Adelphi Selection: Hampden 15yo
“Pure Single Rum” – 100% Pot Still
ABV Hydrometer Test: 54.3% ABV @ 20°
Scotland…..home of Scotch Whisky and a multitude of independent bottlers of rare rums.
The latest Whisky bottling company that I have discovered is Adelphi. Established in 1826 and apparently considered very highly in the whisky world. According to their own web site, “Adelphi whiskies are both rare and sought-after – these very special casks are so rare that, on average, Adelphi accepts a mere 4% that it is offered.” They guarantee that their offerings are “straight from the cask without colouring or chill filtration.” That is the perfect entrée for enticing me into a bottle of rum.
This rum was aged for 15 years, in a usual ex-Bourbon barrel, followed by a sherry hogshead cask. It was distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2016. I have one un-numbered bottle out of 346, bottled at 54.3%.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Pure Single Rum” – 100% Pot Still.
The bottle has a nice cork enclosure and is presented in a classy looking box. The livery does make this look like a premium offering. But, the label does not have any reference to the type of still used, nor the ageing process, although it does reference Adelphi’s aforementioned principles of bottling products in a natural and unadulterated way.
The rum presents itself as a medium amber colour with fine legs on the sides of the glass that are very slow to drop.
The aroma is surprisingly fresh and fruity. I detect bright citrus, sweet caramel, varnish and an abundance of fruity notes of pineapple, banana and raisins. Although it is not as potent as some Hampden rums, this has very inviting aromas that make you swiftly want to taste it. So let’s do just that…..
Taste, Initial-middle 37/40
Upon entry this rum is very smooth, but it also has an element of sweetness to it, notably coming from toffee and fresh banana. There is a slightly smokey feel to it and although there is some fire in the rum at its full cask strength, it is not overpowering. Adding water does not improve the rum, which makes me think the ABV is just about right.
Taste, Middle/Throat 38/40
The rum continues to impress as it passes from the front to the rear of one’s mouth. It is very warming and conveys a feeling of drinking central-heating i.e. as you drink this, it creates a lovely warmth inside. The fruity notes continue to play a big part of this rum with more raisins and bananas being joined by some slightly bitter plum. At this point the rum becomes a little drier, too, which is a nice balance with the fruity profile. There is an underlying fusel oil like aroma/flavour, too, although it does not detract from the tasting.
In true Hampden-esque style, this rum has a continuing presence all of its own. The flavours continue to linger long after swallowing. There is a burn, but not a fire as you swallow. This is a refined burn that tickles your taste buds and slips down a treat. The dry and fruity flavours continue to impress throughout.
Morning After Aroma
A light caramel and fruity aroma remains along with a hint of tobacco.
I love Hampden rums and this is one of the more amazing ones I have had the privilege to taste and write about. The usual Hampden funk is there but this is far more controlled and sophisticated compared to many Hampden rums I have tried. The cask strength is at a perfect ABV for sipping and is a nice balance between soft, smoothness and fiery funk.
At £100 this is not cheap, but it really is delightful and shows how amazing a traditional pure pot still rum can be. Rum drinkers must do everything possible to promote such products so as to ensure they have a future in the all-too-frequently vodka-esque world of modern rums.
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