Doorlys was one of the first rums I enjoyed drinkining neat, so was Rum Sixty Six but nowadays I hardly touch a Foursquare.
They are so similar and hard to tell which bottling stands out. I have the ECS 2008, which is a decent rum. I hardly drink any of it, as it bores me as soon as I open the bottle.
In the US and partly in UK there is an insane Hype around Foursquare which is similar to the Hampden hype in Europe, but for me it’s maybe mostly due to the fact they don’t get the good stuff over there.
What is your opinion? Foursquare Bottle Splits a quiet popular here…
Well as always in the rum world it’s purely a matter of taste. There are the Hampden lovers, the Foursquare lovers, but also people who don’t drink British style rum at all.
Personally I am totally on your side. I have yet to find a Foursquare to stand out and amaze me. I had big hopes in the Sassafras but was completely dissatisfied. Still, there are people here who really like that rum. Now I have 2 bottles I’ll either split or exchange for something else one day.
Maybe it’s impossible for me to find a Foursquare I really like. Like every HD usually has some ground level of Esters that every HD shares all the drinkable Foursquare rums I had also have some common ground notes. But I simply don’t like these
Well it’s decent rum and very well crafted. But I get your point. The first Foursquare I tried was the 2007 (yeah, late to the party) that I bought for 60€. Got the Détente next and I can’t seem to finish it. The 2007 was better imho, with something “worthy-park-y” in the background. Prices beyond 100€ and the increasingly hard to get bottles make this an easy pass for me.
Best FS I tried was Destino. I guess I’d be willing to spend 200€ on a bottle but it’s way more expensive than that now.
How the Port Cask Finish can fetch over 600€ at auctions is completely beyond me.
Edit says Foursquare is hyped in the US because it has a similar profile to Bourbon. Sounds plausible to me.
The thing about FSQ is that after a while, it seems to become a bit boring. There’s no excitement about it anymore.
They are more than decent rums. But the difference in let’s say Doorly’s 14 and the ECS is not that big.
I have Doorly’s XO and 12 open atm. I only use them for mixing. The ECS 2008 and a Rasta Morris are open for drinking neat. But there are a lot of rums in my home bar that I consider to be more thrilling. A lot more Foursquare bottles still unopened that I honestly can not say what I’ll do with them
It’s maybe a bit underwhelming that everything gets “the same foursquare sauce” so it seems for me that there’s less that stands out.
One could ask this question for so many rums … Is Caroni overrated? For me, clearly yes! Are some high esters rums overrated? Again yes. Many very good rums from Guyana are overrated too, though they’re really good ones! Are the black bottles overrated? Often yes in my opinion…
As with clothing, there are fashions in the spirits world and fashion has bad effects: it creates rarity and prices start to rise, this attracts speculators and there is the beginning of the tragedy : prices rise, rarity also. And this is the vicious circle. Let’s compare the price of a caroni a few years ago and today… is not overrated to sell this 350/400€ instead of 200€…
I think vintaged foursquare are very good for their price (when you like bourbon cask’s) : I bought the 2007 for 65€ and that was a great rum for it’s price. I recently tasted the shibboleth. I found it very good. It was sold 135€. I have tasted a lot of pastry rums marked by bourbon which are much more expensive but not better.
The problem is once again speculation … and I think foursquare encourages it: a lot of vintages, particular editions etc.
In the end foursquare is always good at a good value for money (at the beginning). It has resale value so it becomes overpriced. On the other hand I find that it is always good, but never exceptional. At the moment I don’t have any foursquare open (just a doorly’s XO).
Foursquare ECS Premise was the first Rum for me, that really went beyond mainstream (those rums fairly available in supermarkets), and I quite like the Detente. Compared to Guyana or Jamaica however, Barbados Rums always seem to be more delicate, so it depends on one’s preference. Mine does really dislike most Spanish style rums, but I tend to prefer either a British or French style, and so are grateful for the opportunity to get samples here as I hardly can afford or even want so many open bottles.
