Foursquare Distillery is routinely touted as one of the most revered rum producers in the world and is given credit for its contribution as a rising force in the ‘rum revolution’. Richard Seale, Master distiller and blender, is renowned for his ‘maverick’ approach to creating various high calibre expressions free from adulteration.
The Foursquare rum distillery is owned by R.L. Seale & Co, a family company with a traceable history of rum making in Barbados dating back to 1820. The R. L. Seale brand was born in the early 1900's as a family-owned distribution company, buying rums from names such as the West Indies Rum Refinery for blending. It was only a matter of time before they took rum production into their own hands and soon they had grown from established rum traders to well respected rum distillers. In 1995, Sir David Seale took a risk by staking on an abandoned and mostly decrepit sugar factory tucked away on the southern countryside of Barbados. After refurbishment and the installation of custom built stills in 1996, the modern Foursquare Rum Distillery was in operation and its first spirit was produced. Foursquare produces Single Blended rum, combining its pot and column distillate both before and after being barrelled.
Introduced in 2008, the Exceptional Cask Selection (ECS) from Foursquare is an exemplar of the finest rum the distillery can produce. Another string to their bow, in addition to the regular production of their R.L. Seale and Doorly’s brands, the ECS is where Richard lets loose and utilises his speciality experimenting with a variety of wood finishes. Richard says that the range was inspired by his appetite to practice a more dynamic approach to rum-making. As expected from Foursquare the rums are non-chill-filtered and entirely free from caramel colourings, sugar and other adulteration. The experimental nature of these expressions means that they are produced in limited runs, with new selections being released on an annual basis to much anticipation from global spirit lovers. As might be expected, the rums that make up the ECS range are of exceptional quality and have become incredibly collectible.
The first of the releases from the series was the 1998 Bourbon Cask 10 Year Old which launched in 2008. According to the label on the rear of the bottle, this rum was matured in ex-Bourbon white oak casks “for about 8 years before being decanted, reduced in strength and returned to the cask for a secondary maturation. Once the rum is considered well married and the maturation complete, the rum is then decanted for bottling and labelling by hand.”
In comparison to the single blended rums that make up the ECS range today (single blended meaning that they are from one location, and produced in the distillery’s copper, double retort pot still and column coffey still) this first mark is 100% traditional column still only rum. Richard explained to us that at the time of this first release, column-still rum was far more popular amongst their customer base because of the lighter profile and more naturally sweet and soft characters it imparts with the rum.
Although labelled as having been drawn from cask #2807, there are actually a number of casks bottled within the 15,000 bottle run. All however were labelled with the same cask number, so it is unclear which cask the majority of the bottles were drawn from.
Even though Foursquare produced 15,000 bottles, that was ten years ago and today you will not find this rum in retail by any means, and very seldom on the secondary market. It is assumed that the majority of this rum has been opened and emptied as rum lovers seized the opportunity to try Foursquare’s first foray in a new direction with their first branded vintage release. Following the wild success of subsequent ECS releases, this first mark has become increasingly sought-after amongst rum devotees, however its scarcity has dubbed it an 'endangered rum'. Those few that are lucky enough to have tried it attest to its rumoured quality. Couple this with the fact that it is near impossible to find, and it's the perfect combination.
For the first time since we launched our online platform, with thousands of rums consigned through our doors, it was a huge pleasure to welcome the Foursquare 1998 Bourbon Cask 10 Year Old to our July Auction. With so few seen 'out in the wild', this offers an exciting and rare opportunity for our audience of rum enthusiasts and collectors to bring home such a coveted bottle.