Barbados Rum – FourSquare Criterion 10 year 56%

When my fellow spirits adventurer and I first sampled this rum with Sukhinder Singh in London – we were blown away. We both bought bottles from The Whisky Exchange and were rather impatient to engineer the right opportunity to try again.

It came out at the close of a rather ambitious tasting evening that started with a set of whisky minis of a peaty persuasion – Peat Chimney 12 year 40%Big Peat 46%Longrow 46%BenRiach Peated Quarter Cask 46%Ledaig 10 year 46.3%…

Followed by rum Quintet of Diplomatico 40%, Zacapa 23 Solera 40% vs XO 40%, El Dorado 12 year 40%…. then this Criterion… added as a ‘reward’ for our extensive tasting adventures!

Foursquare Criterion 10 year (April 2017) Ex Bourbon / Ex Madiera 56%

  • Nose – Chocolate, berries, lemon grass, nutmeg, tropical fruits
  • Palate – Lovely rich spices, creamy, rich and dry, multiple elements at play
  • Finish – Yes we had a finish with this rum, initially a bit sharp, it mellowed beautifully

This Barbados rum is matured in ex-bourbon & Madeira casks, uncoloured with no additives.

Tasting notes by Billy Abbot, The Whisky Exchange:

  • Nose: Intense brown sugar and roasted tropical fruit to start – pineapples and bananas. Salted caramel and baking spices follow, with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon joined by a hint of sweet butter. Underneath are sharper notes of candied lemon, and sweet and sour toffee apples.
  • Palate: A burst of Crunchie bars is balanced by touches of barrel char. Caramel runs through the middle with singed sultanas and apples leading the way to medicinal touches that quickly fade under a Portuguese custard tart onslaught. Oaky tannins dry out the sides of the mouth while sweet fruit builds in the middle: more toffee apple and banana.
  • Finish: Mouth-watering, with dark chocolate, treacle toffee and Crunchie bars sat alongside stewed apple and barrel-char bitterness.
  • Comment: Intense, with sweetness balanced by hints of char. The cask influences really make themselves known, with the dual attack of toffee and custard tarts harking back to their previous occupants.

What else did we sample in our rummy evening?

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Rum Quintet – Diplomatico, Zacapa 23 vs XO, El Dorado, Criterion

After our peaty minis session, talk turned to the emerging quality of unique single rums… in part sparked by a few rum miniatures peaking amongst the whiskies and in part sparked by the availability of a few rums to run a few comparisons.

What did we settle on?

This wasn’t my first brush with exploring rums… aside from the occasional opportunity to taste a single rum here and there, there was a rather memorable session at Whisky Live SingaporeIs Single Rum the new Single Malt? Masterclass with Luca Gargano and Dave Broom.

Other remarkable rums….

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