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Foul. Soap suds and lavender. Don’t even know if there was any burn because all I could taste was soap.
Might as well be whiskey.
Although not my favourite, this is real quality stuff. Unsweetened, uncoloured, single pot-stilled rum. All ingredients declared, the standard Luca Gargano and Richard Seale are trying to get the industry to aspire to.
Great chunky bottle, neat lable, but plastic stopper.
Nose very funky, in keeping with the esters declared on the label. Gluey, acetone entry, fading into dried bananas.
In the mouth it's a beast, punching above its 46%. Alcohol and other volatiles kick your palate, there is a long spiritey finish, but a shortage of dried fruit and wood.
Bone dry, sweetness 1/5.
In the throat there is a burn that goes up your nose and follows down into your gullet.
This is not a subtle rum. It'll make you sit up and take notice of what is the craft of double retort pot stills. The complete opposite of Zacapa / El Dorado / Diplomatico.
I'm not sure whether I'd buy it again, but I loved the experience of unusual, but serious quality.
Tastes sort of like a blend between agricole (grassy tones) and whisky. It has quite a bite as well, at least it does not have weird chemical flavor.
This stuff is delicious and is a great introduction to Hampden Estate rums. My first jump into this style of Jamaican rum too I'd like to add.
Colour is golden. On the nose it is powerful. This rum does not mess about. Initially, I got a strong varnish smell. But as I let it breathe I found it opened up. I got notes of funky tropical fruit and bananas. Its quite fun picking up these funky notes that you won't get in other rums (again a very new experience for me). The flavour profile is silky, woody, tobacco, ripened banana, a gentle sweetness that roles into very dry. A lovely long finish that lingers. I have enjoyed this as a sipping rum but would be curious to try in a few cocktails as specified by Hampden on the website.
Imaginez, une vieille distillerie datant du XVIIIème siècle, avec un savoir-faire reconnu qui lui a permis de forger sa réputation et de séduire un certain nombre d’embouteilleurs, et qui un jour croise la route de Luca Gargano de l’Habitation Velier la mettant encore plus dans la lumière, il parait incompréhensible alors, qu’une telle distillerie ne produise ne serait-ce qu’une seule cuvée à son nom… Et pourtant ce fût le cas, pendant plus de 260 ans, avant de proposer son formidable « pure single rum » de 8 ans d’âge !
Son secret, est propre à l’élaboration des rhums jamaïcains et au « dunder ». Il s’agit des résidus de précédentes distillations. Cette mixture est mise à vieillir et dans laquelle on y jette fruits et bagasse. Les éléments organiques se décomposent, macèrent, et chargent en acides le fameux dunder, qui sera par la suite ajouté au moût en fermentation, le chargeant en arômes et acidité et autres bactéries. Tout ce cocktail aura une action directe sur la fermentation. Et la fermentation c’est la clé des arômes, elle dure entre 8 et 15 jours à l’aide de levures sauvages (pour nos agricoles on est entre 24 et 48 heures) puis 15 jours supplémentaires de repos dans la cuve pour développer les fameux esters (« élément chimique » responsables des arômes)
Le mélange est ensuite distillé dans le double retort pot still (alambic jamaïcain) en distillation discontinue. A noter que cette démarche est plus fastidieuse et assure un rendement moindre mais garantie une plus grande qualité aromatique. Ramené à 46° avec de l’eau de source et sans aucune modification ni ajout de sucre. Le rhum obtenu est ensuite vieilli pendant 8 ans sur place dans des ex fûts de bourbon.
Nez : équilibré et d’une puissance folle à tel point que ses effluves envahissent la pièce dès qu’il est servi dans un verre ! Un fruité très mûr, de l’amande de la gourmandise…
Bouche : épais et gourmand, fruité, confit et pâtissière, une note de frangipane ou de canelé bien caramélisé en retro-olfaction.
Finale : délicieusement longue et pâtissière avec une jolie note de frangipane.
i don't have much to add to the reviews below, it is probably a love it - hate it rum, and i must say i do like it. Although it smells pretty weird in the beginning, if you let it rest for a while it becomes better. The taste is rich, fruity and sweet. Finish is lasting.
At first the nose is ... awful. Like a chemical product in the painting industry ...
If you dare taste it, now it is different. You understand how particular rums can be according to the culture and style. This is form Jamaica. Wooden, dry, not round or sweet. More aggressive and energizing. Not my style but add 2 if it is yours !
If you like jamaica rums, go for it. I would rate it higher, but it should be a little bit stronger.
I think the overproof version is a great rum.
Smell: light sweetness, some vanilla, fermented citrus and tropical fruits, ester, some caramel
Taste: vanilla, pear, spice, ester, citrus, some bitterness (wood)
Finish: dry, citrus, pear
Mildness: 4/5 (mild but dry)
Not easy to approach. Let it rest some minutes in the glass. But after some long minutes, a fabulous rum for livers of heavy flavors. Very special. Very good for a good price.
The colour is naturally light and straw yellow with no trace of additives as suspected.
The nose is funky, very aromatic and teaming with rubber, ripe sweet banana, glue, coconut and medicin cabinet. Hints of vanilla also fade in.
The taste is medium to heavy bodied with the same notes found in the nose, complemented by honey, slightly toasted barrel and overripe pineapple, fading into a medium long finish.
This is classic and funky, fermented hampden, but not so much as to scare away newcommers to brand. Well done hampden.
To those that think this is more like whiskey than rum, you might be a little confused about what rum is, real rum anyways, which this definitely is.
