“Redoutable” is a new release from Barbados’ famed Foursquare Distillery, and it’s a blend of two distinct rums, both 14 years of age and produced on site (hence “single blended”). One is aged entirely in ex-bourbon Barrels, one entirely in ex-Madeira barrels. The finished blend is bottled at cask strength, 61% abv.
That is a wild composition on paper, and if you’re looking for a rum that will challenge your expectations in the glass, look no further. The Madeira component is obvious from the start, offering a sharp, intensely oxidized, and quite winey nose that muscles any more traditional rum elements to the side. Hot with notes of sour cherries, mulling spices, and a lengthy slick of oak, it’s easy to see why this was blended with a bourbon barreled rum instead of bottled outright as a Madeira-aged bottling only.
That unmistakable Madeira character is well represented on the palate, continuing the sultry oxidized wine theme, with notes of toffee, scorched coffee, and burnt sugar all in effect. There’s a distinct note of overripe fruit — apples and some citrus — though it doesn’t really sweeten up the experience due to the overwhelming abv. Traditional spice notes of cloves and cinnamon linger on the finish, but that heavy, often overbearing wine character never fades from view. All told, it can be a bit much.