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Why are Foursquare ECS rum rated so highly?


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Paul B (PREMIUM)

Posted 15 Aug '21 from United States with 420 ratings

The common denominator on the reveiws for Foursquare ECS rums is that none have added sugar or additives. For those who are faimiar with my reviews, you damn well know that I cannot stand bourbon notes, which most of these rums are guilty of having and I don't much care for except for Shibboleth, which is now my all time perfect rum.

So, I sorted out my spreadsheet by added sugar and then by country. Here are the results other than Barbados where Foursquare is made.

St. Lucia

Guyana

Panama

Haiti

Martinique

Louisiana

Jamaica

Barbados

Trinidad

Nicaragua

Puerto Rico

 And don't ask me about the order of my rankings for each place, which is much too complicated for my little brain. Hey, once honest, always honest!

 

OOPS!!! I F'd up and let Barbados be near the bottom of my list. Blame my ratings not seen.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 27 ratings Replied 17 Aug '21

Paul, I'm not sure what exactly your question was but the ECS might be rated high because people like these rums. This could also explain why some are willing to pay much to get some bottles. It's not a matter of statistics but preferences of the market 

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 17 Aug '21

kudzey:

What I was driving at is that there are so many other rum companies that have no added sugar or coloring, yet Foursquare ECS gets all the attention. My guess is that most of their fans are actually bourbon lovers, but my bourbon days are long over with. I have one backup bottle of Shibboleth, which does not fit the Foursquare ECS profile with bourbon notes. It is now my top ranked rum of all, even surpassing my long standing top two from Dictador. It took me great efforts to get this second bottle of Shibboleth, so I probably won't open it up until I find another bottle, if at all. If someone offered me a million dollars for this bottle, I would tell them to go take a hike. It is not for sale at any price. I just hope that this Shibboleth is the start of a new trend for Foursquare ECS by getting rid of the bourbon notes.

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vomi1011

From Germany with 387 ratings Replied 17 Aug '21

Bourbon barrels are often used for rum. Maybe there are some bourbon flavors. I may have drank bourbon once in my life. I can't tell if I like it or not. I think most people rate Foursquare without realizing that it tastes like bourbon. They don't care about bourbon, it's just Foursquare for them.

You like Shibboleth and in the end you understood that Foursquare makes good rum. Just because there are some bourbon flavors in the other bottlings doesn't mean ECS releases are bad. It's the influence of the cask, other rums have that too.

There are other good rums. Chairmans can keep up with Foursquare and consistently delivers very good quality. But that doesn't mean that Foursquare is worse. Every ECS release is consistently good. I notice only a few differences in quality. And every bottling is reasonably priced. Doorlys, for example, also offers a lot of flavors for a small price.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 17 Aug '21

vomi1011:

Shibboleth is just SO different from the rest of the Foursquare ECS profile that I would not doubt that Mr. Seale took some cues from JM Rhum of Martinique. Their secret is scraping the excess char from the ex-bourbon barrels before placing the rhum in them to age. This is the only way that I can think of aging a rum in Barbados for 16 years and then ending up with no bourbon notes.

And because of the Chairman's rums, St. Lucia has now replaced Columbia as my favorite rum producing country. Their spiced rum also has an added kick called bois bande that really works!

And if you want to see what a gluten free "bourbon" tastes like, try Clement 10 Year. That rhum has the most bourbon notes of any rum that I have tried and I challenge anyone to tell it apart in a blind taste test with a fine 12 year Kentucky Bourbon. Most of the Foursquare ECS rums are not nearly as bad with the bourbon notes, but I don't want ANY bourbon notes at all in my rums.

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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 321 ratings Replied 19 Aug '21

Paul I don’t drink too much bourbon, only when my daughter attended Ole Miss, it tends to make me a bit ornery as I am told, rum just makes me happy. Before Foursquare, 10 years or more ago I though Mt Gay extra Old was special but with definite depth of bourbon or whisky, along with Cruzan single barrel rum, both of which I will still drink today, I especially like the new triple cask Mt Gay. But I love the Foursquare rums, cask strength and nice depth, some of which are just too strong to drink neat 62 or higher. I am patiently waiting on my bottles of Shibboleth here in Florida from your glowing remarks, along with 2009. I actually like Detente as a less expensive less strong rum with lots of depth and island spices. Redoutable didn’t do much for me one bottle to drink one to save. Just my humble opinion.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 19 Aug '21

Jimmy:

My bourbon days are LONG over with!!! The same goes for single malt scotch. Before I retired more than six years ago, I had to give up single malt scotch among other luxuries to guarantee that I could make it without ever having to work again.

And to make a very long story very short, I had kidney problems in my bourbon days and moved up to single malt scotch for improved flavors without knowing how much problems that spirits containing gluten caused.  I am not even allergic to gluten. I gradually moved back to my Caribbean days of rum for the variety of flavors and most of them being cheaper than what I had been drinking.  Over my rum drinking years, my kidneys greatly improved due to me switching to gluten free rum!!! When I told this to my kidney specialist, he was absolutely amazed.  I had stumbled upon something special!!!!

