The history of Foursquare

Foursquare is a family-owned and independent distillery in the Read more

The history of Foursquare

Foursquare is an independent, family-owned and operated distillery in Barbados, run by the Seale family since its inception... Read more

The history of Foursquare

Foursquare is an independent, family-run distillery in Barbados, managed by the Seale family since its inception. As early as 1883, Reginald Leon Seale trained in the art of blending rums. He founded his first company, R.L. Seale & Co. in 1926, to market the Calypso brand. At that time, distilleries in Barbados were forbidden to sell their own rums. They 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 bottlers, mostly British.

Reginald Clarence took over from his father in 1946, before handing over to his son David in 1969. Richard Seale, the present illustrious owner, joined the company in 1992. He soon acquired the Doorly's and Old Brigand brands. These rum blends are produced at WIRD (West Indies Rum Distillery), as R.L. Seale & Co did not yet distil its own rums.

The construction of the Foursquare distillery started in 1996, on the site of the former sugar-distillery of the same name, which had closed in 1984. This young distillery has a very modern and efficient configuration.

The rums of Foursquare

Foursquare produces molasses rums. This is diluted and with yeast imported from South Africa, in 400 hectolitre vats.ttions, These include a fermentation mother tank. Fermentation takes place in two stages: first the temperature of the tank is controlled with 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 with the help of two devices. On the one hand there is a triple Coffey column, which can work with two columns if required. These columns work under vacuum, so they can distil at low temperatures and thus preserve a maximum of aromas. The first column is made of two parts, stainless steel and copper. The other two columns 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 a pot-still with a small column, 2 retorts and 2 condensers. The parts of this custom still were made in Scotland, Italy and Barbados.. During the distillation process, 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 as a key element

The identity of the Foursquare distillery's rums lies precisely in the blending of these two types of distillates, which are blended before being put into casks. The distillery mainly produces aged rums. Almost all of its production is smoked, after having been reduced to 65%.

The Cellar is impressive and caters for the many brands bottled on Foursquare. These include Doorly's, R.L. Seale's, Sixty Six or Real Mc Coy, as well as the bottlings bearing the name of the distillery. There were 14,000 casks in 2014, a figure that is constantly increasing (there is 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. This is a return to the roots, because before the 1950s, rums were mainly aged in wine casks exchanged with the old continent. Like Doorly's XO (bourbon cask and oloroso sherry cask), the rums of the Foursquare brand benefit from double maturation, in port, sherry or Madeira casks for example.

The exceptional cask series, and especially the rough casks like the 2005 vintage, have set a sort of standard for the category.

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

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