Hampden Estate Overproof Rum is so much fun to drink, I have been looking forward to writing about this Rum for a very long time.
Often when coming up with some tasting notes to give the reader an indication as to what to expect you have to go searching deep into your vocabulary, ‘what’s that note? It really reminds me of…’ Sitting down at the bar at Black Parrot with Dean and tasting this little beauty, I had no such difficulty… The list is endless, from tasting guava and kiwi mixed in with lemon sherbet. I also get wonderful notes of Strawberry jam and Victoria sponge cake- this is so much fun I absolutely forget that it’s bottled at 60%. There is also this unescapable note of rubber, like a squash ball that’s been heated up by being smashed against a wall a thousand times. In fact I don’t doubt that that is exactly what this Rum will do to you if you don’t treat it with the respect that it demands.
This is a serious Rum. It is quite possibly Rum at its very best, it’s a challenge and a joy at the same time- it’s fun and for that reason it is everything that Whisky wishes it could be.
The uniqueness of Hampden Rum stems from its location in the Trelawny Estate in the Cockpit Valley, an intensely biodiverse area of Jamaica- it is home to some of the last remaining Jamaican crocodiles and the largest butterfly in the western hemisphere. The fermentation is everything in Jamaican rum and and the distillery’s remote location provides its own unique natural yeast that is unreproducible anywhere else on the planet. Different styles of Rum are produced on 4 different pot stills (including their beautiful double retort copper pot still) varying from extremely high ester counts such as their DOK around 1500-1600 to much lower ester counts such as their LROK at about 300-400. These are produced and carefully blended together to give us this absolute triumph of a Rum.
Hampden also take pride in not adding any sugar or colouring. In this Rum all the colouring comes from the full 8 years of tropical ageing in ex-bourbon barrels.
For more information on Hampden and the home of Jamaican funk I highly recommend you have a read of the fabulous “Cocktail Wonk’s” article here for a different take on Jamaican Funk have read of my thoughts on the Worthy Park 12yr Rum here