To all reviewers that gave this rum less than a 6, please give it a try and let it rest in your glass. If you do drink it right after you have poured it your nose will be overwhelmed by all those esters and you'll only experience solvent, and that is why I think you rate low this rum, and it is also the reason I couldn't rate this more than 8. If you do wait though you'll experience a true Jamaican rum, no sugar at all, nothing added, rum as it was made centuries ago. You can smell a lot of flowers and molasses, in your mouth you have a kick because of the 46 abv, it may be a little rough, not a smooth one, but this is not the rum you want to drink if you want to chill, this is the bottle you grab when you want something different, something stronger that kicks your senses. Long and persistent finish of molasses. A must try, just remember to take your time.
it's got a nice nose, something sweet and earthy like brown sugar sweet potatoes. but not cloying. some nice barrel and molasses spice too. it's just the right amount of sweet on the tongue, is very smooth (almost wish it were maybe a little higher proof) but still has a nice tingle on the tongue. finishes nice too. pleasant lingering after taste. i would buy this bottle for home or for a friend who is a rum connoisseur to try something new. this bottle makes me want to try the overproof variation to get some of that burn this lacks.
I got the opportunity to attend a rum tasting with Daniele Biondi from Velier were we tasted 9 different rums. This was the second rum of the night, that we tasted side-by-side with its overproof brother. While not overly funky, this was still a rum, that gave a taste of what Jamaica can.
Nose: Banana, pineapple, oak and some mineral notes combined with toasted nuts
Taste: Pineapple, spices, tar, citrus zest and a mineral aftertaste that lingers for some time
Overall: While this is not a big "funk"-bomb it still have some clear notes of Jamaica. It is a great rum for all, but could especially be the next stepping stone for people getting into Jamaican rum after starting out with something like Appleton 12.
Un rhum d'excellente qualité, dont l'étiquette joue la transparence totale...
Les rhums jamaïcains ne laissent en général pas indifférents, surtout les "high esters" dont celui-ci fait partie: soit on adore, soit on déteste. Personnellement, j'adhère!!!
Au nez, on retrouve des notes phénoliques très marquées (limite une odeur de vernis!) ainsi que des fruits exotiques (très) mûrs (provenant du fameux dunder utilisé pour booster la fermentation probablement).
En bouche c'est corsé : les notes décelées au nez se confirment et explosent au palais!
La finale est assez longue, les arômes restent bien en bouche...
Un rhum jamaïcain typique et de qualité , mais pas forcément accessible à tout le monde...
Les débutants ou amateurs de rhums plus doux risquent d'être rebutés par les saveurs puissantes et surprenantes de cette bouteille.
Pour découvrir l'univers des rhums jamaïcains, mieux vaut peut être commencer par un Appleton estate 12 ans par exemple, dans lequel on retrouve aussi les saveurs si typiques à ce terroir, mais qui se montre beaucoup plus accessible et facile à boire!
I finally ran across a bottle of Hampden in one of my favorite liquor stores today. I did not read all of the fine print on the bottle until I got home. All I can say after reading it is that if this is what Jamaican rums tasted like in the 1800's, then I am sure glad that some master blenders have figured out a way to greatly improve on the flavors.
The nose reminded me of many of the Plantation rums, but then the taste was all burn and chemicals hiding any tropical flavors. At 92 proof and being a pot still rum, I compared this one to my Smith & Cross pot still rum at 114 proof. No comparison! The Smith & Cross has lots of tropical flavors with an even less noticeable burn. As an added bonus, Smith & Cross is slightly more than half of what I paid for this one. I don't dare use this Hampden for Mai Tai's. Honestly, I will probably use it after I have sipped on too many of my fine rums and don't want to waste any more of them with a foggy judgement. Adding an ice cube to the snifter of this did not even help. This one was also not cheap at $50.
Later that same night, I drank about four ounces on the rocks to help me get through watching a miserable football game. It was not a pleasant experience at all, but the next day showed absolutely no bad effects at all. Thank this part for the no additives. So, if all you want is a nasty tasting buzz with no penalty afterwards, then spend a nice chunk of change on this one. I would rather suffer a bit the next day after drinking a really tasty rum.
Update: After a half bottle is finally gone, I can only conclude that this rum was made for getting shit faced with absolutely no penalty the next day. I thank Luca for showing us all how awful pirate rums really tasted a few hundred years ago.
So why did I give it a high rating of 5 if I hate it? There are many more rums that taste a lot worse than this one, which it is at least bearable, but not worth the price.
On the nose, it has strong oak, toast, pineapple and fried banana. Very unmistakably Jamaican.
The palate hits you with grassier notes very unexpected for me at least. Without being an expert I’d say it must have had cane juice or some cane residues in the mash, giving associations to grassy rhum agricole. Banana, pineapple, coconut, dates and tobacco take over, however.
The aftertaste also starts with notes of grass and oak, but is soon overtaken with caramel, vanilla and fried banana. A bit short for a full score but a very, very good product.
All in all, this is not for everyone. A touch of added sweetness is taboo with Velier, which probably leave some people unconvinced about the qualities of this rum. That is sad, because in my view you can always add a few drops of water or even Demerara syrup if it is required in order to enjoy a dry rum, but you can’t take it back once it’s there.
EDIT: This bottle really grows on me. I add an extra point as of March 2020.
This rum surprised me when I tried it the first time. Tons of banana flambee, overripe pineapple, coconut, persimmon even, hints of rubber and petrol fumes on the nose. Interesting combination, and I suppose not for everyone.
Bit of a burn and drying on the palate, with some grassy notes on the finish.
Wild rum with many different tastes. Strond and dry, mostly for more experienced drinkers looking for something different.
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