Rum Review : Foursquare Sassafras

Today’s rums in one many of us eagerly await every year. It’s the Foursquare Velier weird name collaboration!

Yes! The absurdity has diminished somewhat from last year’s Plenipotenziario. I didn’t review that expression because there were already plen(t)i out there. But since I’m only behind the incomparable Fat Rum Pirate, I’m pretty happy to post this.

So, the rum of the day is Foursquare Sassafras. First off, let’s get the name out of the way; Sassafras is a plant of some kind with a certain aromatic property. Apparently, it was used for medicinal reasons and it was also used in root beer as flavouring. This vague explanation goes together with the apparent lack of any connection I’ve found with the rum… after a five-minute search.

Anyhoo, the name doesn’t really matter though, does it? As long as the rum itself is good. Let’s see what’s supposed to make this a blasting rum which goes for about €170-€200.

The rum is a blend of the classic Foursquare Twin column Coffey still and copper double retort pot still. It was then matured for 3 years in ex-bourbon casks, followed by an astonishing 11 years in ex-cognac casks. This should result in a pretty impressive double maturation in terms of tropical ageing and cask influence, much more so than that other rum brand that mainly does double maturation. Finally, the rum was bottled after a total of 14 years (still a very impressive feat for tropical ageing) at a barrel proof strength of 61%.

Let’s dive in


Colour:

Deep orange, dark copper

Nose:

A very classic foursquare nose in the beginning. Dried fruits and oak, raisins, and some dried plums. Along with this comes a very present cognac influence. Some pungent old grapes that remind me of an older powerful cognac. This is very well supported by another layer of vanilla, and the slightest hint of glue. The nose has a grandpa-in-a-cardigan-who’s-telling-old-war-stories kind of vibe.

Taste:

Ooh, Grandpa’s a badass, and delicious… I mean the rum, not grandpa. Great rum, from the first sip. An intense palate combined with a certain grape-y crispness really makes this an interesting rum. All the scents come back in the palate but more refined and with a bigger punch. At 61% it’s certainly powerful, but once again it’s for the better. The ABV gives the liquid that extra bit of bravado.

There’s an amazing combination of the dark and heavy flavours with lighter fruitier ones. The good amount of tannins and tiny bit of bitterness from the wood, the deep vanilla, leather and tobacco are perfectly complemented by the crispness of grapes, raisins and maybe even a bit of apple and pear.  Stunning rum.

Finish:

Even the finish inches as close to perfection as possible. An extremely long finish slowly releases all the flavours like the second half of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’. Slowing down and leaving you to linger with a masterpiece with the occasional yelp of greatness.

The last flavours I get are those of the classic foursquare palate and an exuberant cognac.


Incredible rum. I previously gave the Détente a 5-star review (and it’s definitely worth that), but this is on a whole other level (it’s a different cask combination too but still). It appears that the solely ex-bourbon cask don’t particularly do it for me with Foursquare, but these 11 years in ex-Cognac really do something for me. An amazingly complex, deep and multi-faceted rum. Seale truly showed the world how to double mature on ex-cognac casks. The rum is a proper statement piece and even at the retail price point it’s more than worth the money.

10/10

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