Foursquare Distillery, Barbados, has seen an incredible rise in popularity in the past years thanks to their well crafted rums, especially the ones from the Exceptional Cask Selection – add some masterclasses and intense social media activity from the owner and Master Distiller, Richard Seale, along with a heaped spoon of praises from high profile names in the rum industry and you got yourself a brand that sells out on their limited editions in a matter of minutes. And rightfully so!
The Exceptional Cask Selection collection is a series of limited releases (never single casks) from Foursquare that are very sought after to the point that many have trouble sourcing one – for that reason some online retailers have limited the bottle purchase to one per person and some even made use of a ballot system that would decide who gets the opportunity to buy one of the elusive rums.
Now the Foursquare Elysium I’m reviewing today is not part of the aforementioned collection, but it’s labeled as a Private Cask Selection – don’t be disappointed, the quality would be the same, the only difference is that this was bottled exclusively for the drinks retailer, The Whisky Exchange. Given that this is sold only through The Whisky Exchange and it’s limited to one purchase per person with 3000 bottles in stock it means that Foursquare Elysium is still available as I’m writing this review – which is quite refreshing!
Apparently Elysium is a term referring to an afterlife concept, like a Heaven, in the Greek mythology and it’s also known as Elysian Fields or Elysian Plains – cheers Wikipedia!
Foursquare Elysium is molasses based, a blend of pot and column still rums that have been aged for 12 years in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry (most likely Oloroso) barrels. Bottled at 60% ABV free of any additions.
On the nose it has a lovely fruity bouquet. Dried figs, strawberry jam, stemmed ginger, red apples, pears, ripe bananas and cooked pineapple. Old leather, dusty furniture, Luxardo cherries and marzipan. Spicy with black pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. There’s a layer of oxidised wine aroma as well. Some stone fruits, walnuts and English Breakfast tea.
On the palate feels warm and soft – very soft for a 60% ABV spirit. Brown sugar, raisins, dried figs and walnuts. The sherry maturation adds notes of umami, nuts and overripe apples. I can also feel a slight salinity to it. Ripe peaches, cinnamon, aromatic tobacco and chewy burnt oak. Marmalade, vanilla and some cacao nibs. The finish is long with warming wood spices and dried fruits.
Oh, wow, what a tipple! Sherry finished/matured Foursquare rums are some of my favourite (I’m a huge fan of Doorly’s XO) and this one just hits the spot. Some people’s main concern would be it can be too sherry-ish as they have been put off by the previous TWE Exclusive, Foursquare Hereditas, but I find this very well balanced. If you’re looking for a rum that will punch your palate, then no, this isn’t the one, but if you’re looking for something complex and simply well blended then we have a winner.
Elysium is a combination of the signature Foursquare aromas with notes of dried fruits and layers of nuttiness – great stuff! It’s still available on TWE for £87, if you haven’t grabbed one yet, then you should hurry!
Foursquare Elysium – Private Cask Selection – The Whisky Exchange score:
Value for money: 15/15