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Recommendable to most
I had been reading about how this may be the closest contemporary equivalent to the original British Royal Navy style made famous throughout history, and was really curious to try this. Don’t be deterred by its cheesy labeling (Hampden runs the gamut when it comes to branding graphics, but surely makes a fine product) and below premium price point (Under 30 US), this is a vital staple for your collection of cane spirits and cocktail arsenal.
I won’t retread copious reviews recounting the woolly blanket of funk this throws, and instead focus on how it pairs with a simple stepping of additions to the glass.
Off the bat, this reminds me of tasting rhum agricole on Marie-Galante, straight from the tap before any rainwater is added. The abv is so high it is perceived as sweet the instant it impacts the palate, but quickly gives way to that peppery aguardiente heat. Hampden couldn’t have been more imaginative in naming this, it is pure fire. Tamed /just/ enough to bottle and sell; otherwise, we might find it clambering up the Empire State Building with a damsel in distress. Maybe a handful of rummies, willingly…
One small cube of ice turns this into a sipper - voila. Truly worthy as a sipping spirit, a more adventurous, wild counterpart to aged spirits that will undoubtedly overtake anything the follows.
With the addition of a lime squeeze, I question the flavor of the spirit. Here, we’ve unearthed some of the more sourly pungent and astringent aspects of the spirit, pushing the sweet smelly fruit aspects, like bananas, back, and bringing the citrus rot to the fore, as one might imagine the lime would do to this. It almost becomes acrid and unenjoyable, but we’ve left the ice cube in and haven’t added sugar yet, so we’re in the nether regions of a navy grog and far from a daiquiri at this point. Let’s move on…
Adding a fresh squeezed clementine orange does bring it back to cocktail territory, with just enough sweet and tart-ness to balance it out. Don’t worry, the funk is still there, but now we’ve gotta balance the strength with the addition of a couple more ice cubes, and a splash of beirão (weird flex but ok) to heighten the sweetness a couple notches. Would’ve used simple syrup from demerara sugars instead if that had been around.
It evolves exquisitely, almost like a history of Jamaican rum in a glass, and really, you should be pouring this in your cocktails or snifter.
This is a triple distilled pure pot still HLCF rum. HLCF stands for Hampden Light Continental Flavoured and an ester level of 500-600.
In nose it’s funky and a little pungent and it’s possible to recognize fruits, fresh as well as overriped.
In mouth and palate it’s still fruity and I recognize Pineapple and Banana. I also recognize Pepper, Nutmeg, Raisins and som Citrus.
The rather long finish goes the same.
Overall I think it’s the best of the three big ones from Jamaica. It’s Funky, potent, complex and powerful without being too pungent.
Pictures: The Jamaican big three & My opened bottle.
You can smell this rum from across the room. Super funky, along the lines of rotting pineapples and bananas more than barnyard funk. Overproof and harsh but the depth of taste and funk is amazing.
It took me a very long time to track down a bottle in Illinois. I believe there is only one distributor that carries it, and they don't even advertise that they do. Eventually got it through special-order at Binny's, after some investigation.
Wonderfully flavorful rum, hogo heaven. That classic untamed Jamaican pungency, but not so much of a banana note - maybe more of a spiced berries smell, if that makes sense? Very powerful yet not off-putting, as some overproofs can be. Surprisingly clean on the palate and quite delicious, I can even sip it (though I wouldn't recommend that to beginners).
This is incredible when used with fruit in drinks, as well as with certain spices or spiced liqueurs, such as allspice dram. A few splashes in a fruit smoothy dramatically enhances the drink. It will also work tremendously well when used for "arranged rums", such as the french style steeped fruit rums.
Its a Hampden pot-still rum - If you rate this below a 7, you're nuts!
Bottled at 63% abv, this Jamaican high ester pot still is as funky as Jamaican rum gets. Definitely not a sipper, Rum Fire is best enjoyed when mixed with ginger beer, heavy citrus or even coconut water.
Kristallklar im Glas.
