Brand: Foursquare, Exceptional Cask Selection series

Origin: Foursquare, St. Philip, Barbados

Still: Pot & Column Blend

Age: 18 years

Finish: ex-Bourbon

ABV: 58%

"Covenant" can be defined as "a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement"; when I hear that word, my mind goes to ancient religious texts and mortally binding agreements between humans and powerful beings. To name a rum release this speaks to exactly how highly the producer thinks of their product. In Foursquare and Richard Seale's case, I would say that appraisal is well-earned.

I am curious as to what covenant (and with whom) Seale is referring to with this name; possibly a promise to the rum community not to sweeten or otherwise use addtives in his rum, or perhaps an acknowledgement of the relationship between himself as a producer of quality rum, and the consumers who decide to purchase it. Either way, I find it an evocative choice for the 23rd edition of the Exceptional Cask Selection series.

Covenant is the longest-aged ECS mark yet, clocking in at 18 years old– just one more year than Isonomy; like that release, Covenant is part of the 2005 vintage. Like all ECS releases, this is a pot & column blend of molasses-based rum, which was entirely aged in ex-Bourbon barrels for 18 years, before being bottled in 2023 at a strength of 58% ABV.


Deep amber, medium-high viscosity


Vanilla, caramel, sandalwood, dark chocolate, stale strawberry shortcake, warm sourdough bread, browned butter, maple syrup


Vanilla, baked strawberries, black cherry, semisweet chocolate, raisins, caramel, sourdough crust


Long, dry, slightly bitter, warm; oak, vanilla, malted barley, nutmeg, salted almonds, orange rind

Rating: 8/10


Foursquare Covenant is a behemoth. It's bold and complex, and doesn't show its age in an uncontrolled manner, which may be a concern to some. Like Foursquare ECS vintages, Covenant brings forth some bourbon cask notes like vanilla and caramel, while it also featuers fruit notes that help provide some complexity.

The initial nosing is subtle, shyly emitting notes of vanilla, caramel, and sandalwood. Digging further, you can get dark chocolate, browned butter, and a warm loaf of sourdough bread; after a while, I got whiff that was unmistakably maple syrup. Vanilla leads the palate, alongside some red fruits in baked strawberries and black cherry. Raisins, caramel, and the crust of that sourdough.

The palate lingers for a good bit, and eases into a long finish that is dry, slightly bitter, but very warm. The oak shows its true age here, and brings some salty, sour, and bitter elements into the mix; I don't find this brash, but may be a little too bitter or warming for those that prefer a gentler finish.

Richard Seale is unmatched in his ability to distill, manage, and blend rums. While many have scratched their heads or shaken their fists at the ever-increasing age statements of ECS releases, Seale has shown that nearly two decades of tropical aging can be done, and done well.

Further Reading