• Ivar

Foursquare's Rum Treasures

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

Foursquare distillery in Barbados has really upped their game in the past few years. They always had a solid line of 40%ish rums but are now adding a delicious higher abv option to their standard lineup, Doorly’s 14, and have been delighting the rum enthusiast with some wonderful limited edition rums.


These limited editions have been highly rated each and every time. Quite the achievement. Foursquare has moved with the market. Although it’s more like they’ve moved before the market did, as with the creation of good rum, everything is in due course. A sign of good vision.


I’ve had a bottle of Foursquare 2006 in my cabinet for a long time. Never opened it. I was waiting for a special moment. Several of these moments passed me by while 2006 remained unopened. Lady Triptych had enough of this situation and decided to force the issue. With the bottle of Triptych almost finished, I had to pour the last bit in a sample bottle to make sure it wouldn’t go bad. That made me think. I really wanted to compare 2006 and Triptych to see which one I liked best. I can’t really classify this as a special occasion….but I opened 2006 for this reason.


To make it even more interesting, I added Destino to the lineup and used 2005 as a “marker”. That marker is just an excuse to drink even more excellent rum of course.



Facts-ish


2006

Age: 10 years. 3 years in ex-bourbon cask and 7 years in ex-cognac cask

Abv: 62%

Other: 2400 bottles


Destino

Age: 14 years. 2 years in old ex-rum cask. 12 years in ex-Madeira cask.

Abv: 61%

Other: 600 bottles for the Velier 70th anniversary, 2610 for the regular Destino


Triptych

Age: 2004 ex-bourbon cask, 2005 ex Madeira cask, 2007 virgin oak. Bottled in 2016

Abv: 56%

Other: 5400 bottles



Nosing


2006

Heavenly. It smells so good, I don’t even need to taste it to be happy with the overall experience. Vanilla and oak are accompanied by a fantastic leather note. It’s somewhat fruity and blended with burnt wood, milk chocolate and raisins. It doesn’t smell like a 62% rum.


Destino

This is sweet and creamy. I smell red wine, blackberries, oak, vanilla and the always interesting pencil shavings.


Triptych

Heavy on the chocolate and strong on the wood. Sweet molasses, briny olives, citrus, orange peel and some very nice tobacco.


Nosing result


I can’t choose a winner here between 2006 and Triptych. They are different but equally good. If heaven existed, I’d like the air to smell like one of these two rums. The wine note I get on the Destino is a bit much for me, so it loses this round.



Tasting


2006

Sweet with smoky leather. The raisins and chocolate are popping up again. Has a bit more burn than Destino. The finish is intense, with initial sweetness that dries out in the end. It’s long and mind blowing. I can’t believe this is 62% abv by the way. If someone told me this is 50%, I’d believe them.


Destino

It’s like spicy wood that’s been dipped in sweet red wine. It really is incredible how sweet this is without added sugar. I’m guessing it owes some of its broad appeal to this fact. It’s smokey and has a hint of tobacco. The finish is nice although not as long as 2006. I shared this with a non rum drinker the other day and she guessed it to be a 40% rum.


Triptych

Chocolate is strong again, a hint of toffee, lots of oak and sweet n spicy notes. It’s surprising it’s not over oaked since it was partly aged in virgin oak. A clear sign of skill. The finish is very long and on the drier side. It’s velvet and plain amazing.



Conclusion


It’s very difficult to choose a winner, as I love all three. They have a recognizable Foursquare signature while being very different from one another at the same time. I’ve always said I preferred Triptych to any other Foursquare rum, but then there is a feeling of doubt after every sip of 2006. There doesn’t need to be a winner of course. These two are both excellent rums. I wish at least one of them would be a standard feature in the Foursquare lineup. One can dream.


The Destino sits behind these two. This is mainly down to what I guess is the Madeira influence being too strong for my palate. I still rate it highly and enjoy it much. The one missing in this comparison is Principia. Another good one that falls in between Triptych/2006 and Destino for me. I’ll have to use it for a review at some point.


When I look at my personal rum journey so far, I’ve always considered the Gargano Demerara’s as the pinnacle of my tasting experiences. The Enmore 95 being the best of the few I tried. However, these are no longer alone in that pinnacle group. Foursquare 2006 and Triptych clearly belong there. Plus, there is more to come with the excellent Patrimonio entering the market shortly. Another soon to be released rum is 2007, of which I’ve heard nothing but good things. The pinnacle group might grow further this year.


These are rums that will be talked about for many years to come, cementing a solid place in rum history for Foursquare distillery.


Scores


2006 - 94

Triptych - 94

Destino - 81


Click here for info on the scoring method.

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