And now back to my discussion on very expensive rums. So much for saving money over single malts, since my most expensive rum was $231 plus tax for one bottle that tumbled down to my rating of 6. That was Diplomatico Ambassador. Don't waste your money on this heavily sherried "rum". Caroni 17 Year 110 proof was the next most expensive at $190 plus tax and it tumbled down to my rating of 7. This was my first taste of the "dirty notes" that I do not care for like our European friends do. I am now convinced that European tastes in rum are vastly different from tastes in the USA from us rum connossieurs in the USA. The Shibboleth is my third most expensive rum and I am proud to have a second bottle as a backup. It is now my top overall rum rated as a 10. Over the years, my price cap has moved up from $50 to $150.

On another note, is that your real name or does it happen to be the same as reggae legend Jimmy Cliff?  I have only been to Jamaica twice, which was twice too many because of all of the hustlers. I did get to see Jimmy Cliff perform live one.

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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 321 ratings Replied 19 Aug '21

Paul my name is Cliff, Jimmy is a nickname being Gemini the joke goes you don’t know who your going to get Cliff the more serious guy or Jimmy the life of the party. I’m still working at 62 two boys in college, I tend to drink many of the same rums, and switch it up every 4 months or so, been into Ron Abuelo again after recent fishing trip to Panama, especially 12, 2 Oaks, and Napoleon cognac finish, I also enjoy Don Pancho rums from Panama, and Ron Centenario from neighboring Costa Rica. I drink several Venezuelan rums, Bajan rums and I like other finished rums like Dos Maderos, and Exquisito, and anything from Guyana. Usually the $30-$50 unless celebrating. Toss in some things from St Lucia every now and then. My next purchase will be the JM 10 as recommended. When I heard about ECS at the start pandemic I went out and bought a $125 bottle of Empery that was quite hard to drink straight, needs a bit of water or small cube, ice balls water it down to quick, this started me collecting now I have every bottle except the first two offerings which I’ve had opportunity to buy #2 on secondary auction market but always come to my senses not to buy alcohol that expensive.
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 27 ratings Replied 19 Aug '21

Paul, you speak about all Foursquare compared to the Shibboleth, assuming that each of the former had bourbon notes. Maybe this is not true, have your tried them all? What if Shibboleth is not an exception here?
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 20 Aug '21

kudzey:

My first Foursquare ECS rum was their 2004 and I was not at all pleased with the bourbon notes. When their Zinfandel Cask was released, I was hoping that the dark red wine cask would conceal the bourbon notes and it did for the most part. I gave them one more try with their Detente. That did it for me and Foursquare ECS because of more damn bourbon notes. From reading reviews on their other ones, it was time for me to buy no more. Then Shibboleth was released in a nearby store and I carefully read up on that one before buying it. It is like none of the others that I tried from them. So I now approach each aged Foursquare ECS rum with extreme caution. First for the unwanted bourbon notes, second for the price, and third for having to chase all over to get it.  If the Shibboleth trend continues, then I will give them another try. Their Probitas is now the best available white rum that I happen to always have on hand and it is a smooth neat sipper. Of course it is not an ECS.

And after further review, you now have zero reviews for any Foursquare ECS rums, so what right do you have to question my own judgement on these rums after my nearly four years of reviewing on this site while you have only submitted a handfull of reviews?!!!!  I cannot recommend you to anyone at all. This was my final straw, thank you!!! You now go down in my book as a chronic shit stirrer who fails miserably!!! 

After 420 reviews, my final one on this site has been subimitted with you as my inspiration to go no further!!! I guess that your game is to piss people off all across this world and you have succeesed.   I hope that you are proud of yourself!!!

As always, I tell it like it is.....

 

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Jagsroy (PREMIUM)

From Canada with 188 ratings Replied 20 Aug '21

WOW! Each and everyone of us have preferences when it comes to rum. Personally I do not like any additives in my rum, specially sugar. I, however, respect those who enjoy sweet rums. The thing is to continue to enjoy and explore he world of rums. Paul I enjoy reading your posts, don’t always agree with them but do enjoy them all. You are very passionate about rum and I encourage you to continue to post on this site. I am sure the vast majority of us feel the same way. Looking forward to your next post Paul. Simon Roy
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 20 Aug '21

Jagsroy:

Thanks for the encouragement. You are a very good person.

As I have stated many times before why added sugar is very bad for rums, I now reiterate both of my reasons. First, the sugared rums does a number on my internal plumbing the next day. Second, they cause fairly rapid deterioration of the rum in the bottle such that they all never taste the same after only four weeks. And very few rums taste better some time after opening the bottle.

