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Rum Review: Foursquare Spiced Rum

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How do you rate Foursquare Spiced Rum (five is best)?
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:59 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Foursquare Spiced Rum Reply with quote

Foursquare Spiced Rum: "Spice Island"

Sue Sea and I are not really big fans of spiced or otherwise altered rums. Unfortunately, not a few rums are marketed with additives and flavorings marketed to sell. As far as we're concerned they are not the real rums we love. Trust me, after you've tasted enough different rums you'll easily identify the more obvious offenders.

But not all.

I will never forget a tasting of Barbadian rums at Robert Burr's in Miami. The main speaker was none other than Richard Seale who presented a wonderful overview of rum and rum making. He concluded his talk by stating he'd brought a fine rum for our tasting pleasure, and a test sample was distributed to the crowd.

He offered a free bottle of Seale's Ten Year (a stupendous rum) to anybody who could answer the three questions he would ask about the rum. After we all tasted the rum, he asked "Is it a molasses or a cane juice rum?" Then, "Is it continuous or pot stilled?", and last "How old is it?". We were pretty new then and didn't have a clue. Most of the audience, including some pretty experienced tasters thought it was a pot-stilled molasses rum of around 7 years of aging.

"You're all wrong" said Seales, "I fooled you. This is a brand new, continuous-stilled molasses rum. I doctored it to taste aged and old." He then went on to decry the fact that most, yes most rums are doctored to achieve flavor profiles. He state that Seales is one of the few who stand against this, that his rums are all rum and only rum. He finished by noting competitive misrepresentations of age and stated that at Seale the age statements were simple and honest - that all the rum in a Seale's product was of the age stated.

Every single drop. An impressive presentation by an impressive man whose family has been dedicated to top quality and uniformly great rums. Foursquare is no exception. Well actually it is.

Foursquare is the one and only Seale's rum that has been flavored, in this case with real and authentic island spices. Of course the bottle is clearly labeled "spiced rum". And what's the first thing many rum drinkers will think of?

Captain Morgan. Or maybe Sailor Jerry.

Rums that demonstrate enough spice to choke a cow. Good but very, very spiced. Which is why Sue Sea and I avoid them. We like great rum, complex and pure. But Foursquare is different. How so? The reviews...

Sue Sea:

Foursquare comes in a classic rectangular bottle with rounded shoulders and classic looking vertical label headed proudly "Product of Barbados" and ending with "Spiced Rum". Although I really don't like spiced rums at all, I do respect Richard Seales and his amazing rums. All great, so I was keeping an open mind. Although we'd had Foursquare at the Burr tasting, I'd really forgotten it.

Foursquare has a lovely complex aroma: solid clove and a little allspice or nutmeg, against a high orange or citrus. I also found a light oak, leather and honey. It's taste is completely consistent and the honey steps forward, changing to a warm pepper. The finish is long, warm and peppery. Foursquare left me with a lovely smoky aftertaste - a kind of chickory or mesquite - that makes you want more. What a surprise! This is a simply gorgeous, authentic rum with just enough real spice to just make itself pleasantly known.

Another extremely well-balanced gorgeous rum from Seales.


I dig Richard Seales. He makes no bones about the widespread phoniness of most rums. It is clear his family is dedicated to top quality and to sensible modernization to produce uniformly great unadulterated products of honest age. Rare. Sue Sea and I have tasted most of his rums and they are all superb.

Foursquare is a gorgeous light clear amber. The opening notes for me were of spice, against a high citrus, honey and a light tarry oak. Beautiful. The taste was consistent - like Sue Sea I found it began with a sweet honey and a subtle but growing pepper crescendo. Long, smooth and warming peppery finish.

Lesser rums are less complex and/or feature a spice to the extent that it overwhelms. Not Foursquare. Seales is honest enough to clearly label and promote his one and only spiced rum as such. But not all rums do.

Take Vizcaya VXOP.

A completely made up rum, from bottle to name and which, in my opinion is adulterated/altered with sales enhancing flavorings to achieve it's spicy profile. But labeled it is not. Don't kid yourself, there are more rums than not who do this.

But not Foursquare. Heck, Seales could have sold this one without the "spiced rum" label and the marketplace would have loved it. It's that good, that balanced, that subtle, that attractive. But he didn't.

Instead we have a damn fine, top quality, subtly spiced rum (using real and rare island spices) that you won't soon forget. And at a modest price. I dare you to try this rum, but caution: you may just finish by flushing your Captain down the loo....

Rating (10 is best): a solid 8.

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