Currently, however, I have given up on FS, due to the hype and connected raise of the price. Redoutable, Shibboleth and Sassafras all went too quickly in the shops, or are too expensive for the value. One could see with the ECS especially how the price went up each release.
Also, I am not sure if the name Velier connected with some FS releases means the rum is really that much better, as the price raise suggests.
Thanks, y’all for answering. At least in our community, the Foursquare Hype isn’t shared.
Anyone out there who shares the hype and tells us, what for his personal palate makes Foursquare so special?
One quite obvious problem is what Chris and DevidedByZero said - and I feel the same, the 2008 ESC is not much better than the Rum Sixty Six CS but its price was 50% higher.
Looking at the other distilleries a major factor surely is that the only release “blended rums”, which doesn’t spark excitement. For the rum nerds like us, I guess, it would be more exciting if they start releasing single still or even single mark rums, which actually showcase a specific style
I really like this hypothesis but this is true for a lot of rums. Also from the French Style, which isn’t particularly popular in the US.
Talked to Oliver about the Bajan Style and we agreed, that the Bajan Style is in fact closer to the Spanish style than to the English style with its boldness.
What makes the FS or Bajan Profile stand out compared to Spanish style is its natural sweetness. Sweetened Spanish rums aside, they sometimes tend to be be bone dry with a rather dusty mouthfeel. A dryness you’ll won’t find in a foursquare rum, which makes foursquare without additional sweetening much more approachable.
Rodolphe and MarcT both pointing out, that FS is actively creating the Hype and I absolutely believe it’s true. Especially these ESC Vintages are closer to a regular release than a limited release (regarding similarity) - but keeping it limited makes it a collector’s item.
The Velier Collaborations finally are the peak of the hype, as in my opinion the juice stays the same but the prices are rocketing because of the exclusiveness of the release and the reputation of Velier.
For my part, I guess, I’ll stick to the standard range unless, we finally get an outstanding release.
For me, I like it but I cannot point why. Maybe due to sentimentality.
However, I also like Cocktails, and there FS at least sometimes is too delicate.
I believe, most of the hype comes from the hype itself, like a self fulfilling thing. People see the values, FS gets traded in Auctions, and wants to take part. Also, having a series like the ECS does usually trigger the urge to hoard and collect. Both does happen in EU recently, fueled by the US market (we all have a look at what’s happening there in reddit or Facebook groups).
However, if the new ECS is priced over 70€ I consider it too expensive, as the vintage release this year has 1 year more and more ABV, and sets the bar for comparison.
also im Endeffekt ist es doch mit dem Rum genauso wie mit Whisky, Wein und anderen Spiritosen, die nur in einer begrenzten Menge vorhanden sind oder die sehr alt sind.
Sie sind immer so teuer, wie der Preis ist, den einer bereit ist zu zahlen.
Wenn man einen Wein aus dem Jahre 1895 nimmt, bekommt man ihn auch nicht für einen Appel und Ei. Aber es wird immer Personen geben, die ihn sich leisten können. Auch wenn man selber die aufgerufenen Preise für überhöht findet und diesen Preis nicht ausgeben würde, weil man der Meinung ist das die Qualität diesen Preis nicht rechtfertigt. Aber die Geshmäcker sind nunmal unterschiedlich. Und für jemanden anderen ist der Preis und die Qualität eben gerechtfertigt.
Das ganze nennt sich dann Markwirtschaft und da richtet sich der Preis nunmal nach Angebot und Nachfrage. Und im weiteren steht es jedem ja auch frei selber zu entscheiden ob es einem Wert ist diese Abfüllung zu kaufen und zu probieren oder sich davon eine Probe zu holen oder es zu lassen.
Ok, if you are looking for somebody that shares the Hype:
I am a huge fan of Foursquare Rums, as they combine great quality, good availability, decent pricing and the right mindset (no sugar, full transparency, a lot of public information) in their destillery. FS Rums are what brought me to “real” Rums.
