Hampden Estate Overproof Rum

Hampden Estate Overproof Rum Review by the fat rum pirateHampden Estate Overproof Rum. Rum enthusiasts should need little introduction to the Jamaican Rum Funk that is delivered by Hampden Estate, Trelawny, Jamaica. For many years now those “in the know” have been seeking out Independently bottled Hampden rum.

So why have enthusiasts been seeking out Independent bottlings you may ask? Why don’t they support the distillery and buy their own bottlings? Well let’s first take a look at exactly what this Hampden Estate Overproof Rum actually is.

Hampden Estate Overproof Rum is the first aged rum to be released directly by Hampden Estate. Until the release of this and the “standard” strength bottling in 2018 Hampden Estate had not released an aged Hampden rum. Their only widely available current bottlings are Hampden Rum Fire. Which is an unaged white overproof and Rum Fire Gold. Which is the same unaged rum diluted down to 40% ABV and a drop of caramel colouring to make it “Gold”.

As you may not from some of the photos, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Launch Dinner of these Hampden releases, at the Four Seasons Hotel in London. The dinner was hosted by Luca Gargano and La Maison du Whisky. They are working together on distributing the rums in Europe and beyond. Andrew Hussey and Christelle Harris of Hampden Estate were also in attendance. Both were very passionate and humble at the same time, about their rums. A joy to meet and chat with.

At the event I was in familiar company in the shape of some of my fellow rum writers and bloggers. It was a real honour to be in attendance and I had to pinch myself a couple of times. At the event, we learnt that these Hampden bottlings are the first aged rums to be released by Hampden Estate. We were also taken through the “Rum Tasting of the Century” which was a real event in itself. But that is perhaps for another day….

Hampden Estate Overproof Rum as I understand it (please anyone with more information correct me if I am wrong) is going to be an ongoing release. Think like R L Seale’s 10 Year Old or Havana Club 7. This and the standard bottling will always be available.

As a result this Hampden Estate Overproof Rum Review by the fat rum pirateis not a single cask rum or a rum which Hampden Estate will struggle to replicate. The current vintages are a blend of rums from 2010. Obviously as time goes on this will move but the flavour profile identified by Vivian Wisdom Master Distiller at Hampden Estate will remain the same/similar. All the rum in the blend is Pot Still distillate. The rums were aged for almost 8 years entirely in Trelawny, Jamaica. They estimate on the rear of the bottle that this is equivalent of 25 years European ageing. Please note this is not scientific. The Overproof rum is presented at 60% ABV.

In the UK Hampden Estate Overproof will set you back £80. Enthusiasts have been waiting for the Caribbean distilleries to really start pushing their own products. The past few years have since the likes of Saint Lucia Distillers, Worthy Park and Foursquare really push their own brand products. With a lot of success as well I must add!

Presentation wise the Velier influence is noticeable. They are using the same bottlings you will find Velier Caroni and Demerara housed in. The labels are a little more colourful and they are much less “clinical” than the Habitation Velier releases. More colourful but equally informative. The front and rear label tell you all about Hampden Estate’s/Trelawny’s rich history and give you some details about the contents in the botte.

In the glass Hampden Estate Overproof is a golden to dark brown colour.

The first thing I notice about the nose on this, is that it is much less funky than some of the European Aged Hampden’s. I’m getting a lot more oak and woody notes. I’m thinking of Worthy Park rather than Long Pond level funk. Milk chocolate, cocoa, a touch of caramel and some sweet milky tea.

Further nosing reveals some over brewed tea, bananas and towards the end a slightly sharp almost petrol like note. A note like escaped gas – no not a fart more when the hob doesn’t light and the gas is released. Hampden Estate Overproof Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

As the rum is not over the top funky it is actually very pleasant and very easy-going on the nose. Which has led me to spend more time than usual nosing this particular rum. Another further nosing reveals some pineapple juice and a touch of red berries.

Moving onto the sip at the full 60% ABV. This is much more funky than the nose had suggested. It’s not massively funky but it’s very certainly a Jamaican rum and it’s still quite a bit more “dunder” heavy than the likes of Appleton Signature.

The tropical ageing is again very evident – quite a lot of oak but it is complimented by a really nice weight of flavourful spicy notes – ginger, cinnamon and a little bit of tree bark.

The mid palate is dominated by some slightly bitter banana and some slightly waxy pineapple notes. Once again I’m getting that over stewed breakfast tea note which is taking me into Worthy Park like territory.

Certainly the Tropical Ageing and the blend of rums used (again correct me if I am wrong on this) seem to give this rum quite a different character to the European aged Hampden’s.

The finish is really nice and warming. Again with some really nice oak aged notes and a really nice balance. Even at the full 60% ABV. This is quite a savoury tasting rum. There are some fruity notes, which balance it out and stop it becoming overly bitter or whisky like. They never take over the way they often do with other Hampden rums though. The finish has a really nice length – as you might expect from an overproof.

If you can handle this rum at the full 60% ABV but I found a drop or two of water opened it up a bit more. It’s very drinkable even at 60% ABV but it is not diminished by a few drops of water in any way.

I don’t think this is a huge ester heavy rum. It is certainly not in the league of some of the Hampden bottlings I have tried lately from Indie bottlers. You can’t smell this in the next room. But it is still a funky Jamaican rum. We haven’t lost the funk down to Plantation’s Xaymaca levels.

If you like Worthy PaHampden Estate Overproof Rum Review by the fat rum piraterk rums and the older Appleton Rums. The 12 but the 21 in particular. Then I think you will get a lot of enjoyment out of this. If you are after some insane ester heavy bruiser then give this a swerve. But please re-consider at a later date.

Hampden Estate Overproof is a really well-balanced, beautifully put together rum. At 60% ABV it should satisfy anyone’s desire for “Cask Strength” rum. Also at £80 it is priced competitively alongside the Indie bottlings. I would certainly recommend picking up a bottle of this, instead of perhaps chucking £150 at a 20 year plus independent bottling.

It makes a belting rum and coke as well……….

 

 

 

 

 

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