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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.
This is one of my favorite rums of all time period. And a delicious overproof that cuts through painkillers and pina coladas with serious funk and bite. It’s a great addition, blended with tamer white rums, into mojitos and daiquiris. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Move over Wray & nephews. There’s a new overproof white rum in town. Hampden outdid themselves here.
Came across this as a recommendation when looking for Clairins on Les Maison du Whisky website. Saw the reviews on here, and took a punt.
Mixed in a mojito, this really opened up. Still packs a flavour and alcohol punch, but all the complexity and richness really shines too.
These flavour bombs might be spoiling me!
Of all 17 rums that I bought a week ago on my rum running trip to central Florida, I saved this one for last out of fear of it being just like that God awful Wray & Nephew Overproof that I tried three years ago. This time around, I read all of the reviews on here first and took the advice from one to add one small ice cube to the pure rum first. I let that cube melt entirely. The initial smell from the newly opened bottle also did not put me off like the W&NO did.
I then sorted my spreadsheet by Overprroofs so that this one could find it's proper place in my rankings for that classification. To my surprise, it climbed up to my rating of 8, but still not better than Smith & Cross. I now have it rated in my low 8 Ratings.
Others have described the taste from this one much better than I can. All I can say is that if you love Smith & Cross, you owe it to yourself to try this one CAREFULLY. This one is a pot still rum from Trelawny, whereas W&NO has column still rum in the mix. That is my only reason that I suspect that I love one and hate the other.
On another note, when the topic of what rum to use for rum punches came up in the Discussions, my European friends suggested Jamaican overproofs such as this one. I had my doubts. Well, being down to the last third of this bottle after more than a month, it was time to experiment. I mixed it with watermelon juice for an awesome Funky Watermelon (my own name for it). Then I used it with pineapple juice and premium coconut water to make funky pina coladas. And now I see how this rum would make great rum punches!
By the way, this rum has been the flagship of Hampden for many years until some very expensive releases were released in the last few years as a marketing ploy. If it works, don't fix it!
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