Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Richard L. Seale on Single vs Redistilled Rums

     Richard L. Seale, Master Distiller at the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, offers the answers to the difference between these two types of run.  He gave us an offering of explanation on Facebook a few days ago that I feel is very interesting and helps understand the differences between the two,

     Traditionally in Barbados, 'light rums' from the column stills are called "single" and 'heavy rums' from the pot still are called "redistilled"   The words "single" and "redistilled" are actually stamped on the barrels.

Column Still
     Single is derived from 'single distilled' as in one pass through the column still. How ironic the moronic "times distilled" marketing mantra refers to the number of columns in a distillation plant !!!  'Redistilled' comes from the practice of physically passing the rum through the pot still twice, classic double distillation, which is even more ironic since the classic rum pot still with pot and twin retort needs only one pass !

Pot Still
     In the classic style of Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana, at Foursquare we make 'Blended Rums' in the true meaning of the term (blended) in that aged "single" (i.e. column still) and aged "redistilled" (i.e. pot still) rums are blended for the final result. Blended really means blended, none of that solera stuff.

     No doubt the art of blending pot and column is derived from our Scottish brethren but at Foursquare we take advantage of the fact that our stills are side by side and so our "single" rum has a touch of "redistilled" and our "redistilled" has a touch of "single", all done before aging.

"Single" Rum aging at Foursquare Distillery
     We still call and mark them "single" and "redistilled," I just think they are better for their little "impurity".

     Now we completely agree with our good friend Luca Gargano that "Pure Single Rum" (i.e. simply a beautiful name for pot stilled rum) is the very highest expression of rum there can be. higher than blended rums, higher than column rums. “rum for big boys and girls”.   Not telling you what to prefer but "highest" meaning the fullest flavor of the molasses wine and the highest intrinsic value.

     So we are thinking to release a "Pure Single Rum" even if just a limited edition, we need our "redistilled" to make our blends!.

     Of course our "Pure Single Rum" will have a little "impurity" but I do not think that will spoil the intent or the expression.

     We need in rum the "single malt" revolution of the 60’s which invented the category as the highest expression of whisky. The weapons, though scarce, are around, thanks to the likes of Velier and others, but we seem to be making little use of them, rum opinion leaders take note. Little wonder our super premium category practically does not exist, only 1% of sales, because we can’t even define it properly. We are yet even to get our heads around "blended". If it ever comes it will be a revolution because sacred cows will be decimated and for many their rum world will be upside down. Time we at Foursquare played our part, pure single rum here we come.
     Thanks to Richard Seale for taking some time to give us a real informative definition of these two types of classic and "pure rums".