Brand: Foursquare, Exceptional Cask Selection series
Origin: Foursquare, St. Philip, Barbados
Still: Pot & Column Blend
Age: 11 years
Finish: ex-Bourbon & ex-Zinfandel
We are back with another Foursquare rum to review; this time, Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection (ECS) Mark XVIII Indelible is in my glass. This is the second ECS release to feature rum aged in Zinfandel wine casks. The first release was the famous and beloved Zinfandel Cask Blend (ECS Mark IV), which was released in 2015 after aging for 11 years, at 43% ABV.
Indelible (defined as "not able to be forgotten or removed") comes to us after being aged 11 years in ex-Bourbon & ex-Zinfandel casks, similar to the Zinfandel Cask Blend. This time, however, the rum is bottled at 48% ABV and gets a stylish name to boot.
So far I have not met a Foursquare ECS bottle that I don't enjoy, so let's see if Indelible can continue that trend.
High clairty, darkish bronze; medium viscosity
Red Jujyfruit candy, red wine, caramel, vanilla, salted chocolate
Strawberries, sweet red cherries, plums, caramel, hint of vanilla
Short, fruity, and tannic, tapering off with residual heat
I wish I could say that Indelible could live up to its name. While it is certainly a good rum, it may not be as unforgettable as some of the other ECS releases that I have tried.
Indelible lacks some strength in most parts of its experience– though I am not just talking about proof: the nose is quite subtle; the palate features some fruity notes expected from a distillate aged in wine, but mixes them amongst other subdued flavors common of Foursquare; the finish is short, pronounced, and again heavily influenced by red fruit and wine.
To contrast with another ECS bottle of similar aging and proof– Sagacity (12 years, ex-Bourbon and ex-Madeira casks; 48% ABV), Indelible pulls a lot of punches and seems reluctant to announce itself as a Foursquare rum. Perhaps this is the intended effect of Zinfandel cask aging; if I had the Zinfandel Cask Blend handy, it could prove useful as a guide to experiencing this release.
Some highlights of this rum include the red fruit (wine grapes, strawberries, cherries, plums) displayed on the palate, and the red Jujyfruit candy and wine that preface those flavors on the nose. Although it may be tempering some notes, the Zinfandel element does impart a substantial amount of fruitiness onto the experience.
If we used half-number ratings, I would probably rate Indelible at 6.5, as it is still a masterfully-blended rum, but falls a bit short from the power of the preceding Foursquare ECS release. While I do enjoy this rum and will savor it like the other bottles in this series, I don't anticipate I will go far out of my way to secure an additional bottle.
Overall, Indelible brings some lovely, delicate red fruit into play, but leaves a bit to be desired in the strength of the nose, palate, and finish elements of the drinking experience.