Hamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection Demerara River

Hamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection rum review by the fat rum pirateHamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection Demerara River. Edward Hamilton is a well known figure in the rum world. His knowledge has been built up by sailing around the Caribbean islands and he has been an active writer, importer, rum-runner, brand owner and enthusiastic supporter of rum for a number of years. He runs the website and Facebook page Ministry of Rum, where has has gained the moniker Minister of Rum. He’s great friends with Capn Jimbo of the Rum Project.

I’ve yet to meet Ed Hamilton but he did upset a few bloggers a few years back. Lance over at the Lone Caner even felt the need to defend our honour. I found it all amusing more than anything else to be honest. Ed has done a few interviews since and he always seems to be able to get whatever rum he is “repping” for at the time to figure quite prominently. Let him get on with it is what I say.

The Ministry of Rum Collection of rums have been available for some time. Originally it seemed based around finding a replacement for the then defunct Lemon Hart 151. So the Overproof Hamilton Demerara was born.

Due to a lack of availability in the UK and Europe of the Ministry of Rum Collection – I have been unable to review any of the range until today.

Sadly I don’t have the 151 Overproof on offer this time (it’s coming), instead it’s the intriguingly named Hamilton 86, which has been distilled and aged on the banks of the Demerara River. Old Ed got into a bit of a disagreement with the folks at Demerara Distillers Limited( DDL) who didn’t want him labelling his blend as Demerara Rum. So he had to acquiesce their request with some creative thinking.

Hamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection Demerara River is a undisclosed blend of Demerara rum from DDL, which Ed has bought direct from the company. As mentioned there is also a 151 Overproof rum available. The two rums are the exact same blend (give or take the odd difference in barrel) just at differing strengths. Varying information states this is a blend of 5 year old rums and a blend of rums upto 5 years old.

Like most “Independent” bottlings in the US this has been given quite a fan fare. Due to the strict liquor rules and regulations in the US (well strict when it suits) the Yanks simply don’t get a lot of the good stuff, we take for granted in Europe. I Hamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection rum review by the fat rum piratealways take there enthusiasm with a pinch of salt. No offence intended it’s just an observation.

Hamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection Demerara River is 86 proof or 43% ABV. It comes in the standard US 750ml bar style bottle. It looks a little old fashioned/basic but it has a sort of appeal. Retail is around the $25 mark in the US. Were it, to come to the UK as an import I wouldn’t expect much change out of £50.

In the glass Hamilton 86 is a very dark brown liquid with a reddish/orange flourish around the edges. Very Naval, very British in fact.

The nose is instantly recognisable as a “younger” Demerara rum. More in keeping with supermarket staples such as Wood’s and Skipper.

It has a burnt treacly molasses note. It’s a “heavy” style of rum. That said it is still bursting with juicy raisins, red apples and a dusting of cocoa. It’s rich, warm and welcoming. It’s quite substantial even at 43% ABV.

Beneath some dark smoky notes and a touch of tobacco I am getting a lighter vanilla and caramel note. This reminds me very much of the recently re-released Pusser’s 15 Year Old. It’s nice but I’d be interested to learn if it is all 100% from the barrel alone. Hydrometer Test says it is but you can never be sure when it comes to DDL. Hamilton 86 Ministry of Rum Collection rum review by the fat rum pirate

Sipped, this is slightly bitter and not quite as sweet as the nose suggested. It’s not bad but I don’t think it is something I would sit and savour. Not hugely complex and it doesn’t have much of a finish beyond burnt treacle and a touch of toffee. It’s pretty short when taken neat. It’s flavourful with a lot of raisin but it does have a cocoa/bitter note which throws it off a little as sipping experience.

As with quite a few punchier, younger Demerara Rums (and Pusser’s, lets not leave that one out just because it’s a blend) it works better and comes into its own, when it is mixed. For the US retail price, I think it is more than acceptable to be used as a Premium mixer. I probably wouldn’t want to pay much more for it though, as it is really only as a mixer where you see the rums full potential.

It’s similar to Woods 100 albeit it a lower ABV. I would say the lighter caramel/toffee note makes this slightly “sweeter” overall.

It stands up to just about anything you throw at it. It makes a great Rum and Cola and an even better Dark and Stormy. Most drinks that call for a dark Demerara rum will benefit from this.

I think the hype around this one is justified.

 

 

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