Velier Foursquare Plenipotenziario Rum is a rare bottling from Velier in collaboration with Richard Seale from Foursquare Rum Distillery.
R.L. Seale is one of Barbados’ oldest trading houses, a family-owned business whose involvement in rum making extends from father-to-son since 1820. Current head distiller, Richard L. Seale, is one of the region’s most innovative distillers and blenders and has a passion for producing exceptional authentic rum from what is considered the birthplace of rum – Barbados!
The Foursquare Distillery occupies the site of a former sugar factory that dates back to 1636 and, as one of the most modern and efficient rum distilleries in the world, is designed to be both highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The distillery produces light rums in a three-column vacuum still and heavier rums in a modern pot still.
Foursquare Rum Distillery, with its outspoken master distiller, Richard Seale, has quickly vaulted to the forefront, having been dubbed the “Pappy of Rum” in a nod to the hysteria surrounding it.
In 1926, the Seale family began buying rum from Barbados distilleries, blending and selling it under the R. L. Seale name, eventually acquiring other brands like Doorly’s (one of the cornerstone brands of the family’s rum business to this day). Then, in the mid-1990s, Richard Seale, the fifth generation in the family business, worked with his father to renovate a shuttered sugar factory into a modern Bajan distillery. Today, the Foursquare Rum Distillery’s capacity rivals that of Mount Gay, its island neighbor.
Although Richard Seale was the first in his family to distill rather than purchase rum, he had the advantage of learning in an environment exceptionally well-versed in how great rum should taste. As both master distiller and master blender, Seale sets forth a vision of honest rum—distilled in pot and traditional column stills and unadulterated with any added sugar or sweet wines.
“In the early days […] lots of additives were in play for local brands,” he says. “When we acquired the Doorly’s brand and learned the formulas, I was very influenced by the discovery that Doorly’s was pure.”
Seale’s rise to prominence began a handful of years ago with strategic missives posted in Facebook forums, like the Ministry of Rum and Global Rum Club, calling out the widespread practice of brands spiking their rums with sweeteners. He went on to cement his notoriety (or infamy, if you ask some show organizers) by his visiting rum festivals with his digital density meter in hand, taking ABV measurements of competitors’ spirits on the fly from the show floor. (One can make a reasonably accurate assessment of how much sweetening was added post-distillation by comparing the metered versus label-stated ABV.) Enthusiasts soon followed his lead, compiling their own lists of estimated sugar levels for popular rums.
Foursquare Rum Distillery is renowned for producing premium rums from Barbados, including Doorly’s, R.L. Seale and Exceptional Cask Selection ranges including this latest limited collaboration release, the Velier Foursquare Plenipotenziario Rum.