Raconteur, a new Foursquare edition

6 giugno 2023

foursquare racounteur

A brilliant new Foursquare release from the partnership between Luca Gargano and Richard Seale.

the new release

For a total of 4800 bottles produced - 1440 of which for Italy - Raconteur is to date Foursquare’s longest-aged release made with Velier. 

The name of the new release is a tribute to two great rum “raconteurs”: Luca himself and the late Stephen Remsberg, a great collector who passed away last December.

As is customary with Foursquare, this release is also a Single Blended Rum. It's assembled from a blend of rum from copper double retort pot stills and traditional twin column coffey stills, then placed in barrels for ageing. The result is a blend of two single- and double-matured rums. The first was aged for 17 years in ex-bourbon barrels, while the second was initially aged for 5 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then aged for a further 12 years in an ex-Sherry Oloroso barrel.

Richard Seale explains how the success of this approach led him to continue investing in old stocks and quality barrels: 

“Last year we added a new pot still and we recently completed construction of two new ageing warehouses. We plan to produce more pot still rum and age it for longer periods.”

A partnership between two great names in rum

The first in-person meeting between Richard and Luca took place during Velier's owner memorable trip to Barbados in 2015. However, their exchanges started with the creation of the Gargano Classification a few years earlier. 

As Luca himself recalls in his book Nomade tra i barili:  

"Richard Seale read my classification and asked me if he could use it in his seminars around the world. I was happy to oblige – it was the start of a close partnership that would grow over time."

The meeting with Richard would also contribute to the increasing spread of Luca's new rum classification. 

The meeting with Richard would also contribute to the increasing spread of Luca's new rum classification. 

Their understanding could be defined as "philosophical": descended from one of the oldest rum families in the Caribbean, Richard Seale immediately struck Luca as "an extremely upstanding person, both intellectually and practically, with a strong know-how in rum-making." 

Right from their very first exchanges, Luca and Richard realized they were very like-minded. This deep connection would lead to their co-bottlings, starting with Foursquare 2006, which propelled Foursquare to fame - it's now considered one of the best distilleries in the world.

A long tradition, a young distillery

Although backed by a family that has made the history of rum in Barbados in the last century, Foursquare is one of the youngest distilleries in the Caribbean, having been built in 1996. It was designed by an Italian company called Green Egineering  and is considered one of the most advanced in the world. 

The molasses come from different countries and ferment for 44 hours in four 40,000-liter vats by adding part of the must previously fermented in the mother vat. Distillation occurs both in a double column still with 40 copper plates and in a beautiful Forsyth Double Retort pot still with one small column. So, two distillations, the first at 30% ABV and the second at 78-80% ABV. 

Foursquare makes Single Blended Rums. A great proponent of balance, Richard assembles the lighter rum distilled from the double column stills with the ‘heavier’ rum from the pot stills, in the island's characteristic British style. 

What makes Foursquare unique is that the rum distilled from column stills and pot stills is blended directly in the barrels, including aged rum.  Currently, the distillery ages 90% of production.