Brand: Foursquare, Exceptional Cask Selection series
Origin: Foursquare, St. Philip, Barbados
Still: Pot & Column Blend
Age: 12 years
Finish: ex-Bourbon & ex-Madeira
Ah Sagacity, my first Foursquare purchase. It was my "I get it" bottle, serving as an introduction to the distillery that I had heard so much about, hadn't tried yet, and decided to splurge some money on. I purchased this bottle at Elixir Spirits in Spring Hill, TN, during my first trip to the store. The rest, as they say, is history (if "history" equates to purchasing a dozen different expressions of Foursquare across 2 years).
Sagacity (definition: "having good judgement") is mark XI in the Exceptional Cask Selection (ECS) series, and was released in 2019. This is a pot and column blend distilled in 2007 and aged for 12 years in a mix of ex-Bourbon and ex-Madeira casks; Sagacity was in fact the first ex-Madeira cask-aged Foursquare rum! Bottled at 48% ABV, Sagacity has a lower proof than many ECS bottles that we have reviewed, and joins other under-50% releases in sporting a crimson name on the classic label (most of the other crimson-labeled releases also feature wine-based cask maturation).
As a side note, having a number of ECS bottles, I love seeing the progression in label details as the marks increase. Sagacity sits almost at the halfway point between the first and the latest marks (ECS mark XXII "Touchstone" will release later this year), and at this point the labels did not feature the iconic Foursquare windmill that later marks do. Another fun fact that no one asked for: windmills are considered important landmarks in Barbados, and legally cannot be demolished.
Brown with orange tinge, medium clarity, medium-high viscosity
Red grapes, old leather, molasses, vanilla, pastry dough, hard caramel candy
Red grape juice, strawberry jam, pastry dough, vanilla, caramel candy, Demerara sugar
Long, slightly bitter, drying; cherry cough medicine, cinnamon, oak, dark chocolate
Sagacity's red fruit notes, spectrum of flavors, and easy sipping proof instantly turned me into a fan of Foursquare, and really showed me what I had been missing out on. The nose is a bit light and the finish a tad bitter, but the palate is really where this rum comes alive with complexity and sweetness. Sagacity truly emulates the "incredible" rating that I gave it.
The rum is brown with a nice orange tinge, with medium clarity and medium-high viscosity.
Sagacity's nose offers red grapes, old leather, and molasses at the forefront. It's a wonderful triad of flavors that joins common Foursquare notes like vanilla, pastry dough, and caramel candy in creating a complex aromatic signature. It's truly a beautiful nose.
The palate leads with a fruity pair of red grape juice and strawberry jam; really nice flavors that, like the nose, add layers of complexity. Again, pastry dough, vanilla, and caramel candy come in after the fruit notes, bringing Foursquare's signature into the flavor profile. A final note of spiced demerara sugar adds additional sweetness to the palate. This is really nice, and sips comfortably while offering plenty of character.
The long finish is slightly bitter, leaning into a cherry cough medicine and oak, while also sporting some drying cinnamon. Hints of dark chocolate can be grasped as the finish trails off. This offers some closure to the palate, but strays pretty close to the line of enjoyability with the bitter/medicinal cough syrup.
I picked up Sagacity as Redoubtable was being released, and I credit the former for convincing me to purchase the latter. I believe that the ex-Madeira matured ECS bottles are my favorite of the series, given all the character that they feature, and how the Foursquare signatures play so well with the fruity flavors derived from the madeira cask. This was a very formative bottle in my rum journey, and if it were up to me, this would be the rum I would choose to introduce people to the Foursquare brand.