Another thread about Foursquare

Hi all,

I think by now it’s been very well documented that Foursquare releases have a tendency to be incredibly similar, sometimes even labeled as ‘boring’. Some love em, some don’t and many others think they are good quality but overhyped and unexciting.

As someone that falls right in that middle ground I want to ask a slightly different question: have you had any Foursquare releases that really stood out? If yes, why or what made it standout out from or above the rest?

I’m interested to hear all answers - for some a standout might just be one that did the same typical profile better than the rest but I am very curious to know of any expressions that really broke from expectation.

This largely stems from having tried a Foursquare bottling that had a much more pronounced fruit notes and less of the typical round profile you’d expect - and I ended up really enjoying it. This gives me hope that there are others like this, that offer something different worth searching out rather than just a slight deviation from the standard.

Look forward to hearing your experiences and suggestions.

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I personally like the Foursquare expressions that are balanced with equilibrium between fruits, varnish, wood and pastry notes. I think, but that’s personal, that the best have a little dirtiness that gives them some more depth in aromas.

My favorites, so far, are Plenipotenziario RX113, Sassafras RX7456 and the release from Cave Guildive RX10192.

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The bad thing about Foursquare is an expectable taste profile and quality. Some call that boring. :thinking:
The good thing is that you don’t have to run after each bottling. Buy a bottle every while and simply enjoy it.

I agree with @cigares, the Plenipotenziario RX113 is fantastic. Loads of overripe mango and liquorice.
My other favourites are the ECS 20XX. Especially the 2004 RX40, very complex and little bit of an agricole character.

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I also see the biggest advantage with Foursquare that the quality is consistently high. Therefore, as has already been said here, you can remain relatively relaxed and wait for cheap offers. Foursquare is definitely worth the wait. Like the Touchstone which still comes with a fair price from time to time. The ECS series is probably the best choice i guess. I thought the 2007 was pretty good. But in direct comparison they are all very similar. And here is probably the main criticism. It may be time for a pure aged pot style or something similar. Not just the hundredth sherry barrel. The secondary market is also a bit oversaturated when it comes to Foursquare because there are so many releases. Personally, overall I really like the Nobiliary best so far. Pure bourbon barrel. That’s all it takes. I need to test the Veliers more. I haven’t found them to be dramatically better than the ECS. Overall, Foursquare just barely triggers any emotions for me. That was definitely different when I had my first bottle of Foursquare some years ago.

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Some call Foursquare rum boring, and while I agree that they all have a similar base profile they don’t stray too far from, for me personally there are enough differences that make me like some bottlings more than others.

I really liked Sovereignty, Nobiliary, Isonomy and Absolutio and Doorly’s 12. Sovereignty has a heavenly nose and I found the sherry to be integrated very well. Nobiliary is just thick goodness out of the bourbon cask, as is Isonomy, I found both to be quite similar. Absolutio is very round with perfect integration of the port. And Doorly’s 12 is just such an amazing rum for a corn 'n oil at a very good price point.

Raconteur, Touchstone and Indelible I found rather good, but not stellar. I also liked Elysium, but found it rather hot compared to Sovereignty. Mystique I found to be quite sherry-forward, I liked it, but not as much as Sovereignty.

There are some others that I found to be too unimpressive like Shibboleth or Detente, or too cask driven like Doorly’s 14 or Covenant.

One thing I found with basically all foursquare bottlings at higher strength is that some water really helps to open them up. For 2 cl of a Foursquare rum around 60% ABV I usually add around 2 teaspoons of water. Without it, they’re too concentrated for me and I don’t get the full flavour.

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The RX11549 is very different…but from my perspective too expensive.
But as a starter I would take a matured one from the ECS……I think it doesn‘t matter which one :joy:

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I agree, very different, more experimental, makes a banger rum & coke…but too expensive.

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Enjoying all the different responses popping up here.

For what it’s worth, I like Foursquare - I recently took advantage of the opportunity to buy the ECS Equipoise and pick up various samples. The first time I ever tried them was years ago when I still was into easy drinking sweet rums and opted to try an RL Seales 10yr. At the time I found it a tick harsh given what I was used to but it also became a landmark that showed me it was at least possible that I could enjoy stronger, non-dosed rums. Once I started making this jump, Foursquare was a huge part of my transition.

To date the Foursquare that I most enjoyed was this Single Cask Nation. I liked this one so much because it still had a Foursquare character but more muted - the intensity and heaviness of those notes dropped and in its place the fruit was able to show out more. I loved it and immediately went searching for a bottle just to find they had sold out.

Up to that moment I was happy to get my hands on and try various Foursquare offerings but I essentially always expected they would be within a certain range of familiarity. Since then, I’ve been very curious to seek out and find expressions that do offer something different. One I have heard suggested may be similarly different is the offering from Maltbarn but it seems very few people in the RumX community have really tried this.

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Yes I would love to try a high ester white release one day although I agree that the price is off putting for what it is.

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I would like that high ester after resting in a Barrel for some years. Same for the WIRD High Ester Rum.

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We did some extensive Crosstasting of various different FS expressions in the past. But tbh none of those were really different to each other. They do a lot of different cask aging, so you get what you pay for. Thats a huge quality in itself, there are close to no stinkers in their setup. Especially the ECS bottles are a quality-standard in itself.

Out of the ~65 FS i tried so far my favourites were the Dominus, Plenipotenziario, Destino, ECS 2005/2008/2009/2010, Valinch and Malet 2007 (RX9185). But i think you did not really ask for the best ones.

Foursquares that stood out in some way were:

  • Pleni RX113, for its pure and raw Power. No Cask bullshit, no weird sweetwine influence. Just straight up Foursquare. Also great to convince Whisky drinkers that Rum is a solid spirit.
  • Principia RX90, one of the best Sherry-Rums in my opinion (Premise also goes in that direction, but at 46% and much cheaper RX169)
  • Doorly’s XO RX175 or RX6813, great value for money and solid sipper for beginner
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I will soon be getting a sample of Pleni and I’m really looking forward to it. Have really only ever heard good things about this one.

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Whilst I only ever mix my rum and I am very new to the rum scene (probably tried 50 different rums) destino stands head and shoulders above the rest. Best rum and coke I’ve had so far

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I finally tried my Pleni sample yesterday. Really good stuff, you won’t be disappointed. For me on par with Absolutio. Still, pretty expensive nowadays, personally wouldn’t pay that for a bottle.

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During my early rum journey I got a bottle Patrimonio RX111 and I was impessed by its power and high intensity that develops after ~2 seconds.

I also liked the Tres Hombres bottling RX8051 because of its general intensity and fruitiness.

Also rated high by me is the Tres Hombres RX16523. That one is only available as 1l bottle. I noted that one to be sweeter than other Foursquare bottlings.

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I know a lot of very knowledgeable rum drinkers who tried on of the best FS blind (like the Destino) and praised the rum as a fantastic Velier Guyana rum :smiley:

For me the profile of a great FS is also really close to many of the old Column Still Velier Guyana.

Yes FS is very similar between releases, but the quality is great. Especially if you try it blind without any prejudice :slight_smile:

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