Sunday, 29 March 2015

Review 36 - R. L. Seale's 10 year old

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
A pure, unmodified beauty from legendary Foursquare.

For quite some time I have been wanting to try out the rum chosen to day.
The R. L. Seale’s 10 year old rum.

Born in the Foursquare Rum Distillery on Barbados, this is a product from renowned Richard Seale. An international advocate for pure rums and more transparency in the rum world.
Many rum producers today make rums of unidentified blends, with blurry age statements and absolutely no information about flavouring or colouring additives used. Often it will even require quite a lot of detective work to find out which distillery a particular rum originates from or which type of still has been used to create the rum.

In a world with very few regulations when, everything is fair game. Bought a bad distillate? No worries, just add sugar and other flavouring compounds until it goes down smooth. Bought a solera made up by 4 to 25 year old rums? Don’t worry, even if it only contains 1% of the 25 year old, you can still call the end product a 25 year old blend or solera.

Therefore premium rums might not always be of premium quality or premium artisanal skills. And that makes rum as a whole a very blurry sea to navigate.

I am very much in line with his views. More transparency is needed, so people get a better understanding of what exactly we are buying when we pick up a certain bottle.

So being produced by Mr. Seale, I look very much forward to trying out this pure rum.

The subject on additives and transparency is worthy of a much longer post and/or discussion, but that is not the focus of my post to day.

As I mentioned at earlier we have taken a trip to the Foursquare Distillery on the southern part of the island of Barbados today.

The rum is a true 10 year old rum and bottled at 43% ABV it is a tad stronger than you usual run of the mill bottle of rum.

The bottle alone is almost worth the buy. A crooked, black thing with a thumb rest and a bronze emblem, really makes it stand out on your shelf.

The label almost goes around the emblem, and informs you of nothing more than the obvious name, ABV and nationality.

The age is found on the matte black seal on the top.

Around the neck we find a tiny pamphlet with more information. Two pages of a short sales and one page of sipping notes.

Much can be said about this rum, but it makes no attempt to tone down its own splendour.

In the glass it has a beautiful golden colour not nearly visible on the picture provided.

It manages to create a very thick rum inside the glas, and a lot of super fat and luscious legs quickly run for the surface.

The first whiff reveals a very soft, light and complex rum.

First impressions are made up by banana peel and light oaks which the leaves the stage and makes place for  a farrago of nutty scents.

In the end we even get a soft caramel sweetness.

The nose is very light and I wish it had been a little more outgoing. A huge part of the experience is the nose, and this rum is not very much about the nose.

It is however very much about the taste.

The profile is of the lighter type and it doesn’t come at you like a silverback gorilla at mating season. Thankfully.

Instead you get a super pleasant mixture of ripe bananas and subtle vanilla up front.

Afterwards you are treated with a perfectly balanced combination of oak and spices.
There is even some spicy feeling that I can only describe as a very mild chili burn.

To smoothen things out even more, you get a light buttery texture some banana peel.

A nice palate over all, but I feel that it could have been a little more full bodied without endangering the light profile. A bit more oomph might have added another level to the experience.

When swallowed it leaves you with a superb warmth and an experience of a super smooth exit.

The warmth stays on for quite some time and treats you with more fruity notes and some spicy tingling, along with some banana and orange peel.

Last but not least the alcohol does a very nice job of cleaning up after it self, and leaves you mouth more than ready for the next sip.

Rating and final thoughts
This is the best example of a no nonsense rum, I have tried to date.

Even though it is a great and complex rum, it wasn’t very hard to handle and job of describing this rum hasn’t been very hard (hopefully I did well enough).

I get a lot of parallels to the Mount Gay XO – but this is slightly better in my book.
It feels a bit smoother, a bit less oaky and a bit more caressed into existence.
There is actually not much more to say about this rum. If you are ever into rum for real, you have to try this. And at a wee less than €50 you also get a great value for you hard earned money.

The R.L. Seale's 10 year old is not a premium rum, but it is a true and pure rum. And perhaps that is even better. Whenever I am in the mood for a non-sweet, non-premium, non-full-proof, this is my new point of reference.

Without further ado we come to the conclusion. A…

Rating: 75/100

None found, but here is a nice video tour of the distillery:

1 comment:

  1. You mght enjoy the Captain Bligh XO and the Mount Gay Black Barrel. They offer a classic Bajan style but with a little bit something different.