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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.
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.
Adds layer upon layer of funk. High esters. Lends itself to be a tremendous modifier.
I can see why this is called 'Rum Fire'. At 63% ABV this packs a punch. If you are looking for hogo, its got it. To state the obvious, this is not a sipping rum. Aroma is wild, is that bananas and varnish with some citrus added? Neat this burns, probably not as much as it should for something this strong. I did it neat in the interest of science. This is a challenge to mix. I found it worked with grapefruit and was quite good with Bai Clementine infused drink. I will finish off the bottle, but I am not sure this is something I will do again, this is more of an acquired taste and requires a fair amount of character to truly appreciate. Good luck!
UPDATE: slowly getting the hang of this. Do not drink alone, this needs to accompany another rum. Say your drink calls for 3 parts rum and 3 parts other things.... You make it 2 parts the rum called for, substitute rum fire for the remaining 1 part rum. When done this way blends in much better, adds a kick and you get some funk in the aroma. Liking it more now. This is a good tool to have in the cabinet
It burns, if you can power through it has some taste n funk, but it's mostly just hot.
Bought a bottle of Rum Fire while vacationing in San Diego. Very plain and cheap looking bottle and label design. Super strong alcohol mixed with pure funk to the nose and palate. Extremely strong burn at the end. Even mixing this one up does not mask the funky flavor profile. This is truly jungle juice in its true definition.
One of the most difficult to rate rums. It packs a real sensory horsekick -- blasting with as much funk, ester, and aroma you'll ever find in a spirit. Close your eyes and imagine the color and you'd be hard pressed to think of this as a white rum. It swirls with an aroma of dark treacle, floral, perfume. The taste will shine through any cocktail. Maybe too much so. It's like a violent robotic army playing a hundred violins in perfect pitch.
It's loud, flashy, punchy, and yet I always reach for it. Few rums can make Wray and Nephew Overproof seem tame, but Rum Fire makes other overproof rums seem like vodka. You'd be hard pressed to find a more perfect rum than Rum Fire for the classic Rum Punch. But in other cocktails, it tips the balance too far towards the spirit.
Love it or hate it, this is an absolutely Must Find for any committed rum drinker to have in the collection.
This is a very pungent brew. But unlike some funky rums, I don't detect a rankness to this one.
I remember tasting this at the California Rum Festival and being very surprised that it tasted this good at a high ABV. I'm definitely not recommending that you drink this straight, but I think it will make very interesting cocktails. A standout in its class.
This stuff has really grown on me. Captivating on its own, in small doses it does wonders to a cocktail. Truly a special rum from a very special distillery.
A big fan of Wray & Nephew White Overproof, I was really expecting to like this rum. As other reviews (on other sites, so far) note, it is remarkably—even dangerously—smooth. It has wonderful high-ester funk, and a boatload of flavor.
Unfortunately, the flavor profile just doesn't jive with me. It's remarkably fruity, but with fruits I apparently don't enjoy in a spirit. Not your typical rotten banana Jamaican. An acquaintance said "blueberries," which I think is in the right direction. I ended up giving it to a friend, and will fill its spot with W&N.
At the end of the day, I do think it's quite a decent bottle and is capable of making some interesting drinks. I recommend it to most, but it's just not for me.