Foursquare 12 Year Exceptional Cask Mark XVII 2009 Rum
Even outside the rum drinking community, Barbados's Foursquare Distillery is no longer news. Each year they put out three ever-phenomenal releases in their Exceptional Cask Selection series, and everyone agrees that they are great and that we are all so lucky to be able to get our hands on them. Whether or not they are getting "better" is subjective, but master distiller and blender Richard Seale has certainly been refining and honing his blending senses. While the differences between older vintages, like the 2004 and 2005, were large and easily noticeable, the last couple years have been more acute. We are in the midst of watching one of the all time great distilleries truly define it's style and profile, and these annual vintage dated bottlings (as opposed to the also aged stated, but whimsically named bottlings) are the best way to follow the progress. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
The 2009 vintage is the 17th release in their Exceptional Cask Selection series. It’s a single blended rum, which means it contains both pot and column still rums from a single distillery. Aged for 12 years in first, second, and third fill bourbon barrels and bottled at 60% without additives of any kind. On the nose, cranberry, orange peel, caramelized pineapple, coconut, and dried peach co-mingle with oak. On the palate you'll find tart cherry, raisins, nougat, vanilla, and sharp oak spice.