Yes you read that correctly….2015. This is unlike the 2013 that saw 2 years age in ex-cognac barrels. This Rum was produced using 100% Barbadian molasses and distilled at Foursquare on their twin retort pot still. This is your only chance to get to try such a lightly aged (4 months in ex-cognac barrels) 100% pot distillate from Foursquare. In fact it is the only one that has been bottled and released commercially…..I’m also quite hesitant to say that it is commercially available as I’ve not seen this bottle for sale…..anywhere. It was obtained as an open bottle from Luca Gargano (who also signed the bottle label for me) in the final Velier seminar at the 2016 UK RumFest….and I feel immensely lucky to have it. Now I have written previously about Foursquare releases and you can read more into their other releases here, here, here and here. The bottle was open with a small amount gone when I was gifted it and my subsequent tastings have taken it past the shoulders and I’ve put some time in with this Rum…..so I suppose it’s on with the tasting notes…
Habitation Velier Foursquare 2015 Pure Single Rum – 59% abv
Glass: The Rum as stated has been aged for 4 months in ex-cognac barrels. It presents itself as a light straw gold in the glass. Initial aromas are fresh, clean and acetone in nature. It is salty and ever so lightly floral. Brine and salty black olives are present and accounted for. It is everything I expect from a pot distillate. It is very pungent but extremely approachable. As the glass warms it brings a warming, creamy biscuity aroma. There is also a light smoke….almost burnt splints that we used to use to light Bunsen burners back in school. With water the acetone attack is dialed down a notch and the florals come to the fore, along with more of the creamy biscuity aromas.
Mouth: The entry is hot and peppery. Black olives and salty brine are very apparent. As the heat subsides a sweetness grows that is almost salty / sweet liquorice. It is a very oily proposition and is all-encompassing in the mouth with, for me, clearly defined effects on my palate. Oily citrus zips your cheeks whilst the peppery bite nips at your lips. All the while your tongue is bathed in salty liquorice with the slightest bitterness of treacle. With water the citrus is dulled but the black olives and liquorice remain on the growingly creamy and textured mouthfeel. The finish is of a short to medium length and is resplendent with liquorice, brine and the lightest bitter note.
This was another Rum that I had expected to be a ‘reference rum’ much like the Habitation Velier Port Mourant. However, I found the Rum to be such a flavourful proposition that I decided to put it to work in a few drinks. It excels in a Daiquiri and I also built an Old Fashioned. Tasting the drink as it diluted I felt that it needed a little help so added a drop of Doorlys 12 which added balance to the drink. A drop of Peychauds and Angostura Bitters also worked well.
I think that Josh over at Inu A Kena summed it up earlier this week when he observed that ‘Being a Rum Nerd means that you reach a point where white Rums really excite you’. This was further commented on by Peter Holland from TFRS who said that ‘If a new make Rum has no taste interest, its highly unlikely that time in a barrel is going to significantly improve things’.
Both good observations. This Pure Single Rum is a massively exciting proposition. It contains insane levels of both flavour and aroma, the likes of which some longer aged products could only dream of containing. Can you just imagine how much complexity could be added to this Rum with time in the barrel? Well I have the 2 year old Foursquare 2013 still to come to these pages so I guess we’ll find out!
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I came across someone else’s review of the same rum (http://thefatrumpirate.com/habitation-velier-foursquare-2015-white-pure-single-rum/). It is hard to believe that you describe the same product:
You: Acetone, brine, salty black olives, smoke
Thefatrumpirate: Vanilla ice cream, bananas, toffee and caramel sauce, coconut, strawberries, creme caramel
You: Black olives, salty brine, salty liquorice, oily citrus
Thefatrumpirate: Ginger, chilli powder, toffee and caramel, red wine or Port-like sweetness
Of course, I understand that you are not responsible for someone else’s impressions, but could you comment on this glaring discrepancy?
Thanks for commenting. I know Wes at TheFatRumPirate, and I supplied his sample. It will have been sitting in a small sample bottle for a while. Whether that can explain a nothing, particularly if it was a plastic bottle. Have you tried the rum, and how did you find it?
Thank you for your reply!
No, I haven’t tried the rum yet. Wes’s review attracted me because he described things that I like in rums. But then I saw your review, and it scared me off because I don’t like that kind of profile. Intuitively, I tend to believe your description more because it fits an unaged pot-still rum. But still – how can your impressions be so different? I don’t think that being in a small sample bottle can change a rum so drastically.
For me it follows the profile of a young pot still rum completely. But given the 4 month time period in ex cognac barrels the aggressive edges have been worn off and it’s a Foursquare Pot Still product therefore elevation of ethyl acetate is minimal. I can’t explain why the notes vary so much I’m afraid, though I fully stick to my assessment of the rum. Are you UK based?
Well, I guess I’ll have to try it myself after all.
No, I am not UK based.