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My first Jamaican rum and since it... the other Jamaicans I've tried haven't felt authentically funky. I've gone through four bottles and it appears the formula changed at some point as one of my bottles with a lower batch number was quite different.
It has a well rounded Jamaican funk of over ripe fruit and notes of smoky toffee. Even a quarter ounce can change the character of a cocktail.
Appleton... Smith and Cross... they don't hold a candle to Hamilton Black.
I've come to enjoy sipping and mixing the complex flavors present. It's grown on me so much over time that I consider it indispensable at this point.
The first drink I made with this wonderful Rum locked me in. Taste is subjective and I can't speak for anyone else, but the Mai-Kai's Oh So Deadly is one of my favorite drinks and in my humble opinion, can't be made without Hamilton Gold and Black. I find no similarities between the Smith & Cross (which I like) and the Hamilton.
I tell people to try and drop any preconceptions about rums when I pour it for them. It's very different.
Out of the 53 rums I keep on hand, the Hamilton is in my top 3.
Really hard to find this any more. Got the last bottle at one of my local haunts, hiding behind the Hamilton Jamaican Gold. Speaking of which, I've read that both rums are identical except that the Black has been colored with caramel. I did a blindfold taste-test and would agree that they are semi-identical twins. Like the gold, this black rum is pure Jamaican funk. Rotting bananas, spices, bandaids, and a bit of wood. You will either be revolted by this challenging rum or you will be enchanted by its unapologetic, savory assault on your taste and smell buds. I enjoy it neat because it deserves the spotlight all to itself...
Bottled at 46.5 the heat hits you right up front. The flavor and aroma is instantly recognizable as it should be and is in the same pocket as Smith and Cross Wedderburn pot still. However this is a tad sweeter, though not overly sugary for a dark rum, than the S&C and finishes with a medicinal tang. As you become acclimated to it a lovely black strap molasses creeps in.
At the price of $26 you can't go wrong. If you want a heavy dose of Jamaican funk with a bit more sugar than Smith and Cross than this is an easy choice.
I'm definitely going to buy another S&C before I burn through this Hamilton for a proper side by side.
If you love Appleton and that Jamaican funk In your tiki mixes this is an extreme version done the old way with the pot still method. I would recommend this for anyone who is a serious connoisseur of Jamaican rums, my rating is for using it as a mixer, but I suggest using a little less in simple mixes, because it is strong and can overpower a mix. For those multiple ingredient mixes like Rum Barrels or vintage Zombies this can work well. As a sipper it’s kind of a fun novelty if you want to see how much HOGO you can handle! It does have a whiskey profile mixed with that Coruba or Myers type Jamaican. Try 1 oz Hamilton with 1oz simple syrup, 1 oz lime and a dash of bitters swizzle with crushed ice and a couple luxardo cherries. Basically a riff on Stephen Remsberg’s Planters Punch, with less rum. A fun sipper to sample with your rum buddies to see how far they have taken the funk! A rare find that I give a 9 because of rarity and uniqueness and because Ed Hamilton is a gentleman, scholar and fine judge of rum.
This is an interesting rum. It has a really unique flavor that others are calling 'funk'. I'm not a big fan of this 'funk' flavor (I don't have a better description other than 'dark agricole'); it's a little on the dry side for me. But if you like this rum, then I recommend you try the Taildragger 'After Dark' rum, which has a somewhat similar 'funk' to it, but is sweeter, stronger, and a little better imho.
Nose is wet grass, very different. Palate is funk and heat. Finish is long lasting. Great sipper for the price. Will be a recurring member of my rum crew.
My first experience with Worthy Park. I was expecting a less-proofy version of S+C but could not have been more wrong. This is all dark dried fruits and muddy, dirty earth. Like the floor of the jungle. In a good way.
Nose: Overripe Banana, Roasted Apples, Grilled Pineapple, Floral Bouquet, Burnt Sugar, faint Tiramisu
Palate: Oak, Cognac, Hard Apple Cider, Apple Brandy, Vanilla, Rosewater, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Plantain, faint dark orange chocolate builds up after a while
Aftertaste: Short, Burned Marshmallow, Sangria, Roasted Apples
This was my first experience with a rum from the Worthy Park distillery and I had no idea what to expect with this rum. Jamaican big hogo rums are always hit or miss with me. I tend to either absolutely love them or dislike them altogether. However, here is the verdict here: I absolutely love this rum. It is everything that I had hoped it would be from the numerous and various descriptions I have read. It is one of the smoothest and most pleasant funk bombs I have yet to experience on my palate. Big nose, smooth funky palate, soft and complex finish.
The nose is not quite as strong as some other Jamaican funk rums like Smith & Cross or Wray & Nephew...but it is still pretty strong and funky. I would put it up there next to Hampden 46 on the pure strength of the nose, but its attributes are far more pleasant to me than that of Hampden 46. On the nose I get the classic overripe banana of the famous Jamaican rums plus Roasted Apples, Grilled Pineapple, some type of floral bouquet, burnt sugar, and just a faint hint of Tiramisu. From the empty jigger I used to measure the rum out I could smell burnt rubber but I did not get that from the snifter, so maybe this nose changes according to the amount you pour and the type of glass you use.
Here is my personal take on Jamaican rums and why they can be polarizing for me. Almost all Jamaican rums promise that heavy dose of grilled fruit glory on the nose. Almost all Jamaican rums have absolutely amazing aromas. However, the difference, in my expereicne is that not all of them can translate that to the palate. But this one does and in spades. And it is awesome. Further unlike some rums where the palate comes at you in phases, Hamilton Jamaican Black gobsmacks you in the mouth with an incredible overload of flavors all at once and you have to slowly sort them out. It's kind of fun actually. So here is what exploded in my mouth all at once: Oak, Cognac, Hard Apple Cider, Apple Brandy, Vanilla, Rosewater, Brown Sugar, and faint Maduros (caramelized plantains). After sipping on it a while a dark orange chocolate note starts to slowly build up faintly in your mouth. And let me tell you: I am so here for it. Permeating all of it is kind of a burnt sugar note like that of burnt marshmallow. That might be polarizing to some but personally I love it because it reminds me of sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows as a kid and occasionally them catching on fire.
The finish is almost equally fantastic, though not quite as long as I wanted it to be. I do wish it were longer. The finish is a strange but altogether pleasant combination of burnt marshmallow, sangria, and roasted apples. it has a nice sweetness to it even though this rum has 0 additives.
This is definitely one of the very best Jamaican rums I have ever had, and maybe the best big hogo Jamaican sipping rum of them all I have had thus far (Smith & Cross is pretty amazing but its strength makes it hard to be a pleasant sipper; Appleton 12 is a fantastic sipper but it doesn't bring the funk like this rum does).
I have heard that this is one of the very best Jamaican mixing rums you can find, and I can definitely see that. In fact I will absolutely try this in a Mai Tai..but frankly I am more than content to pour this bad boy over an iceball straight and take it in in all its glory without the mixers. Finally, I have also heard that Worthy Park rums share this profile, and if so I think it is time I go hunt down some top shelf Worthy Park to add to my sipping cabinet. In the meantime, this will do just fine.
(Oh and what do you know...yet another Ed Hamilton masterpiece. I am beginning to think this guy knows his rum.)
Country of Origin: Jamaica
Distillery: Worthy Park
If you like Jamaican Hogo look no further than this for your needs. It's economical and wholly delicious.
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