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Velier Foursquare Plenipotenziario Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)

BARBADOS
$299. 99 Bottle
$3599.88 Dozen
ABV: 60%
Tasting note: [20ml sample] These all-natural, high strength bottlings from Barbados have become sought after. This one's made by Richard Searle at Foursquare and bottled by Velier. They've continued a traditional naming convention - in this case the latin 'plenus' means “full”, and 'potens' means “powerful” - appropriate given the 60% ABV. Produced from a blend of light rums distilled in a triple column still and heavy rums distilled in Foursquare's famous double retort pot still, 'Plenipotenziario' is full-term tropical aged in ex-bourbon casks for twelve years. Some may find the oak overpowering, especially in the opening stages. Further air contact shifts the focus from cedar and sandalwood towards walnut fudge, raisin cake and rum-soaked pipe tobacco; drier, spicier notes of oak shavings and peppercorns follow. It moves into fifth gear on the palate with an intense, bittersweet attack of sweet oak, dried banana and baking spices finishing with an evocative 'tropicality' that extends for minutes into the aftertaste. Hugely flavoursome, water brings out more fruity sweetness, but it demonstrates good balance uncut. 6000 bottles are on offer world wide. Very limited stocks.

Other reviews... This one was blended at birth indeed, and entirely aged at the distillery. The name would suggest that the good people involved are willing to engage in smooth diplomacy, unless I’m not getting it right. I suppose I am not getting it right, am I? Colour: amber. Nose: pumpkins, ripe mangos, and pencil shavings all over the place. As usual, rums aged in the tropics are more extractive and display more oak tones, sometimes towards cedarwood, as is the case here. Whiffs of geraniol (bees love that!) and brown liquorice. A curious wee meatiness too. Beef jerky? With water: thin strips of duck slow-cooked in orange juice and honey and further flavoured with cedarwood extracts. Or something like that. Mouth (neat): perfect, just too strong. But that’s easy to fix… With water: works. Oak in abundance but that’s sweet fruity oak, plus liquorice, figs and pipe tobacco. Notes of citronella and basil sauce, Thai-style. Hold on, give me a world map… Finish: long, not thick, with good coffee and triple-sec. Kaffee-Schnapps, as my ancestors used to say. Liquoirce in the aftertaste. Comments: still young and straight (years aren’t actually any longer in the tropics, as Einstein found out), but as a child-rum it’s pretty perfect, this little Plenitopen… hold on, Peltinozent… I mean, Pinelpota… No, wait, let’s gather our forces… Plenipotenziario! Phew! 90 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com

...another cracker…..not quite my favourite of their output but with a bar set this high, we have to be picky. Blends rely on skill and knowledge to continually create new and different expressions whilst also keeping core ranges consistent. This ex-bourbon release is a big, brooding and woody affair steeped in the familiar Foursquare vibe but offering a new extension to the familiar with the use of the heavier column distillate. It’s a massively enjoyable ride where layers reveal themselves on the nose and palate and they keep developing whilst retaining complete coherence during the transition. It’s unlike other ex-bourbon releases such as 2004, 2005 and 2007. It’s also unlike the recently released Nobiliary…though they feel connected…this will be reviewed soon. With such a wealth of barrel types now at Foursquare plus the installation of their new cane crusher and distillations using cane juice, there’s plenty more to come. - Rum Diaries Blog

Notes from the bottlers... The complex first nose is particularly exotic (mango, banana). Spicy (pepper), once allowed to breathe, it develops notes of vanilla and chocolate. Gradually, citrus fruit (lemon, orange) refreshes the palate. The concentrated attack is smoky and aniseedy. The spicy (nutmeg) and floral (carnation) mid-palate gradually becomes spicy (cayenne pepper). The silky start of the finish is fruity (apple) and candied (apricot). Very mineral (slate) and powdery (cocoa), it is then heady (lilac). The retro-nasal olfaction is a subtle mix of nuts (almond) and sweet spices (cinnamon).