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Jagsroy (PREMIUM)

From Canada with 188 ratings Replied 20 Aug '21

You have to keep writing about your Rum journey and continue sharing your thoughts and opinions with us Paul. 👍
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 20 Aug '21

Time to get down to specifics. Between my all time top ranked rum of Foursqare ECS Shibboleth and it's next one down the line of Foursqare ECS Zinfandel Cask, these are the rums in between. Every single one of them has zero added sugar and all of them are cheaper and easier to find. They are ranked from my best tasting to the one right above that Zinfandel Cask. It is amazing what can be accomplished from organizing a spreadsheet. So now maybe you can all see why most of the highly over rated Foursquare ECS rums just turn my stomach.

Dictador 20

Rhum JM 2008 10 Year

Chairman's Reserve 1931

Clement Cuvee Homere

Dictador 12

Clairin Le Rocher 2018

Frigate Reserve 21 Year

Rhum JM XO

Frigate Reserve 15 Year

Chairman's Reserve Legacy

Plantation OFTD

Hamilton Florida Rum Society

Chairman's Forgotten Casks

Appleton 21

Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican

Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum

The Real McCoy 12 Year Limited Edition

Clement XO

Clement Rhum Select Barrel

Ron Alegro XO

Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa

Rum Fire Overproof

Admiral Rodney HMS Formidable

Black Tot 5 Year

The Scarlet Ibis

Clairin Sajous 2017

San Zanj

Don Q Single Barrel 2005

Carta Vieja 8 Anos

Rhum J M VO

Don Q Single Barrel 2007

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Jagsroy (PREMIUM)

From Canada with 188 ratings Replied 20 Aug '21

Paul, you are lucky to have access to these rums. Up here in Nova Scotia, Canada, our rum choices are very limited but it is slowly improving. Of your above list I have three of them (Appleton 21, Chairman’s Legacy and Chairman’s Forgotten Cask, the last of which I am about to open and taste for the firs5 time. CHEERS!
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 27 ratings Replied 21 Aug '21

Paul, I was not willing to insult you nor question your authority and I'm sorry if you felt that way. As I mentioned in the past, I admire your reviews and experience. I'm also not a person who wants to compete in terms of rum knowledge or anything else, I believe we all are here to share experience and suggestions. I was very happy that you found a new favourite rum. This has shown that, despite your scepticism towards Foursquare, you were ready to try a new thing and you were true to yourself and everyone here that it was a good idea. I think it's a great discovery. I wanted to suggest that, as you disliked three of them and liked one, maybe you can give another chance too the remaining dozen. Now, as I read my comment again I realize that it could actually sound a bit aggressive and you could have felt attacked. I'm sorry about this and I admit that this was not my best day and my bad emotions leaked to theis site via my comment. I can only apologize again. I repeat what I once said: Paul, stay with us as we all need your presence here.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 387 ratings Replied 21 Aug '21

Kudzey, your post was not agressive, it was a simple question and Paul just explodes.

The number of reviews does not say how much someone has a clue. Nobody has the right to act like an asshole or insult other. Paul, you are out of self control.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 27 ratings Replied 22 Aug '21

Vomi, thanks for support. I try to understand the others and mind that what seems ok for the one can be a bad thing for the other one. Paul's reaction had some source in my post, I wanted to explain that my aim was not to trigger such reaction.
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Rene Rum

From Switzerland with 426 ratings Replied 22 Aug '21

We rum lovers are all like rum.

Very different and not suitable at every time.

Paul is Paul, sometimes harsh but always honest and lovely.

It's not your fault kudzey, don't make a mind.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 23 Aug '21

Thanks Rene!

 

You are now one of the few bright spots on this forum!!!! I am now outta here due to some very bad recent purchases and not because of the ultimate asshole who thinks that he knows it all.

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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 238 ratings Replied 24 Aug '21

Paul, I haven’t take part in the discussions for a while, cause I’ve been busy helping Andy reduce the Temporary images and identify doubles and triples. But I’m pretty sure that you know my opinion which is that I just love your inputs cause they trigger to further discussions. To those who dislike your inputs I can just say ............... It’s always refreshing to read clear statements even if you disagree. Take care Paul and don’t leave us and make this site and forum poorer./Stefan
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 24 Aug '21

Stefan: I really appreciate all of the work that you have done with getting bottles identified. I no longer have any bottles that draw a blank. My last straw happened the other day. The website of a liquor store had shown a bottle of aguardiente from Oaxaca Mexico. When I arrived, I forgot the name of it. I mistakenly picked up a bottle in a white gift box to the tune of $49 US. When I got home, it was a rum from somewhere in Central America and aged for 10 years. It earned a 5 for that kind of money. Since there were only three other reviews for it in the past two years, I said to hell with it and stopped rating at 420, which is a very good number. My recent waste of $231 plus tax on a bottle of Diplomatico Ambassador also helped me to call it quits. There are mostly good people on this site, but some pretend to know it all and they don't.
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Immiketoo (PREMIUM)

From Greece with 59 ratings Replied 8 Sep '21

Oh boy. Was gonna chime in but nope. Not this time.
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