Foursquare 13yo, 2005-2018, 59% – The Duchess for Whisky & Rum aan Zee

This Whisky & Rum aan Zee festival is actually pretty close to where I live. If I’m not mistaken my local bottle shop even rents a bus to drive her customers there for a tenner (if that’s still the case). And yet, I’ve not been in years.

It’s actually a rather fun festival and with the assortments of rums available, a nice change of pace compared to most booze festivals I got to (beer and whisky, nothing else). Also, the guy who organizes it, Richard Blesgraaf from Slijterij Zeewijck, in IJmuiden is an awesome chap.

Then, bottler The Duchess is run from Best of Wines in Bussum, and the guy who does the whisky and rum things there is Nils van Rijn, a whisky friend of mine who also happens to be in the Usquebaugh Society. He’s sent me samples of a lot of this bottlings over the years, and they’re always good or better than good. Of course, they can get a little pricey, but that’s what you come to expect from a 25 year old Ardbeg…

So, there’s this rum that was released over a month ago. A 13 year old Foursquare rum from Barbados made by distillery and blender Richard Seale. That name means nothing to me, but apparantly his creations are lauded with gold medals left, right and center.

A rather spicy and woody rum. Lots of oaky notes, some vanilla, raisins, and proper rum sweetness. A whiff of paint stripper, but that only adds to its complexity. There’s chocolate and some tonka beans.

Dry and strong, but not ridiculously sharp. Peppery heat, some harsh oak. It does build up in heat, some iron and minerals. Fruity, funky, sugary.

Something green, forest like. Lots of unripe fruits. Mango and such, but the hard kind. A slight funkiness. Not an overly long finish.

Well, this is a good one! I wasn’t sure what to expect of a 13 year old rum. Mostly because I don’t know much about rum and it is made in so many different ways that it’s always a bit of a gamble. But, after having tasted this, the complexity and depth are remarkable, and very intruiging. I like most that it’s not a full on sweetness that dictates the tasting notes.

Fun fact, according to the website it’s distilled in November 2005, and bottled in September 2018, making it 12 years old instead of 13… But who cares?

Also, I find it quite affordable at € 75


Foursquare 2005-2018, 13yo, 59%, The Duchess for Whisky & Rum aan Zee. Available from Best of Wines for € 75

Sample provided by Best of Wines. Thanks a lot!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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