Review: Lost Years Four Island

Lee and Trudy Smith have launched the independent rum house Cane & Able in November 2020 along with their Lost Years range of rum blends. I’ve already reviewed their Lost Years Navy Strength Rum which is currently one of my favourite white rum blends on the market. Their ethos is sustainability and saving endangered sea turtles species, something I can definitely get behind.

They have a long-term partnership with the conservation charity SEE Turtles and their plan is to save at least 500,000 baby sea turtles over the next 5 years, with funds being raised from each bottle of Lost Years rum sold. They are also working with Ocean Foundation’s Seagrass Grow to plant seagrass, which apparently it captures carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests and they are using sustainable and recycled packaging for all their bottles. That’s a lot of great initiative from a such a small new company.

Lost Years don’t distill their own rum, instead they source it from other rum producing countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and then blend them. Lost Years Four island, as the name suggests, is a blend from 4 different islands:

  • 8 year old rum from Barbados – Foursquare Distillery
  • 5 year old rum from the Dominican Republic
  • 2 year old rum from Jamaica
  • unaged agricole from Guadeloupe

The agricole-molasses combo is not a new one, I’ve noticed more and more companies to do it, but it’s still something that would be hard to balance, so I’m curious to see what the Four Island tastes like.

Molasses and cane juice based, pot and column still distilled and aged from 0 to 8 years in ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 40% ABV free of adulterants, with my bottle being number 965 from batch 1.

On the nose it feels spicy and fruity. Apricots and peaches, tobacco, cayenne pepper, ground coffee and ripe pineapple. Burnt vanilla pod and white chocolate. Light tobacco, cardboard, lime zest, almonds and coconut. Pretty layered!

On the palate it’s pretty much as the nose suggested. Stone fruits, toffee, cayenne pepper, green olives and vanilla. Cappuccino, kaffir lime leaves and coconut. Unripe prunes, blackberries, leather and Earl Grey tea. The cane juice component adds a touch of vegetal notes. Basil, juniper and saffron as well! The finish is medium with caramel and lime zest.

A really nice blend with multiple dimensions, albeit quite subtle. Don’t expect a hit of agricole on your palate, it’s just there supporting the rest of the aged components, making a blend that would’ve otherwise been quite toffee forward more interesting.

You can buy it for £38 from their website which is decent, considering you’re aiding the sea life each time you purchase a bottle.

Lost Years Four Island score:
Flavour/taste: 48/70
Value for money: 14/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 77/100


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