Rum’sploration : R.L. Seale’s Finest Barbados Rum Export Proof

Today, we explore my first go with a rum from Barbados’ Foursquare Distillery- Richard Seale’s eponymous rum. Foursquare is the darling of the rum world right now and for good reason- they make delicious rums.

I picked this up on a trip through Fukuoka, Japan in November of 2019 right when I was being fully consumed by the rum world. I’d wandered into a liquor store and the bottle nearly jumped off the shelf and into my hand, along with an offering from Hampden that will be the focus of a future post.

There seems to be a near unanimous opinion online that this is a rather impressive rum, though the Lone Caner seems to be a holdout (though his review is the standard, non-export strength).

R.L. Seale’s Finest Barbados Rum 10 Year Export Proof

  • Distillery: Foursquare (Barbados)
  • 46% abv / 92 proof
  • Aged: 10 Years
  • Martin Cate Classification: Blended Aged (3)
  • Dosed: No.

Neat

RL Seale's FInest Export-1
Sipping Spirits in the Sun

The rum is a rich light copper in the glass with sticky legs that slowly rain down the glass. The rum presents a rich aroma of oak, baking spice (specifically nutmeg but others like cinnamon and maybe clove are also present), salted caramel, light vanilla, chocolate. It doesn’t come off sweet- in actuality I’m expecting a dry rum from the nose. The mouth is medium with a dry, almost gritty finish. Its slightly dirty, as well. The flavor is deep and full of oak, a hefty dose of those backing spices though lighter on the nutmeg, crushed black pepper, some over ripe banana (not in a funky way), some lightly salty caramel, and some nuts in the way back. The finish seems to linger in warmth longer than flavor but it’s still enjoyable. I really enjoy this rum. For me, it’s a very enjoyable yet simple and straightforward rum. Others may knock it for that, and I understand their reasoning, but again- I’m a beginner and a rum like this is a really an eye opener for what kind of profile a non-funky rum can bring to the world while still being a delicious example of a rum.

Corn ‘n Oil

RL Seale's FInest Export-2
A Welcome to the Evening

I’m doing things a little different today and forgoing the standard rum daiquiri that usually goes here. I’m not confident this would make a daiquiri that I’d want since it’s a heavier rum than my preferred daiquiri so I’m going with the classic Barbados Rum cocktail, the corn and oil. I know what you’re thinking “How the hell is this Okay? How is he going to be fair and balanced if there is no fair cocktail comparison?” The initial idea behind using the daiquiri was always supposed to be that it was the “rum” cocktail that all rums should be judged. But I know more than I did when this started and I’ve come to the conclusion that, while the daiquiri is one of my favorite drinks of all time, not all good rums will work in a daiquiri and it’s a waste of time and rum to continually make a drink I know isn’t going to work out well for my tastes. This may be the first category to fall but I doubt it will be the last. But don’t fret- I still love the daiquiri as much today as I did yesterday and it will still receive plenty of space on this blog- it just won’t appear in every rum review.

Moving forward for Bajan rums, the standard cocktail will be the corn and oil:

  • 0.5 oz Falernum
  • 2 oz Bajan Rum

Stir together with ice in a rocks glass.

The Finest makes a very good C&O. The rum is slightly tempered by the falernum, which adds some enjoyable spice and sweetness, but still has the basic profile of the rum like when sipped neat. The pepper and oak really come through the falernum and linger on the palate as it goes down. I could see an evening session with these bad boys.

Hai Karate

RL Seale's FInest Export-3
TIki!

I picked this drink for no reason other than I was flipping through Beachbum Berry Remixed and this is where I landed. I figured it’d do the trick.

  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz orange Juice
  • 1 Tsp Grade A Maple Syrup
  • Dash Angostura Bitters
  • 2 oz Gold Virgin Islands Rum (R.L. Seale’s Finest)

Shake with ice and pour unstrained into a glass.

I wasn’t expecting the intense tart citrus blast this offers … for some reason. The tart profile somewhat overpowers the rum but thankfully the Finest is a bit more bold and flavorful than the called for Virgin Islands Light rum- that would have been completely lost in this drink. Some of the more intense notes from the rum come through- the pepper and oak namely, but for the most part its citrus juices that move this along. The rum here does a decent job holding its own, but still outshined by the juice. I’m not sure I’d make this again as it stands but it could be much improved with a little tweak here and there.

The Last Sip

Keep Close

This is a delicious rum. It works marvelously in spirit forward cocktails and as a straight sipper. While it comes in just under super star status for me, it’s a bottle I’d be happy to save a spot for on my bar.

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