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Rum Reviews

Foursquare Destino - Velier

 

We're four releases into the Foursquare - Velier universe (and almost as if to be a time traveller of sorts, as of 2023 there will have been eight releases - you can thank The Lone Caner, Lance, for doing the math!) by the time we get to the Foursquare Destino.

It never fails to amaze me how if you follow along the story thus far, going back to the first Foursquare - Velier release in 2016, the legendary Foursquare 2006, all the way to 7 years and 8 releases in, the public opinion of Foursquare has evolved so much (positively!) and the Barbadian distillery's profile has been raised quite spectacularly - I've always wondered if Richard Seale, who helms the Bajan distillery, had always knew this would happen or was he himself surprised by it.

 

Richard Seale of Foursquare.

 

And while certainly it can't be denied that Velier's de facto stamp of approval by way of bottle aesthetics (that black Velier bottle has a magic hold on rum folks) did provide some initial momentum in getting a wider audience to be acquainted with Foursquare, with eight releases in the bag, Foursquare has obviously taken over the reins in driving their own stardom. If the expressions were not themselves remarkable, no amount of releases would help the public perception - in fact, it would stand to reason that it might've actually done more harm than good. But nay! It's pretty unanimous that Foursquare has more than held their own through the old proof-is-in-the-pudding model and thus we have Foursquare where it is today, a thoroughly well deserved and enviable position.

And so we get to the Foursquare Destino, which as its name sounds, means "destiny", and it's a 14 year old Foursquare that's been double matured, first for 12 years in ex-Madeira casks and then 2 more years in ex-Bourbon casks, albeit in the latter leg, it's more specifically ex-Bourbon casks that has been used to age rum first (and for quite long at that apparently) and then filled again with what would become the Destino, which sort of makes it ex-Rum?

It was actually bottled twice - once as the standard Velier - Foursquare collab, and then in another set of labels for the Velier 70th Anniversary bottlings which then carries a commemorative artwork by Singaporean artist Warren Khong. To my understanding, both editions contain the same rum.

Onward! 

Foursquare Destino - Velier - Review

 

Tasting Notes

Color: Copper

Aroma: Incredibly aromatic - super intense concentrated dense fruit scents of raspberry and blackberry jam, mulled wine, lots of these cooked fruits, plums, prunes, cherries and figs. There’s accompanying notes of coffee grounds, cacao nibs, leather, cut tobacco, tree bark. There’s alittle bit of varnish but surprisingly tamed. Also maple syrup, alittle bit of coconut flakes, cloves too.

Taste: Really well defined and distinct punchy note of mulled wine and fruit jams - all those raspberries, blackberries, cherries, plums, prunes. Mixed in is some barrel char and aged black tea leaves - a light drying tannic quality. Cacao nibs, some rubbery notes, slightly burnt. Maple syrup and cloves, some orangettes. There’s a quality of peach liqueur and nectar - quite estery.

Unlike the nose, the body here is alittle more tight and well-integrated, it’s not as thick, alittle more bounded and buoyant. 

Finish: Clean, with a deep long warmth. More remnants of the fruit jams, coconut flakes, with a satisfying weighty exhalation of eucalyptus driven minty menthol.

  

My Thoughts

Spoiler alert - this stands as one of my favourite Foursquare releases (personally better than the venerable ‘2006’). This was a heavy hitter in terms of packing loads of flavour yet where I found it stood out was how it didn’t make a tradeoff with complexity and nuance. It wasn’t a one-dimensional one hit wonder, there were layers to it and depth that allowed me to really satisfyingly almost sit in the moment and enjoy its progression.

On the nose it was intense and punchy with a sprawling depth of thick, dense and dark jammy notes, but on the palate it showcased such buoyancy - it was perky and well-bounded, it wasn’t all over the place - it had a solid roundedness that kept up with the vibrance of its flavours. It almost felt like some sort of crystalline syrup versus say a fortified wine if that makes any sense (less cloying is a poor way to put it). The finish in turn was a lovely wrap up of the major flavours but what stood out to me here was how it was clean and disciplined but left with this incredibly powerful menthol-esque cooling sensation.

Somewhere on the palate was a peach liqueur note that harkened back to a more classic (and beloved) Foursquare signature - which would really be my only gripe, which would be that this would be perfect if the Foursquare profile was more prominent - clearly the Madeira had a big hand here.

Definitely up there amongst the best for me. I’ve come back to this numerous times and never has it failed to blow me away.

 

My Rating: 9/10

 

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot