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Rum Review: Foursquare 2004

Foursquare Rum Distillery 2004 Single Blended Rum (Exceptional Cask Selection, Mark III) Review


Beginning with the Port Cask Finish , Foursquare Rum has launched one of the more well-received series of rums in recent memory with their “Exceptional Cask Selections”. The second is the Zinfandel Cask Finish, but sadly that has not made it to California shelves as of this writing. The 2004 vintage is actually the third in the series, but it was received out of order.

In this case, the asynchronous nature of things is easily overlooked, as the highly anticipated 2004 represents the first cask-strength release under the Foursquare label. Previous to now, if one wanted to procure a cask-strength Foursquare rum, one would be purchasing a relatively pricey bottle from an independent European bottler.

Coming straight from the distillery, however, this bottle comes in at a very reasonable price of between $60 and $80 depending on the local mark-up. Considering the bottle contains almost 50% more alcohol than a typical 40% spirit, the cost is quite reasonable. Aged eleven years in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 59%, this is a blend of pot and column distilled, molasses-based rum. The only thing we don’t know about this rum is how many bottles were produced.

Let’s pour a dram and see what we’ve got here…

In the glass, the color is a beautiful golden mahogany. Moving in for a nosing, the aromas burst forth on a wave of ethanol and combine to create a vision of a bustling bakery including vanilla, candied pecans, fresh pear and green apple. There is a stronger charred oak note than say the Doorly’s 12, but the nose is still remarkably gentile for a full-proof rum.

Provided you are in the habit of drinking high proof spirits, the 2004’s entry is not overpowering. Of course at 59%, there is a bit of an ethanol burn, but the charred oak and fresh fruit noted earlier quickly step up to provide structure upon entry. Once attuned to the spirit, sweeter, rounder notes emerge including the vanilla and candied pecans noted earlier. Beyond the bakery imagery, the seriousness of this rum reappears on the finish, where black and red pepper spring forth to meet saddle leather and dark tobacco leaves as the cheeks tingle with delight. Another  example of what real rum can be when crafted carefully and honestly with no additives of any kind. Beautiful.

Score: 9.75/10

Have you had the 2004? Please share your comments below.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2016 8:02 am

    Just a clarification here.The Zin Cask as denoted on the bottle is Mark IV, so we are getting this in order. The Port cask was mark II. Mark I was a Barbados only release in 2007, a 1998 vintage, aged 10 years in bourbon casks. It’s a very rare find now in Barbados but I hear you might dig up a bottle if you look hard enough.

    Onto the 2004 Mark III…

    I bought two bottles online from California, from a retailer I frequent often. I always get 6-12 bottles each order of varying rums. I got two bottles of Port cask finish when it was released with 8 other bottles. Now this recent order I got 12 bottles with 2 bottles of the 2004 vintage. Both foursquare in each package had leakage no other bottles had any issues.

    I was stunned that this issue continued from the port cask to the 2004 release, their bottles leak in transit. I have messaged foursquare and they said they will investigate the issue. They said when the bottle is turn upside down their is a chance of leakage. For a rum costing 60-80 dollars this is simply unacceptable. There is no reason they can’t fix their corking to that of the real McCoy line, with a different label for this limited cask line. It will also mean the seal in general is not very tight. We just won’t see bottles last as long, their fill levels overtime will go down faster as clearly the seal is not competent, these will not be historic keepsakes someday they should be.

    I have ordered 100’s of bottles of spirits online just in the past few years, even overseas, carried up to 18 bottles at a time back from trips loosely in suitcases, I have never had any other bottle of spirits leak in transit, ever. So no other brands ever leak, but then again they also don’t use one of the cheapest cork closures ever seen on a 80 dollar bottle of rum.

    That out of the way, I really liked this 2004 vintage, much more than the port cask finish. It’s one of the best rums of its time, hands down. I wish it was around locally, then I would buy more for certain.

    That said I simply have to rate this rum 10/10. I can’t wait for Zin cask and hope they had time to fix their corking issues before the release.


  1. New Rum Review: Foursquare 2004 | Inu A Kena

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