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Best nose I've had: tons of overripe fruits, savory and herbal bits, and some lingering petrol at first.
On the palate: not as explosive as the nose. Still lots of old bananas and pineapple, herbal and woody, creamy and rich, but all in balance.
Conclusion: unlike it's distant cousin Smith & Cross (a wondrous cocktail staple), this is a very pleasant sipper with much of the same complexity and Jamaican character, without blowing the doors off.
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.
92 proof Jamaican, not too hogo
I don't find this to be too funky on the palate, rather pleasant in a perfected cocktail:
Try libation to test it:
JUNGLE BIRD (23% ABV before shaking)
2½ Hampden pot still (Jamaica 92 proof)
¾ Campari (Italy 48 proof)
1½ pineapple juice (Dole can NFC)
½ lime juice (fresh)
½ demerara syrup 1:1
Let me know it u like
Seems much stronger than the 46%, gets better with time. Big bold flavours, beautiful nose and tastes.
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. 4/10
EDIT: So in recent months after tasting a lot of whiskies I came around to this style of rum, funky but interesting, just add tablespoon or two of water.
Nose: Funk, overripe apples, pear brandy, plum brandy
Palate: very whiskey-like, apple brandy, sour apple, smokiness, bitter herbs, medicinal essence
Finish: short, DRY as the Sahara desert, sour, rhubarb, faint hints of caramel, clove spice
So this is very interesting and simultaneously weird as hell. Perhaps it is the esters but this is a very different take on Jamaican rum. Its almost like a marriage between Smith & Cross and Kentucky bourbon with some bitter herbs, cigar smoke, and pear brandy thrown in for good measure. It has a pleasant nose of overripe apples, plum brandy, and the telltale Jamaican funk. On the palate it is immediately and almost overwhelmingly whiskey-like which quickly fades into apple brandy, heavy smokiness, and bitter herbs with a medicinal essence playing in the background. The aftertaste is almost pucker sour, like biting into an under ripe apple with faint hints of rhubarb and a clove like spiciness to it. Long after putting the glass down your mouth dries out and you feel like you just smoked a cigar sterilized in apple brandy. The finish is very, very dry. In fact this is the driest rum I have ever experienced bar none. Drink water with this...not because of the alcohol, but because of how damn dry this rum is..seriously. All in all it is a very, very different and interesting experience most of which is pleasant and some of which is just downright weird. Frankly, this rum gives me a split personality. 1/3 of me screams "I love it!", 1/3 of me tells me that this is just damn weird and confuses me, and 1/3 of me detests the sour, whiskey, pucker dry mouth it leaves in my cheeks. I have no idea how to rate this confusing mess one so I guess I will go with a 6. I could see how this rum would be extremely polarizing. I could also imagine that this rum would be one hell of mixer with a very distinct profile, I guess I will have to try that. As a final point, one of the major issues with this rum is the price. At $60 a bottle this is fairly expensive and while it is a quality pure pot still rum, the total experience just isn't pleasant enough to warrant that price tag - especially the when Smith & Cross (ultimately deriving from the same distillery) offers a far superior rum at exactly 1/2 the price.
Fruits and spices cart crumbled toppled over asphalt and stayed under the scorching sun. Elaborated long-lasting developing with time. One sip is impressive so much, you won't want more. Can't believe its just 8 y.o. I'd expect much more, 15 probably.
Сложный, минеральный, сухой, горячий, с выраженным ощущением асфальта, гудрона и фруктов. Вкус гораздо более выдержанного рома, мы бы дали 15. Он не для лёгкого непринуждённого питья, скорее для медленного потягивания и смакования каждого глотка.
The taste took some getting used to. As a relatively new rum enthousiast it felt stronger then 46%. Will have to try it again.
If you really want to dive into what Jamaican rum is all about then this is great example. Granted, you might not want to start with this one since it's very funky but once you develop your taste buds you can't go wrong with this one.
On the nose you get some nuts and cinnamon as well as some hints of bananas. The first taste hits you get some more cinnamon but also pineapple and strong funk.
It has taken me awhile to appreciate Jamaican rum but I love it now and I love this rum!
Have had this bottle for a while on my Jamaican shelf.
This rum, together with its overproof brother, marking an historic moment for all rum enthusiasts loving the funky 100% pot still rum from Jamaica.
It’s complex, dry and intense. I think it’s hard to recognize the flavors cause it’s mostly nuances and notes, but I believe I detected vanilla, ginger, fruits and spicy nuances and some smokiness.
Picture: My Jamaican shelf & My opened bottle.
Amazing flavours of Jamaica , love the Hampden range and this is no exception... Incredible depth and power from the funk .. beautiful
Juice . ..Hampden clearly aim to be up there with the king's of rum and deliver in every sense ...
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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