Brand: Transcontinental Rum Line
Origin: Foursquare, St. Philip, Barbados
Still: Pot & Column Blend
Age: 5 years
Being a producer of many high-quality, unadulterated, and prolific rums, Foursquare is certainly on the acquisition shortlist of many independent bottlers (IB). This has been the case with our friends at Transcontinental Rum Line (TCRL), the IB project from Le Maison Du Whisky (LMDW).
TCRL has released several Foursquare rums in the past, including 6, 9, and 13 year expressions, aged in a mix of casks that include ex-Bourbon and ex-Rum.
This particular bottling is TCRL Barbados 2015, also known as "US Line #15", presumably a US-only release. This was distilled by Foursquare in 2015, and aged for 5 years in ex-Bourbon casks, entirely at the distillery, but bottled in France in 2021.
Barbados 2015 was a fairly limited release, and only a handful of bottles made their way to Memphis. I'm glad I was able to snag a bottle, as this was my first opportunity to try a younger Foursquare rum at a higher proof than the 5 year old expressions from Doorly's or Real McCoy.
Gold, high clarity, medium viscosity
Caramel, white wine vinegar, ethanol, vanilla, coconut
Honeycomb, demerara sugar, oak, pastry dough, vanilla
Medium, oaky, warming, and bitter; bourbon-soaked oak, walnuts, butterscotch, saline solution
As much as I love Foursquare and the TCRL project, I can't say that I'm a big fan of this particular bottle. The nose is almost non-existant, and the palate is underwhelming, giving way to a boring finish. To provide one positive note, I will say that I enjoy the change of pace of trying a higher-proof younger expression from Foursquare.
TCRL Barbados 2015 is a fine gold color in my glass, with high clarity and medium viscosity.
Nosing the rum, I find it a bit astringent and disappointing, yielding some caramel on the forefront, before diving into white wine vinegar and ethanol. Pushing further, I can get some hints of vanilla and perhaps a touch of coconut. Ultimately, a very light nose that seems to promote more of the proof than the actual flavors of the rum.
The palate of Barbados 2015 yields the sweetness and texture of honeycomb and demerara sugar; it's sweet, but not in the artificial way. These notes quickly dissipate. Oak comes through next, with more traditional Foursquare notes of pastry dough and vanilla entering on the rear palate, after some searching. The flavors I can pick out are nice, yet very subtle, but not at all bad. If there could be a little more of a punch packed by this group of flavors, I think I would have scored this higher.
Bourbon-soaked oak, nutty walnuts, salty saline solution, and hints of butterscotch bring up the finish, which is medium length, oaky, warming, and bitter. Generally speaking, not a bad finish, but just sort of "meh". Frankly, this is perhaps what I would expect from a younger Bajan rum, having experienced similar finishes in other Foursquare products like Real McCoy 5 year, Old Brigand Black Label, and some Doorly's expressions.
This bottle does not enter the "regret" territory, but may give me pause as to whether I pick up the next Barbados iteration from the Transcontinental Rum Line, given the availability of more exciting Foursquare rums that are out there. It has some novelty with its age and proof, but given the rarity of this particular bottling (and perhaps subsequent TCRL Barbados bottles), I am not sure this is worth going out of one's way to secure a bottle.