Raising Glasses Review-a-thon, Part 1

American independent bottler Raising Glasses arrived on the rum scene in 2022 with its Folklore Series rums. Sold as 375ml bottles in the Massachusetts market, these rums were well-received throughout rum’s online communities. I even joined in the praise with my review of their eight year old TDL.

In 2023, Raising Glasses will be releasing several new rums from all over the world. They even have plans to distribute their products to many U.S. states via online retail. I’ll be reviewing all of the new releases, but first I have to play a little catch-up on the 2022 batch.

Disclaimer: Raising Glasses sent me these samples free of charge. All opinions contained within these reviews are entirely my own.

Raising Glasses Foursquare 15yo – “Burning Cane”

A blend of pot and column distillate, this rum from Foursquare Distillery in Barbados was tropically aged for eleven years in ex-bourbon casks then aged an additional four years in the U.K. before being bottled at 62.3%.

The nose presents the unmistakable Foursquare profile. There’s barrel spice, fresh cranberries, redcurrant, raisins, freshly cut wood, black pepper, clove, and a little varnish. The palate, likewise, is fruity and spicy. I get orange zest, bananas flambé, gingerbread cookies, and more clove. A little water makes the proof more palatable and intensifies the jammy red fruit notes. Despite the long aging time, the cask influence is less intense and drying than some of Foursquare’s official bottlings.

To be honest, the local availability of officially bottled Foursquare has made it such that I’ve never been very interested in independently bottled Foursquare, but the Burning Cane makes a compelling case for it. Coming in a very affordable 375ml bottle, I’d say this should be a go-to Foursquare with continental aging for those in the U.S. (7/10)

Raising Glasses Guyana 9yo – “Moongazer”

The third entry in the Folklore series is a nine year old Guyanese rum. This is a bottling of REV, a marque produced by the wooden Versailles pot still and aged with added caramel coloring. Its maturation took place entirely in the U.K. and it was bottled at 57.5%, diluted slightly from 62.7% according to the Raising Glasses website (thanks a lot, Eric Kaye).

On the nose, I get chocolate, coffee, treacle, Shanxi mature vinegar, vehicle exhaust, rubber, asphalt, and some “hike in the woods” aromas. On the palate, the confectionary notes fuse into chocolate milk and caffè mocha while still maintaining all that automotive funk. Water really brings this to life, pulling out more some borderline fruity notes which pair nicely with the more dominant chocolate flavors.

I’ve yet to find a young DDL I’ve liked more than this. It holds together the decadence and grunginess of Guyanese rums in a way few bottles have for me. Enjoyers of El Dorado or the Hamilton Demeraras should make this their next stop. (7/10)

In my next post, I’m trying out three rums from Raising Glasses’ new batch for 2023. Among them are “Yowie” and “Whistler,” whose names might clue you in to where they’re from. Until then!