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  • Stuart Pearce

Indelible Vs Zinfandel


Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series (ECS), St Philip, Barbados - arguably the most anticipated of all regular rum releases - here we compare the two aged in ex-zinfandel casks.


The 4th and 18th of the series, released exactly 6 years apart. So what's changed in that time? Other than a Trump presidency and a global pandemic (these are separate events)

  • First, and mostly markedly, these rums have shifted from bottles that would sit gathering dust on spirit shop shelves, to a sought after commodity sold out within minutes of release.

  • Foursquare rums have won a bucket load of awards around the world - including ISC Supreme Champion Spirit in 2018 & 2021 [This is not helping the first point :-) ]

  • The releases have become more flamboyant in both their presentation and naming.

  • The price has increased (£40 to £75 respectively). A very fair increase, still leaving Foursquare rums as one of the best value spirits on the market.

Onto the rums -

Both are a blend of pot & column still, and have been aged for 11 years - initially in ex-bourbon, then in ex-zinfandel casks. Bottled, as you would expect from quality spirits, without the addition of sugar or flavouring. One obvious difference in these two rums is the step up in abv from 43% to 48%. A change that I was very pleased too see and expect a fuller bolder taste as a result.


There are a huge number of other variables available to the master blender when producing and aging rums. Things that we will never know, but are critical to the quality & flavour of the end product. Such as the source and provenance of the barrels, the proportion of aging in ex-bourbon and ex-zinfandel, the balance of pot & column elements, the yeasts used for, and duration of, fermentation etc etc etc


Without further ado, let's taste them!

25ml of each, left to open up for 20 mins, nosed first and then tasted, lower abv Zin first.

Assisted today by John Lee Hooker - Live at Soledad Prison.





Zinfandel Cask Blend, 43%, 24k bottles worldwide

Aged 11 years in a combination of ex-bourbon & ex-zinfandel casks

As an added control I'm also comparing this to Mount Gay Black Barrel (43%)


Nose: Surprisingly big for it's abv - noticeably bigger than MGBB. It's delicate, a definite Zinfandel rose wine profile, balanced with some good oak. Light sweet summer fruit, with decent depth. A little acetone, some blackcurrant. Spicy, with tannic vanilla & caramel backbone. Very clean and enjoyable.


Mouth: Light, a little thin, but more going on than it first seems. Strawberries, vanilla, decent oak and spice. Some burnt caramel. The finish is mid-length. Initial summer fruit sweetness gives way to oak, spice and almost a strawberry crème caramel. A lovely, well made rum - just not challenging or big enough for me. My lowest ECS score [83pts]


Indelible, 48%, ?? bottles worldwide

Aged 11 years in a combination of ex-bourbon & ex-zinfandel casks

As an added control I'm also comparing this to Doorly's 14 (48%)


Nose: Starts a little more heady than the Zinfandel Cask Blend - the extra abv making itself known from the off. A beautiful red wine nose that works really well (reminiscent of Mhoba French Cask that I adore), lashings of caramel & vanilla. A smidge of earthiness & some salted chocolate.


Mouth: Strawberries, summer fruits, plums, caramel, a hint of vanilla. Evolves quickly into deep fruit with a dash of varnish (I've not noticed much varnish on Foursquare rums before - the 1920s' Blender's Glass doing the business here!)

The plum fruit is joined by spicy caramel, a surprising sprinkle of orange sherbet, some tannin and a little vanilla for the mid-length finish. A bigger and more interesting version of the Zin. Bring on a 60% Zin. [84pts]


At retail price these are a definite buy. And I can confirm that they make an outstanding Gayle Seale Daiquiri :-)


In comparison, MG BB was amazing value but a little to thin in the taste [79+pts]. And Doorly's 14 is a slight step up for me. Bigger and with a longer tastier finish [84+pts]



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