Producer Profile: The Foursquare Rum Distillery

The Foursquare Rum Distillery, as we know it today, began life in the 1996 when the R.L. Seale Company purchased the Foursquare Sugar Factory and converted it into a modern distillery. Previously R.L. Seale had purchased their rum externally from The West Indies Rum Distillery, however a rise in popularity meant that, to continue growing the business, a distillery was needed.
Today the distillery houses both pot and column stills and the majority of products you’ll find (with the exception of a few special releases) will incorporate a blend of liquids from both.

The distillery produces and bottles rums directly under the Foursquare label as well as recognizable brand names such as R.L. Seale and Doorly’s. They’ve also grown to prominence through their limited edition Exceptional Cask Series. A large number of rums are also produced and bottled for the international market to use as blending components for non-producing brands.

Whilst the distillery produces many different types of rum, the recipe for fermentation is always the same as is the propensity to age all casks for a minimum of two years. Unlike some other Caribbean distillers, the use of flavourings or additives is strictly banned from all production. All this means that differences in character and flavour profile in the distilleries many releases come entirely from the hand of the distiller and Foursquare’s ability to create variety through cask maturation and blending.

More recently the Foursquare Distillery has been at the forefront of a movement which, in 2022, applied for the creation of a Geographical Indication to legally define Barbados Rum.

Under the terms of this GI, in order to legally put the term “Barbados Rum” on the bottle label, producers would have to make a rum that was distilled in Barbados.  It would have to be 100% matured and blended on the island.  Furthermore it would have to be bottled in Barbados with no added sugar or flavourings.
This is controversial because while three of Barbados’ four distilleries (Foursquare, Mount Gay and St. Nicholas Abbey) already produce rum in this fashion, The West Indies Rum Distillery do not.  As a result, not everyone in the industry is willing to embrace the change.