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Another incredible expression from the Seale masters. Full bajan character in a glass. A must have, and an exceptional bargain.
This pours a beautiful reddish gold, and has immediate notes of caramel, vanilla and oak. There is a wonderful warm peppery burn that hangs on the tongue, and takes on a life of its own.
I finally got my hands on a bottle of this highly praised rum with no additives. Since it is cask strength at 118 proof, sipping neat will only burn your mouth along with obliterating the flavors. Adding about a teaspoon of spring water to the snifter toned down the burn and brought out some flavors. Unfortunately, this was the bitter oak after taste in addition to caramel and vanilla. These flavors can be found on almost any rum. Adding still another teaspoon of spring water to the snifter basically brought out no more flavors while completely eliminating the burn and having it almost taste like a very good mixer.
After three different trials, my conclusion was "What's the point?" There are so many other dry rums with similar flavors, no burn, and cheaper pricing. At $66 for one bottle with a very, very cheap screw cap, you are paying for the name. I won't rave about it based upon my own foolish expense. Hey, I just had to try and it won't go to waste.
After sampling two small snifters of my new Foursquare, I found myself reaching for my bottle of Don Q 2005 Single Barrel, which blows this one away for a little more than half the price. I also compared Kirk & Sweeney 18 to both. After the other two just tested, the K&S 18 does taste better than this Foursquare, but it is also not 100% dry with 4 gpl of added sugar instead of 0 gpl of added sugar like the Don Q and Foursquare. Stick with Don Q 2005 Single Barrel for 100% dry over this Foursquare 2004 Single Blend. If you don't mind a very tiny bit of added sugar, then go for the K&S 18.
After note November 5, 2018: Since this one has few flavors and no hangover penalty, it only qualifies as one very expensive drunk. With that in mind, one could buy at least 7 bottles of Cruzan Gold that all have more flavor than this one as well as have no hangover penalty.
Smooth, complex. If you like bourbon, you will like this rum. Graham cracker note is fairly prominent.