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Foursquare Rum Review: Mystique vs Sovereignty

I’m sure everyone has had a moment in their rum journey where they thought:“this rum is perfection”. When you think back to that experience, you likely realize it was great or very good, not perfect. Even in that moment you might have realized you tasted better rums in your past. However, none of that matters when you are in the zone with a rum. It’s amazing, it’s stellar, it feels perfect overall. What a feeling. I’ve had that twice with Foursquare Sovereignty. The first time I was lucky enough to be visiting Foursquare distillery. It hadn’t been bottled yet but Richard Seale gave us a little taster. I was impressed by it. But, everything tastes better while being in Barbados. When I was able to buy a bottle in the US and opened it when I got home, I had the same feeling again. What an amazing rum! Tasted it with friends and the response has always been “WOW”. Now, I’ve never disliked a Foursquare rum, but they haven’t all been wow to me either.

 

At this point I feel a bit protective over Sovereignty, almost as if I was the artist who created this gem. Surely this won’t be improved upon. I have to say though that I don’t learn from the past when it comes to these things. I had the exact same feeling with Foursquare 2005…..and then 2007 was released. Wow! Even better than 2005? How?! Sovereignty though? Nah!

 

In comes good friend James Pukas with a rather large sample of Foursquare Mystique. This is an exclusive release of The Whisky Exchange. One of my favourite rum shops on the planet. They are almost enough reason for me to move to London! Rum paradise! Mystique is a 14 year pot and column blend that’s been aged in ex bourbon and ex sherry casks, bottled at 62%. That sounds familiar. Sovereignty is a 14 year pot and column blend that’s been aged in ex bourbon and ex sherry casks, bottled at 62%. Are these twins? How different can they be? Let’s find out.




 

Nosing


Rum 1

Oak, sherry, plum, cinnamon, roasted coconut, strong caramel, raisins, pencil shavings, vanilla. It’s fruity. Slightly lighter and a bit sharper than rum 2.

 

Rum 2

Fruitier than rum 1. Wood shavings, lemon peel, orange, oak, roasted coconut, cinnamon, black currant, leather, crayon.


I preferred rum 2 in two sessions, rum 1 in one session. Close, but a slight win for rum 2.


Tasting


Rum 1

Oak, coconut, black pepper, tobacco, light sherry, red fruit, caramel, lots of oak spice. Slightly bitter on the solid finish. It’s a little bit more delicate than rum 2.

 

Rum 2

Tobacco galore! Yum! Coconut, oak, very spicy, very dry, light sherry, nutty, leather, marzipan. It has a thick mouthfeel and is creamier in texture than rum 1.


Another narrow win for rum 2. Surely that’s Sovereignty.

 

Reveal


Rum 1: Foursquare Sovereignty

Rum 2: Foursquare Mystique

 

Conclusion


After tasting these two, I walked out of my office, past my partner, who had set up the semi blind tasting for me. She asked me for my thoughts. I confidently said:”this was great, I love Sovereignty, which is rum 2, right?!”. She stared at me for three seconds and then said:”No, that’s Mystique”. Aarrggggg, a dagger through my heart. My pride diminished. Time to crawl into a corner and feel sorry for myself! Mystique just beat the mystical Sovereignty. A massive win for (semi) blind tastings though. I went for the one I liked best, instead of focusing on the actual profile. The best had to be Sovereignty. Wrong!

 

When thinking about the tasting experience of both, what stood out to me with Mystique was the thicker mouthfeel, creamier texture and the fact that tobacco was a lot more present on the palate than with Sovereignty. These are things that I like very much. However, to me this hints more towards a Foursquare ex bourbon rum. That puzzled me. Sovereignty was aged for three years in ex bourbon and eleven in ex sherry. How about Mystique? I asked Richard Seale if he could share what the ageing details of Mystique are. He said:”It’s a blend of single and double matured rum”. Turns out the single is 14 year ex bourbon. There are two doubles. One has been three years in bourbon, 11 year in sherry, like Sovereignty. The other, 10 years in bourbon and 4 years in sherry, like Empery. In theory, this means there is a larger ex bourbon barrel influence on Mystique than there is on Sovereignty. That makes my tasting experience a lot more logical to me.


Logics certainly don’t always apply in tastings, but in this case they kind of do. Mystique is one of my new favourites. One that I’ll likely never own, but that’s ok, it has a solid place in my (terrible) memory banks. Sovereignty has slipped down the ranking just a bit, but remains an all time favourite. Life is good.


Scores


Foursquare Sovereignty – 92

Foursquare Mystique – 93


Click here for info on the scoring method.

Click here for the complete list of reviews.

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