In der Nase nur wow! Schon beim eingiessen ins Glas füllt sich der ganze Raum mit funky Rum Duft. Diese Menge an Duftmolekülen bringen die Olfaktorischen Fähigkeiten an ihre Grenzen. Frisch zusammengeleimte und lackierte Ananas, Litschi und andere tropische Früchte werden mit kontinentalen Früchten wie Birnen, Trauben, etwas Zwetschgen und Kirschen zu einem Duftstrang zusammengeführt. Weitere Duftgruppen sind zu entdecken und zusammenzufügen.
Am Gaumen, oh ja die 63% Vol. zupfen schon zünftig an den Geschmacksknospen herum, die Aromen bringen sie dann zum explodieren. Früchte aller Art ergiessen sich im Mund, Aromen die absolut fremd sind bereiten eine Erfahrung wie aus einer anderen Welt. Freud und Leid bieten eine Gratwanderung der Extraklasse. Gräser; Kräuter, Gewürze, medizinische Pflanzen, Klebstoff, Bittermandel und und einen gewaltigen Schuss Funk.
Im Abgang langanhaltend und lecker. Früchte und Vanille bleiben nebst dem unbeschreiblichen Funk lange auf der Zunge liegen.
Eine gewaltige Ester Bombe, perfekt für einen Fruchtpusch oder zum pur geniessen. Für Freunde von funky High Ester Rum, Barkeeper, Wahnsinnige und Geniesser.
Crystal clear in the glass.
In the nose just wow! Already when pouring into the glass fills the whole room with funky rum scent. This amount of scent molecules bring the olfactory capabilities to their limits. Freshly glued together and lacquered pineapple, lychee and other tropical fruits are combined with continental fruits like pears, grapes, some plums and cherries to form a scent strand. Other groups of scents are to be discovered and joined together.
On the palate, oh yes the 63% by volume already tugs at the taste buds briskly, the flavors then make them explode. Fruits of all kinds pour into the mouth, flavors that are absolutely strange prepare an experience as if from another world. Joy and sorrow offer a tightrope walk of the extra class. Grasses; herbs, spices, medicinal plants, glue, bitter almond and and a huge shot of funk.
Lingering and delicious on the finish. Fruits and vanilla linger on the tongue for a long time along with the indescribable funk.
A massive ester bomb, perfect for a fruit punch or to enjoy neat. For friends of funky High Ester Rum, bartenders, maniacs and connoisseurs.
Rum Fire isn’t bad, but…it’s not great, either. At 126 proof, unaged, pot still, and somewhat funky, there’s no doubt which market segment it’s trying to take over.
But, for me, it fails to capture the magic of its competitor. It’s less funky, has a noticeable alcohol burn (perhaps why it’s called Rum Fire), and just feels a little hollow.
I’d heard such good things, and was really looking forward to trying some, but I just can’t seem myself keeping this in stock when this bottle runs out.
It’s not awful and if it’s the only rum in its class you can find, it’s worth picking up. But it’s not really a sipper, and if you’re after funkifying a cocktail, there’s funkier out there.
I’ll just go ahead and name names: this rum is good, but I don’t see a reason to buy it for anyone able to get their hands on Wray and Nephew.
Definitely lives up to the name. Pretty much the funkiest stuff you can get your hands on where I live. You can smell this stuff from the next room!
Edit: Downgraded from 8 to 7 after trying it in some some Tiki recipes that call for a pot still overproof. The esters are just not quite right... Too much rubber and solvent, not enough ripe fruit.
So, I really like the hogo/funk/esters I have had to date… with this as a possible exception. I am hoping it mixes better than it tastes neat! It is missing the fruity or overripe fruit hogo that I know and love. It also is missing that weird grassy/moldy hay hogo that I enjoy… Instead all I got was smoky (yay!) old rubber tires (boo!). I will try this in my Tiki-type cocktails and give it another try…
Very nice. I've tried several white Jamaican overproof rums up to now, and this is currently my favourite. It has a nicely raw and bold character. Obviously it has more aromatic power than the Rum Fire Velvet, and a lot more than the Wray and Nephew white overproof. But still it's not as insanely funky as some high-ester continental style specialities. I use this for mixing BTW, which is what white Jamaican overproof rum has been invented for.
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