Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Whenever Foursquare Distillery puts a new rum on the market, Richard Seale, distiller and master blender of Foursquare, seems to keep pushing himself and his team to make sure it outperforms the previous release. He’s been quite successful at this, which is great for rum enthusiasts. To me, when the 2004 emerged, it set an new standard for rum in its price range. That standard was improved by the 2005. I was amazed by how good that rum was. The next one in line is 2007 and it’s a stunner.
2005 and 2007 are the same age. Both 12 years old and aged in ex-bourbon cask. So what’s different? The blend. Foursquare rum is typically a blend of pot and column still. A lot of people will be happy to know the pot still component is larger in the 2007 than in the 2005. Next to that, there is a difference in the ages and histories of the ex-bourbon barrels that have been used. (First fill, second fill etc) This sounds complicated but according to Richard it’s quite simple. I’d say simple for the artist, complex for the audience.
Empery is a 14 year old rum. The idea to create it came up in 2014, which is when some of the rum went into the ex sherry casks. The blend consists of 14 year rum aged in ex-bourbon cask and 10 year rum aged in ex-bourbon that’s been further aged in ex-sherry cask for 4 years. That sounds a lot like Patrimonio. The technical difference between the two is the blend, just like 2005 and 2007.
Distillery: Foursquare Distillery, Barbados
Age: 2007: 12 years in ex-bourbon cask. Empery: 14 years in ex-bourbon cask and 10+4 in ex-bourbon & ex-sherry cask
Abv: 2007: 59%, Empery: 56%
Other: 2007 will be a total of 27000 bottles, Empery 12000
It being in ex-bourbon cask for that long I’d expect vanilla and plenty of oak. It delivers on both. Additionally I’m picking up red fruit, almond, brine, coconut, chocolate and light tobacco. Compared to the 2005 the nose is more intense, bolder and fatter. It supports the higher pot still component.
The tobacco and oak notes are both strong and nice. It’s quite spicy with further notes of chocolate and some leather. There is an incredible sweetness on the long finish that made me go “WOW”!
2005 is a bit thinner in comparison. I can’t say it’s worse, just different. I enjoy 2007's additional fatness and sweetness, combined with the longer finish. It's a little more intense in everything.
Let me start by giving you the end result....this nose is fantastic. One of the best Foursquare noses so far. It starts off with walnuts and dusty old oak. Some sweeter elements like honey, cherry, chocolate and creamy caramel are followed by the smell of crayon and orange peel.
It’s more winey and fruity compared to Patrimonio. Patrimonio is stronger on the wood, Empery on the chocolate.
It starts off nice and fruity, followed by tobacco, sherry, oak and bitter dark chocolate. The finish is more bitter than 2007 and very dry. I feel like I just licked an empty sherry barrel. In comparison, Patrimonio has a better balance of wood, sweetness and some bitter chocolate notes in my opinion.
It’s incredible how the Foursquare team is able to make rums that have such a clear signature, while at the same time being so different. Their dedication to try and improve each release is admirable and obvious in the 2007. It’s an instant love affair between me and 2007. She is so curvy and sweet! For me a step up from 2005.
The nose on Empery is stunning, the initial flavour as well but the finish is too bitter and dry for my palate. I think these two rums will be divisive, just like 2005 and Dominus were. If you are in love with one, you can’t really be in love with the other. :)
2007 - 91
Empery - 84
Click here for info on the scoring method.