Now if you look at my list, some of those points have changed in the meantime. In the ECS series the turning point was the redoutable, as it was the first ECS for around 100€ at Release. I never thought about Foursquares as something spectacular or special in any regard. “Just” very good rum regardless which bottle out of their portfolio i pick depending on my kind of taste in finishes. Btw, the Velier Bottles arent even that expensive if you look at their other Releases. Ofc im talking RRP and not some 2nd market or auction values.
With the redoutable it seems, that eveything has gone overboard pricewise. There are now more collectors and flippers than drinkers. And simply “enjoying” the rums is not so easy anymore…
I guess I dont have to go into detail why I “like” the taste, as thats completely subjective. I dislike most guyana rums and like some jamaican rums (lp, hd, wp mostly). I love the Caroni taste… As i said, taste is completely subjective…
To get to the last point that was made here: Yes, there is a huge Hype around FS (somehow not so much in germany). Will it stop soon? I dont believe so. Is it good that there is a hype? Well certainly not for drinkers! Will i stop buying Foursquares? Not yet. Ofc i also collect (and in that regard also trade/sell some bottles), but still was drinking and/or sampling multiple bottles of each FS released in the last 3 years. But ofc there could be some point, if the pricing continues at which I would also stop supporting this industry. And with that i mean the big stores and warehouses, not the destillery itself.
So enjoy whatever is in your glass and dont forget: Sometimes a Rum is just a Rum. Drink and Enjoy…
Das günstigste Angebot für den RA Guyana 1985 VSG(?) was ich bisher erhalten habe war 495 EUR. Allerdings Angebot auf die Warteliste zu kommen, der scheint in diversen Shops schon ausverkauft zu sein bevor er überhaupt geliefert wurde. Da finde ich die Methode eines Berliner Shops wo es so etwas wie Reservierungen nicht gibt irgendwie besser. Glück haben wir alle gleich viel. Beim allseits geliebten Shop aus Leipzig waren es glaube ich sogar knapp 600 EUR. Da wirkt der C<>H aus 1990 geradezu billig
Ich bin mir sicher der Rum wird nicht schlecht, ich mag prinzipiell viele Abfüllungen von RA. Aber 495 EUR oder gar knapp 600 EUR??? Seriously? Dafür hab ich vor einem guten Monat noch 3, in Worten drei Flaschen 1994 Enmore REV gekauft - die inzwischen alle leer / verteilt sind wie sich das gehört .
Ich bin geneigt da langsam nicht mehr mitzumachen, so gerne ich auch Teile und alles ausprobiere, aber irgendwann limitiert auch das Budget selbst mit Teilungen und meine Frau möchte ich auch nicht unglücklich machen
Edit: OK, back to English, back to topic since that was not about Foursquare rum. @Leo I think trading like you said is still a good option if you have rum you don’t like yourself. I wouldn’t go as far as to take part in auctions myself since I don’t want to support that, but I have already sold “leftover” rums at the initial purchase price to people where I know drink that rum and exchanging bottles is also a good option … which is probably what I am going to do with my two Sassafras bottles at some point.
As a quick anecdote regarding the hype: in last winter I had a talk with the owner of a shop, who used to do pre-order sales of FS, and he had to cancel some Sassafras orders. While in the past he could always get what he ordered, this time he only received a fraction of his request. It seemed, the hype triggered lots of shops to go into FS or Rum territory, thus minimizing his allotment.
I absolutely get that point. Foursquare is definitely one of the distilleries with the most consistent quality. And if you want to buy a bottle and want to be sure, you’ll get a decent rum, you hardly ever go wrong.
As you dislike rums from Guyana most, in my opinion, Guyana is maybe the opposite of Foursquare regarding consistency. You often don’t know what kind of juice is in the bottle and the quality can be amazing or very poor.
The whole transparency thing is important, too and I believe it was even more important, as the awareness sure grew in the last couple of years.