Updated: Oct 10, 2019
I have reviewed quite a few Foursquare Rum Distillery bottles already. There are a couple of reasons for this. First because they tend to be delicious and therefore fun to review and second because they continue to come up with new releases that I can’t say no to.
Hereditas was one of the latter. I told myself not to buy it, had already spent enough on rum. But, it was so tempting. An exclusive bottling for The Whisky Exchange! The word “exclusive” alone makes the heart beat a little faster. After saying no on Monday, I caved and said yes on Tuesday. Damn, the marketing worked on me!
I figured it would be interesting to do a comparison between Hereditas and Principia, with Patrimonio lurking in the background as a benchmark. The reason why I picked Prinicipia is because it has been partly aged in ex-sherry cask as well, but also because it’s quite different from the others in terms of years in cask, alcohol percentage and flavour profile. That makes a comparison slightly more compelling to me.
The story on how I acquired a bottle of Principia takes us back to Barbados. During the 2018 rum geek Barbados trip, where we visited 3 distilleries with around 30 people, there was a great tour and tasting at Foursquare. Organized and executed by owner and master distiller Richard Seale. When we got to the tasting room and were enjoying a few wonderful samples, we noticed a pile of boxes. Long story short, they were filled with bottles of Principia and everyone got one. Richard turned into Oprah Winfrey! “You get a car, you get a car……everybody gets a car!” The generosity of the Seale family is amazing.
Age: 14 Years
Cask: One part 14 years ex-bourbon, another part 10 years in ex-bourbon & 4 years in ex-sherry
Age: 9 Years
Cask: 3 Years in ex-bourbon, 6 years in ex-sherry
First impression is that it has a bit more of that bourbon cask sweetness than Patrimonio and that it’s not as balanced as P. Of course there are strong sherry notes together with oak, mint, cinnamon, candle wax, vanilla and nutmeg. It seems rounder/warmer than Principia, I’m guessing there is more pot still in the Hereditas blend.
It’s slightly sharper at the start in comparison to Hereditas (could be the higher ABV), at the same time it’s more subtle in how it reveals its scent components. I’m smelling sherry, oak, sawdust, leather and vanilla. The wood scent is to die for.
It’s quite spicy with a lot of sherry and oak notes. The wood is dominating a bit too much for me. I’m searching for the bourbon cask notes that are hiding a bit under a wooden blanket. There is dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut and a very nice sweetness in the middle that carries through towards the finish, where it’s fighting the bitterness of the oak. Same as with the nose, I find Patrimonio more balanced.
A velvet combo of wood, sherry, tobacco, nutmeg and vanilla. Spicy wood on the long finish that has a very nice sweetness to it. Never turns bitter. It doesn’t drink like 62% at all. This is excellent!
I have to admit that Principia was never my favourite Foursquare release. But boy has that changed. This tasting has opened my eyes to how great this release is. The likely reason for this change is that I’m more used to sherry cask aged rums now. I’m enjoying it much more than Hereditas, where I feel the wood and sherry are dominating too much. It’s also ahead of Empery, for similar reasons.
Principia has a beautiful nose and such a gentle and balanced set of flavours, it’s excellent. The only sherry cask release I like better is Patrimonio. That has an even better balance between wood, sweetness, sherry and bourbon cask and it’s a bit more punchy….which I like.
Patrimonio is in front, but Principia is pretty close…..Hereditas not so much.
Foursquare Hereditas - 79
Foursquare Principia - 90
Click here for info on the scoring method.