Hampden Estate: Rum Cask Single Cask 17yo
€52 (50cl, equivalent to €73 for 70cl)
100% Pot Still (Pure Single Rum)
ABV Hydrometer Test: 63% ABV @ 20°
Co-incidence is a strange thing!
As I was at the Rum University at RumFest on October 21st, I was chatting with a fellow “student” and explaining how passionate I am about rums and in particular Jamaican and Bajan rums. I went on to mention that I am going on holiday to Jamaica in December and that having been [to Jamaica] previously and visited the Appleton Distillery on a couple of occasions, this time I want to visit Hampden as I love their rums. I was approached by a chap standing a couple of feet away from us listening to the conversation…I repeated what I had just been saying regarding Jamaica and Hampden. The gentleman introduced himself to me…”I am Vivian Wisdom” he said, shaking my hand warmly. “The Distillery Manager at Hampden!” You could have knocked me down with a feather! We chatted further about Jamaica and its fine quality rums and I re-affirmed by intention to visit Hampden in December. How could I not?
This reminded me that lurking in my cupboard was a rather good rum sample from Hampden sold by The Rum Cask, that I had been itching to try and therefore review. Now seems like the best moment to do just that.
This rum was put into a cask in 1998 before being aged for 17 long tropical years, eventually being bottled in 2015 at cask strength of 63.2% ABV.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would be classed as a “Pure Single Rum” made from 100% pot still rum.
The bottles from Rum Cask look unremarkable…mine is a miniature version. But more important than what it looks like, it does have some useful info on the label such as the fact this is from a pot still and is at cask strength. It is also nice to know when it was distilled and bottled.
This looks very pale, confirming that there is nothing added to it but also highlighting that not every rum aged in casks becomes dark amber. The Jamaican aromas are predictably formidable. A bright citrus aroma is surprising but quite pleasant and fresh to balance the strong esters and banana. Hampden has an aroma all of its own.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
Straight away you get the Hampden fire on your lips and front of your mouth – this rum wants to party! It tastes very heavy and is sumptuous pot still as only Jamaica can replicate.
Taste, Middle/Throat 39/40
At this point, the rum knows you’re enjoying the party and allows you to relax a little. The flavours develop into more wood, oak, vanilla, even a hint of orange and a touch of sweetness. Whilst it is full bodied and at 63.2% ABV, it is not overpowering. There is a growing smoothness that coats your mouth and throat revealing an extremely long finish long after swallowing.
The Jamaican party continues long after swallowing…several minutes in fact. But it is not rough, it is not fire for the sake of it. The burn gets softer and fruitier with more and more oak appearing changing the profile from semi-sweet to very dry.
Morning After Aroma
Incredible! This still smells as if I have a full glass of rum. Ever-so-slightly more mellow, but those citrus, banana and oak notes are still present.
I love this rum! You do not need to add water to it, despite the high ABV.
This is crafted in the way rum should be, with a genuine age statement and nothing added to spoil those amazing Jamaican pot still esters. One to sip slowly, to savour…after all, if you’re invited to a Jamaican party, you don’t want to leave till the end.
Vivian…I am coming to Hampden for more of this fantastic rum!!!
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7