Habitation Velier Hampden 2010 HLCF/LROK LMDW

Habitation Velier Hampden HLCF LROK 2010 rum review by the fat rum piratAnother Habitation Velier Hampden release.  This time out its a three way collaboration which has brought this particular rum into existence.  HLCF/LROK is a blend of two Hampden expressions which have both been issued individually HLCF (Hampden Light Continental Flavoured) and LROK (Light Rum Owen Kelly).

I’m not going to comment on the marques names other than they don’t really make a great deal of sense – certainly not flavourwise anyway.

As well as being a venture which entails Velier and Hampden Estate online retailer La Maison du Whisky are also involved with this rum. The rum was bottled for them as part of their 60th birthday celebrations.

Hampden 2010 HLCF/LROK comes in the now familiar Habitation Velier opaque 3/4 “flask” style bottle.  You get a good quality cork stopper and a very sturdy presentation box.  Mostly available in France this rum was briefly available from the Whisky Exchange here in the UK.  It retailed at around the £90 mark for a 70cl bottle.

Unlike most other Habiation Velier bottlings this has not been bottled at Cask Strength or Barrel Proof. It denotes High proof only – 60% is the ABV for this.  So still pretty hefty stuff.

Once Velier give us just about all the information a rum geek might ever need.

Distilled in 2010 bottled in 2016 – aged for 6 years in a Tropical Climate at Hampden Estate. Angels Share 40%.  It was distilled on a Double Retort Pot Still (as pictured on the label).  The ester count is not noted this time around. 100% Pot Still rum.

It notes Jamaica Pure Single Rum on the bottle – under the Gargano classification I would have expected this to have been noted as Single Blended rum.  It is after all two rums blended together from the same distillery.  I don’t know whether this is an error or if this can be classed as Pure Single Rum.  It may be me that is wrong if its 100% Pot Still from the same distillery?

Anyway we may as well get on with (what I hope) will be the good bit.

In the glass the rum is straw to golden brown colour.  Nosing the rum you are confronted by an array of fermenting fruity goodness.

The rum tingles the nose a little at full ABV. Fermenting grapes, tropical fruits, burnt bananas, pungent aromas of petrol and a hint of varnish.  To say the nose is big would be a huge understatement.  It’s massive.

Underneath all the fruitness is a light, slightly brooding vanilla and light oak spices.  You could honestly nose this for days and not get bored.

Sipping this rum reminds me more of beloved Duncan Taylor Long Pond, than any other Hampden I have tried.  It is so fruity yet full blooded.  At full ABV it is a touch too intense for my palate so I’ve brought it down with a little water to around 50% ABV.

I don’t feel any of the flavour has been compromised its still a full on assault of the senses.  This is a real treat.

Each mouthfeel is awash with brash fruity flavours – Papaya, red grapes, raisins, banana and even a hint of gooseberry.  The finish is reasonably long and it is only really in the finish where you get any oak or spiciness from the cask. Long and really satisfying the oak and spiciness marries perfectly with the earlier fruity punch.

I would say this is Hampden with a twist.  Very much like the split cask Velier Demerara’s, Gargano has seen something in both rums and thought they might just work that little bit better blended together.

Now I haven’t tried the LROK on its own (please feel free to forward a sample anyone) but this has certainly moved the already excellent HLCF up a notch for me.

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