It's Finally Here! Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series Indelible
• not able to be forgotten.
story rum made an indelible impression on me"
Those readers who follow the rum-scene ('Hi!' to both of you) will know what we're on about already, but for everyone else let me explain.
Back in 2008 Richard Seale, head honcho of Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, released the first of his Exceptional Cask Series, the 1998 Bourbon Cask 10 year old. A salvo in his campaign to demonstrate that great rum deserves the same level of respect as the best whiskies and brandies, this was a non-chill-filtered, and entirely free from any colourings, sugar, glycerol or any other adulteration, blend of some of his finest stock of 10 year old Bourbon-cask aged rum. And for Richard 10 year old meant exactly that, this wasn't the average age, or the age of the oldest rum in the blend (both perfectly legal under the very relaxed rules governing rum production), the entire contents of the bottle had the full 10 years.
With rum production spread across dozens of different countries (Wikipedia currently lists over 60) trying to come up with a set of rules for what is and isn't rum makes trying to herd cats look like a productive and worthwhile use of your time. As a result the use of additives is rife, with sugar and glycerol for sweetness and smoothness, and caramel for colour, amongst the favourites. And this isn't just restricted to the bottom end of the market as you might expect. Some producers of premium rums such as Plantation, a French Company, will happily admit to adding sugar, comparing it to the dosage used in Champagne. However other big names, making highly thought of rum, will deny it, despite the evidence from state run laboratories like those at Finland and Sweden's state alcohol monopolies. The situation with other additives is just as murky. If you want to find out more then a visit to Capn. Jimbo's Rum Project Forum
will tell you all you could want to know (and probably more).
Against this background the quality and honesty of the Exceptional Cask Series was, understandably, well received. Richard Seale has kept up a steady stream of releases in the Exceptional Cask Series ever since, bottled at different strengths, exploring different casks, and with differing levels of maturity. With each release awareness and popularity of these rums has grown and grown. Hardly surprising when you consider that in the 2021 International Wine & Spirits Competition Foursquare took five out of the seven Gold Outstanding medals awarded for rum, a haul that included three of the Exceptional Cask Series; Detente (#XIV), Redoutable (#XV), and Shibboleth (#XVI). You can also add to that the International Spirits Challenge 2021, which saw Redoutable crowned as their Supreme Champion. Hardly surprising then that these rums now sell out on release and are, basically, as hard to get as rocking-horse manure.
Which brings us to the point of this blog. Friday 4/2/2022 sees (or saw - depending on when you're reading this) the eighteenth release in the Exceptional Cask Series - Indelible. With this release we're trying an experiment. In order to give our loyal customers, who are in our stores across the year, a chance to procure one of these incredible rums, we will initially only be offering them for sale in-store. We're offering our very limited allocation on a first-come first-served basis (maximum of one bottle per customer), and we're sorry, but there's no reserving over the phone, or paying over the phone and getting someone else to pick the bottle up. Any bottles we have left will go up on the website the Friday after (again, a maximum of one per customer) to be pretty-much instantly snapped up by desperate Foursquare lovers up and down the length of the country.
Indelible harks back to a much loved previous release in the Exceptional Cask Series, the Zinfandel Cask (#IV). The original bottling contained a dual maturation of five year old ex-bourbon cask American white oak Rum, that was then given a further six years in ex-Zinfandel cask from a Californian winery. A portion of that dual maturation was held back from the original bottling, and reappears here, blended with a different eleven year old ex-Bourbon cask matured Rum to echo its predecessor, bottled at 48% ABV.Tasting Notes by Peter Holland, Foursquare UK Brand Ambassador
Nose: A riot of rich strawberry conserve, zesty clementine, dried tart pineapple and Victoria plums, gentle bourbon vanilla, and sultanas. Shelled walnuts, gentle notes of dried coconut, leather, hints of crispy bacon, leather, and the crunch of autumn leaves.
Palate: Tart and zingy. Slightly under ripe juicy black cherries, rich orange marmalade, plump raisins, with a gorgeous oily mouthfeel. Maple syrup. Dried hazelnuts, gentle notes of ginger and a delicate menthol note.
Finish: Crisp, yet lingering. Tart toasty oak, plenty of chewed pencil, and a hint of roasted parsnips at the end.
Overall: This fine aged Rum takes you one heck of a journey and rewards you for the time taken. Familiar, yet notably different from its Zinfandel Cask ECS Mark IV predecessor, Indelible is the embodiment of the blenders craft.