After having had such a good experience with the Barbancourt 8-year Rum, I figured I would go a step down and see how the 4-year 3-star version tastes.
As expected, this rum does not live up to the same quality that four extra years of aging would add. A sniff shows many of the same qualities with, however, an unfortunately strong fusel oil scent hanging overhead. Oak and sugar comprise the bulk of the remaining nose.
Taking a sip I find this to be much harsher. Whereas the 8-year version was dead center between harsh and smooth, the 4 year version is halfway again between that half-way point and the harsh side of the scale. This is a bit harsher than I prefer in a rum for sipping, so I can only imagine using it as a component in cocktails.
The taste is otherwise very similar to the 8-year bottle, with again a slightly pronounced fusel oil quality. The aftertaste is somewhat unpleasant and seems to linger for longer than I would prefer. As a mixer, I believe this will work much better than many other rums on the market. Otherwise, Barbancourt 4-year rum does not seem particularly note-worthy.