Hampden Diamond H 2010 7 Year Old

Velier Hampden H Diamond 2010 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateHampden Diamond H 2010 7 Year Old Velier 70th Anniversary. Quite a mouthful. I have chose to write out the “Diamond” part of the marque rather than as its shown on the bottle as WordPress doesn’t like you using those arrows and it strikes through the rest of the text.

Enough of my publishing difficulties though. Hampden Diamond H 2010 is as mentioned a 7 Year Old rum. It was released to commemorate the 70th Anniversay of Italian Importer and bottler Velier.

This is part of the Warren Khong series. Mr Khong designed the bottles – he did not take part in the production of this rum. Which of course took place at Hampden Distillery in Jamaica. This is a 100% Pot Still rum and it is a blend of 5 casks of the Diamond H marque. Yielding 1659 bottles in total. All of which were bottled at a Cask Strength 62% ABV. The ester count for this one comes in at around the 900-1000 g/hlaa – which is pretty high even by Hampden standards. It has been aged for 7 years in Jamaica in ex-bourbon casks. Upon release it was not imported to the UK so finding a bottle in mainland Europe and paying the courier costs to have it mailed would have set you back around £200. Pretty pricy but these things are in high demand. So you pay a premium.

As with Velier bottlings you get all the information you could need on the bottle so that just leaves me to give my thoughts on this particular rum.

In the glass the rum is a golden brown colour with a tinge of orange.

The nose is instantly recognisable as a Jamaican rum – the differences between what I would have previously thought to be a Long Pond distillery rum and a Hampden one are becoming increasingly blurred. Especially as the esther count increases.

Very sweet concentrated pineapple juice. Maybe slightly fermented but still showing its Velier Hampden H Diamond 2010 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateintense, concentrated sweetness. Black toasted bananas by the bucket full. Vanilla – yes concentrated sweet vanilla pods. Almost extract like its so intense. Mangoes, stewed bitter cooking apples and pears. Brown sugar, a touch of marzipan/almond.

All housed in a wonderful wrapping of fresh wet nail varnish and a touch of creosote. You could probably put a drop of this into a rum and vodka and have all the Jamaican funk you could ever ask for in such a drink.

I could nose this all day long.

Sipped it is slightly bitter at first but quickly rounds out into some intense sweet pineapple juice, stewed almost rotting apples, lemons and some really zesty lime.

It’s surprisingly spicy. With some allspice and cinnamon notes alongside intense ginger and a hint of chilli pepper. A decent amount of oak spice giving a very moreish mouthfeel. It’s sweet and dry at the same time. There is a lot of complexity going on and a lot to pick out.

In terms of balance it does tend to come in slightly too bitter for my palate. It is maybe a touch too dry . I prefer it with a couple of spoons of water to temper some of the spice and this also seems to make it less drying.

Even still its still very spicy and fiery with notes of chilli pepper and jalapeno. A lot of the sweetness on the nose. Unfortunately doesn’t follow through to the sip. The nose is better than the sipping experience.

The finish is good – nice weight of spices, combined with some of the sweeter elements and a good hit of varnish. Unfortunately it dries up pretty quickly leaving quite a lot of woodiness and funk behind. Compared to the intense taste explosion earlier it feels a little disappointing.

I like it a lot  I’m being pretty critical of it – I’m aware – but it has so much competition from other Hampden’s. So it won’t be getting a top score from me.Velier Hampden H Diamond 2010 Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

If money isn’t an object then try and get a bottle. If not the Habitation Velier HLCF and LROK (and the combined offering) are available for less money. There are also some really good Hampden’s out there from the likes of Kill Devil. Also some banging Long Pond Jamaicans from Duncan Taylor.

This is probably best served up in a blend (with other marques). Rather than an individual marque. I’m being pretty finickity – its really good stuff. If you like your rums on the more brutal side you may find this more to your tastes than a fruitier Jamaican.

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