The history of Foursquare

Foursquare is an independent, family-owned distillery in the Read more

The history of Foursquare

Foursquare is an independent, family-run distillery in Barbados, run since the beginning by the Seale family... Read more

The history of Foursquare

Foursquare is an independent, family-run distillery in Barbados, managed by the Seale family from the outset. Reginald Leon Seale began training in the art of blending rums in 1883. He founded his first company, R.L. Seale & co in 1926, to market the Calypso brand. At the time, distilleries in Barbados were forbidden to sell their own rums. These were sold on the local market via bottlers or independent brands. As far as Europe was concerned, they were sold to brokers who supplied independent, mainly British, bottlers.

Reginald Clarence took over from his father in 1946, before handing over to his son David in 196.9. Richard Seale, the current illustrious owner, joined the company in 1992. He quickly acquired the Doorly's and Old Brigand brands. These blends of rums are produced at WIRD (West Indies Rum Distillery), because R.L. Seale & Co does not yet distill its own rums.

Construction of the Foursquare distillery began in 1996, on the site of the former sugar-distillery of the same name, which had closed in 1984. This young distillery had a very modern and efficient layout.

Foursquare rums

Foursquare produces molasses rums. The molasses is diluted and with yeasts imported from South Africa, in 400 hectolitre vatstvats, These include a fermentation mother tank. Fermentation takes place in two stages: first, the temperature of the vat is controlled, using part of the wort to be distilled. Then, once the right temperature has been reached, it is gradually raised over a period of 20 hours, while the rest of the molasses to be fermented is gradually added.

Distillation is carried out using two devices. On one side is a triple Coffey column, which can operate with 2 columns if required. These columns operate under vacuum, so they can distill at low temperatures and retain maximum aromas. The first column is made up of two parts, in stainless steel and copper. The other two are made of stainless steel, with copper trays. The last (rectification) column has 40 trays, and the distillate obtained is 94% proof.

Dn the other hand, there is a pot-still with a small column, 2 retors and 2 condensers. The parts for this customized alembic were made in Scotland, Italy and Barbados.. During the distillation, 30% of the brouillis is distilled in the first retort, then redistilled to 78-80%. The most aromatic rums are obviously produced in this Caribbean pot-still.

Ageing, a key factor

The identity of the Foursquare distillery's rums lies precisely in the blending of these two types of distillate, blended before casking. The distillery produces mainly aged rums. Virtually all of the distillery's production is smoked, after being reduced to 65%.

The winery is impressive and meets the demands of the many brands bottled on Foursquare. Among them, Doorly's, R.L. Seale's, Sixty Six or Real Mc Coy, as well as bottlings bearing the distillery's name. There were 14,000 casks in 2014, a figure that is constantly rising (there's talk of 40,000 by 2020!).

The classic house style is achieved after aging in old bourbon barrels. But Richard Seale likes to experiment with double maturation. Before the 1950s, rums were mostly aged in wine casks exchanged with the Old World. Like Doorly's XO (bourbon cask and oloroso sherry cask), the Foursquare brand's rums benefit from thus double maturation, in port, sherry or Madeira casks for example.

The " exceptional casks " series, and especially the cask-aged vintages such as 2005, have set a kind of standard for the category.

Richard Seale is a fervent advocate of authentic rums, and has found an alter-ego in Luca Gargano de Velier. This friendship has led to several famous collaborations, including Triptych, Destino and Plenipotenziario. Read less

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