Don't Call Foursquare's Latest White Expression High Ester, It's Long Fermentation Type
(Image Source: Lonely Planet, Habitation Velier)
Habitation Velier is releasing a new white rum expression from Barbados' Foursquare Distillery - the Habitation Velier Foursquare LFT (Long Fermentation Type).
The expression itself is a blend of two rums, both of which were distilled using Foursquare's double retort pot still, with fermented molasses and the fermented juice of freshly milled sugar cane. The molasses was fermented by the addition of a single strain of cultured yeast for about 72 hours, while the fresh cane juice was fermented entirely from natural yeast contained in the substrate over several weeks.
It weighs in at a whooping ester count of 555 g/hlpa, bottled at 62% ABV.
What is perhaps more unusual is the use of the label LFT, or Long Fermentation Type.
Richard Seale, the chief of the Foursquare Distillery sheds more light on the unique LFT label.
(Image Source: Habitation Velier)
"FOURSQUARE LFT White
If any of you have listened to my recent discussions on our Habitation Velier "high ester" white rum, you will know that I am not comfortable with the name. It was simply the least worst choice I came up with to call it "high ester".
Not that it is not "high ester". By Jamaica standards, anything over 300 g/hl abs alc has left the "common clean" category (incidentally they do not like that category name either). At 555 g/hl abs alc, it is certainly high in ester content.
But the reference to Jamaica explains the problem. High Ester Rum is Jamaica terminology. I do not like using it. You cannot be an advocate for IP rights and steal the IP of others. While it is true that most of the Islands produced what we would consider "high ester", it is really Jamaica that has kept it alive, made it famous and codified it. They own it.
It was the least worse name I could think of in haste. It is not agricole (its not 100% juice and more importantly its not produced in the French Islands). Grand Arome would also be a misappropriation. Heavy rum could be a fit (its got lots of congeners), save for the fact, thanks to Caroni we associate that more with a heavy, oily, tails heavy rum in the Trinidadian style.
I think what Savanna do with HERR is very clever. No overt use of the words "high ester" but a clever way of communicating the nature of the rum and emphasizing its their version.
So taking a leaf from their book, I will also use an acronym - LFT - Long fermentation type - an early distinction in rum making once fast fermentation (with added cultured yeast) came into play.
See the attached description from the 1908 Royal Commission - where it was debated whether traditional long fermentation and new short fermentation type rums were both entitled to be called rum.
After all, that is what we are trying to do - make a long fermentation style rum. High ester is just a natural corollary of that and the Jamaicans have their own way, very distinct to ours and quite unique to them.
For the record, we have made rums of over 1,900 Esters - this blend is to strike a balance between power (for your next cocktail or rum cake) and palatability for those who want it neat."
The start of a new category of white rums from Barbados? We sure hope so.
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