Doorly's 12 Year Old

Doorly's 12 YO-RG1a-USE

Product of:  Barbados
Aged:  12 
Price: $23-$25
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar:  0-5 g/L (estimate) 
Context:  Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8.5

Tasting Notes
A soft bouquet of caramelized molasses sugar, oaken vanilla and flour pastry as I unscrew the cap for the first time.
The sparkling color is a medium-dark hue like raw honey or polished mahogany kept out of the sun.  Swirling excites the aromas, entices the nose, and entertains the eyes with a slow-motion display of beads, then legs and then … waiting too long.  So to the sniffing we go.

The aromas are signature Foursquare at their finest: mild molasses rum, oaken vanilla, more delicate buttery flour pastry, phenols, some nutmeg, pecan, hints of leather and coconut husk.  Doorly’s 12 is a delicious smelling rum raisin bread if ever there was one.

The initial taste presenting mild flavors fully consistent with the aromas, soft on the palate (the rum raisin bread analogy); the finish leaving a gentle reminder of all that was smelled and tasted.

Straight Talk from The Source
The Rum Gallery asked Richard Seale, Foursquare’s Master Distiller, to elaborate on the production details of hs fine Doorly’s 12 year old rum. Following is the text of that interview:

RG: We see a lot of numbers thrown around the internet about the ratio of pot-to-column distillate, and also about the type of casks used and the ratio of each cask in the final blend.  What is the percentage of Pot vs Column distillate?

RS: “It is a blend of different casks each with varying amounts of pre blended rums. It is not a fixed percentage of pot casks and column casks.” 

RG: What is the ABV of the distillate as it comes off the Pot still?
RS: “About 82%.”

RG: What is the ABV of the distillate as it comes off the Column still? 
RS: “About 94.5%”

RG: Many internet retail liquor shops repeat the  same numbers about aging.  They claim 90% was aged in Kentucky Bourbon and 10% aged in Madeira cask.  What’s the truth?
RS: “That is about right.”

RG: Do you bottle Doorly’s 12 at 43% or higher than 40% ABV for the local Bajan market?
RS: “Doorlys 12 is the same everywhere - 40%.”

RG: How does Doorly’s 12 production differ from The Real McCoy 12 year old.
RS: “The Real Mccoy 12 is the classic Barbadian style with rums aged solely in ex-bourbon casks.”

For an entertaining review of the different tropical birds depicted on the varieties of Doorly’s aged rums, see our friend Patrick Bennet’s article at Uncommon Caribbean.

Superb … elegant … craftsmanship: superlatives others have heaped on Foursquare Distillery for their Doorly’s 12 Year Old Rum are deserved.  It is an accurate representative of the Bajan style carried to lofty heights. 

Doorly's 12 first sip of the final blend at Foursquare 2011

Rum aficionados in the USA are fortunate that the Total Wine retail store chain has a direct import and distribution agreement with Foursquare Rum Distillery.  We get this amazing Doorly’s 12 Year Old at a bargain price - arguably less than 2/3 of what it could command based on its high quality.

Overproof Please
As one of Foursquare Distillery’s highest-end brands and one of Barbados’ oldest marques, Doorly’s 12 is suitably pedigreed and certainly worthy of accolades and your money.  But also within this context, the rum leaves me wanting a bit more proof, as in ABV.  Compared with some of Foursquare’s other top shelf rums, ie: their nine year old Port Cask Finish and twelve year old Real McCoy Limited Edition, Doorly’s 12 might prove more interesting with a higher ABV.  I’d like to experience more of the subtle flavor compounds that are currently just over the threshold of human taste, and/or a higher percentage of pot distillate in the blend to increase it’s semi-volatile compound funk.  I’m certainly no Master Blender nor distiller, and my preferences are simply mine.  

Reviewed:  First time during October 2011 at the Foursquare Distillery on Barbados (photo above) as the blend was finalized, then again during April 2017 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017