, black pepper, a hint of Fernet, and plenty of burnt wood. The finish is long with yet more tannic woodiness and bitterness I actually enjoy.

I do like woody Foursquares, Doorly’s 14 Year Old being one of my favourites, and this is quite intense and dry and I love it. Might not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed this. And £92 a bottle isn’t bad either, too bad it looks like it’s out of stock at the moment

thefatrumpirate and Rum Revelations wrote more in-depth reviews about this one if you want to check it out.

The Duchess – 18 Year Old Foursquare score:
Flavour/taste: 61/70
Value for money: 14/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 90/100


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