Two new rums by The Duchess

The Duchess is at it again! Rather soon after the release of their Australian Beenleigh rum, just a little while ago, they’ve just released two new bottlings! This time, Hans Dillesse painted fish instead of hummingbirds, ducks or a platypus.

The rums are about to be released later today at various shops in Europe and Singapore, but I was lucky enough to get a few samples and taste them, so the review would coincide with the release.

For a change, I actually am on time with this review!


Foursquare 21, 1999-2021, Cask 4, 60.2%

Sniff:
Rather funky and sweet on the nose. Lots of oak, some brimstone and even a hint of pencil, both graphite and cedar. Stewed strawberries, but also something more tropical. More like papaya. Cocoa powder after some time.

Sip:
Intense on the arrival, with its 60%. Bell pepper, oak and some wood shavings. Quite hot, but not uncomfortable, fried chili peppers. Tropical sweetness of papaya, mango. A lot of oak, quite whisky-like in that regard.

Swallow:
The finish is, although quite a bit more oak driven, more typically foursquare. Less funky and a tad sweeter, lots of tropical fruit syrup, molasses.

Foursquare is ridiculously popular in the part of the rum world I can see. And that’s justified. Their rums strike the right balance between funky and sweet, with a lot of great fruitiness that is very well loved by whisky fanatics.

I think this one will be loved by these whisky fans even more, because the prolonged aging has imparted some rather recognizable wood flavors that apparently also mix well with rum.

Very different from regular foursquare, less smooth and sweet, more funky. Lots of oak, and less sugarcane than I expected.

89/100


Great House 13, 2007-2021, Cask 6, 66.9%

Sniff:
Massive on the overripe fruit. Lots of sugary, slightly cloying fruit rot. In a way that you can only like it for it. Vegetal, with sugarcane and grass. Lots of alcohol, obvjously, with a bit of a Mezcal like whiff of smoke. The diesel kind.

Sip:
Insanely strong, with lots of alcohol, which brings a lot of chili pepper heat. Some dry sawdust, a whiff of bitterness. Apple seeds, grape seeds. Later on the actual light fruityness of apple and grape.

Swallow:
Somewhat sweeter than before. More fruity with a bit of a drying sugarcane funk. Hay-like.

“Great House” isn’t a distillery, which results in this being an undisclosed one. Obviously the ABV has some impact, since it’s ridiculously strong. However, the alcohol isn’t all there is and there’s lot of lovely light fruitiness going on, with a bit more funk than the Foursquare.

Much like the Foursquare, it approaches things in its own way, and is all the better for it!

Massive, but very, very good.

89/100


Both rums will be available at Best of Whiskies, Whiskysite, Passie voor Whisky, Zeewijck and Van Zuylen in The Netherlands.

Retail prices are about € 120 for the Foursquare, and € 100 for the Great House. Very acceptably priced, if you ask me!

Thanks a million to The Duchess herself for the samples!

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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