Foursquare Nobiliary 14 yr - 62%
Variety is the one of the reasons I started tasting rum and brandy and agave spirits. My palate had landed in a very predictable bourbon rut; it's hard to be consistent and consistently engaging. That's something I've grown to appreciate and respect about the Foursquare Exceptional Cask series. Bottling proof, pot and column blends, maturation casks - all may vary - but each component is executed with nuance. The house style is consistent and consistently exceptional. They're bottles I make room for in the budget. Limited editions that I don't ration in the same ways as other LEs. Because when this bottle's gone, I know Foursquare will release something just as tasty not too far down the road.
Nobiliary has ~2 additional years of tropics aging compared to other Foursquare ex-bourbon barrel bottlings and an extra tick or two in the proof department.
Nose: Big cedar. Fresh and herbal. Raisins. Meatier and oiler pot still notes. It’s dynamic and bold. Less burnt sugars than I usually get with Foursquare. One of my favorite Foursquare noses.
Flavor: Cedar and sugar glaze up front. Banana. Candied lemon. Something a touch sour - pot still funky. Charred veggies. Candied peanuts in the finish.
Structure: Lotta action. Big sweet-swell upfront layered with the cedar. Quick escalation mid-palate - dries out with those pot still and charred vegetal notes. You think it’s only got one direction to go, but the candied/glazed sugar notes remerge for a final sweet dip.
Alcohol Integration: Mid-palate runs away for a second, but it handles 124 proof well. Couple drops of water bring out more of the sour/funk notes as well as the burnt sugars. There's a cost. It muffles the cedar and tosses off the balance. A few drops more and things flatten out and sweeten too much. Leave it alone. It's dialed in.
Score: 8 (Stash One) In love with how the wood plays on this one. Right up there with 2007 for me.
You May Also Dig:
Select agave distillates - hear me out. I recently tried some 120+ proof mezcals by Don Apolonio and Reina Sanchez that had really beautiful pine notes in the unaged distillate. Also, old-school El Tesoro reposados and anejos deliver great cedar notes similar to the oak presentation above. Comparing/contrasting those cedar/pine notes would make for a fun tasting.
10 - Reevaluate The Budget
9 - Stash Two (If Able)
8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)
7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers
6 - Solid - Above Average
5 - Acceptable For The Situation
4 - Not Vocally Complaining
3 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour