Review: Foursquare LFT White – Habitation Velier

Here’s a rum I only got to try thanks to the benevolence of a fellow rum enthusiast and, well, the Rum Show. By the time I got to the Foursquare stand at Rum Show to say hello to Peter Holland I was already a bit… over-sampled – hence the not-so-good pictures, so I apologise about that. I am not even sure if any of the Foursquare LFT was seen or will be seen on the UK market at any time, which is a shame, but I am glad to be in possession of a sample – cheers, Pete!

Now the LFT is unlike anything that Foursquare (Barbados) released anywhere as this is the first rum they bottled containing cane juice distillate made at the distillery. This is not surprising given that Richard Seale, the Master Blender and Distiller of Foursquare, has been periodically advertising that he was planning to add sugar cane juice distillate to his rum producing repertoire.

His motivation is to revive an important aspect of the rum production methods from the 18th and 19th century in Barbados and the Caribbean. At the time all the byproducts resulted from processing sugar cane were used in rum production – molasses, cane juice, cane syrup, you name it! To achieve that Foursquare started using cane juice in 2016 with sugar cane that came from the Saint Nicholas Abbey estate and later in 2018 they started crushing their own which they source from a nearby plantation. All the cane is hand cut and manually cleaned before being used.

Richard plans to use the rum distilled from the juice to complement the molasses rums they already make, so it’s all meant for ageing and blending. The LFT is a collaboration with Velier, part of their Habitation Velier series and could be a one off since it’s unaged, even if it’s blended with molasses distillate.

The LFT acronym stands for “Long Fermentation Type” which is the moniker Richard Seale settled on in order to set his rum apart from other islands that produce high ester cane distillates such as Jamaica. The original name for the release was literally “High Ester Rum”, but the term is heavily associated with Jamaican rums so it was dropped for a more original terminology.

Production wise, the Foursquare LFT contains a molasses rum fermented using a single strain of cultured yeast for 72 hours and a cane juice rum which undergone a natural yeast fermentation over several weeks. Both have been pot still distilled resulting in a rum with an ester count of 555 g/hlaa. The rum has been resting in tanks for a while before being bottled at 62% ABV without any other additions.

On the nose it smells both creamy and sharp. Glue, sour cream, Philadelphia herb cheese and almond milk. Shoe polish, lime zest and maraschino liqueur. It feels intense and inviting with a hint of “be careful!”. Honey biscuits, overripe pineapple, vanilla and white chocolate. Dried figs and blackberries.

On the palate there’s an explosion of flavours. Raffaello pralines, candied raspberries, honey biscuits, overripe pineapple and white chocolate. Glue, white pepper and whipped cream. It reminds me of high ester Mhoba rums, but with a more milky, creamy flavour and mouthfeel. Lime zest, cayenne pepper and nuts. Black tea, toffee, some liquorice and Bounty chocolate bars. The finish is long with coconut cream and toasted cane juice if that’s a tasting note.

Okay, this is incredible with an unprecedented flavour profile, at least for me. As I said it has that high ester glue flavour from the cane juice component, but the molasses distillate brings nutty and creamy notes along with coconut galore. I was expecting more of a kick-in-the-throat profile, but it’s surprisingly approachable – don’t get me wrong, this is still a wild beast, but it can be tamed the more it’s being sipped. It reminds me of Doorly’s 3 YO, Mhoba and unaged Port Mourant all in one.

I have to praise Richard Seale’s blending skills for achieving such a balance and I can’t wait what he does with the cane juice distillates after they spend some time in the barrel. From what I could see the rum was price at roughly £100-£120 in various European shops which is a fair price – too bad I couldn’t get my hands on a bottle to share around.

Foursquare LFT White – Habitation Velier:
Flavour/taste: 61/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 91/100


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