Hampden Estate 2010 VIREO Single Cask #488 TWE Exclusive

Hampden Estate 2010 VIREO Single Cask #488 TWE Exclusive rum review by the fat rum pirateHampden Estate 2010 VIREO Single #488 TWE Exclusive. I could have titled this particular rum any number of different ways such is the information afforded to us on this particular bottling. However the Search Engine Optimisation likes things a lot shorter than even this title, so I’ll explain more about the bottling in this review.

For those who aren’t aware Hampden have released a series of rums entitled “Trelawny Endemic Birds”. They are all single cask rums and each relate to a different bird, which is endemic to Jamaica. This particular bottle is dedicated to the Vireo bird (you can find more details on wikipedia)

So we already know that this is Hampden Estate vintage from 2010 and a single cask. The further information on the bottle notes that it is a LROK marque (Light Rum Owen Kelly). These Hampden Rum Marques give a guide as to how many esters the rum contains. The more esters – the funkier they become.

Now LROK is seen as a fairly low ester rum. Don’t be deceived by the “Light Rum” part of the LROK marque. Despite being what some might say is fairly low in terms of esters (300-400 g/hlAA) these rums still have a fair bit of funk to them. They are far from being what you might associate as a light rum. When I hear light rum, I’m thinking Bacardi or Trini rum. This isn’t that. Definitely not!

Coming from Hampden this is 100% Pot Still rum along with Worthy Park they are the two producers on Jamaica, that use exclusively Pot Stills for their rum distillation.

This is a Single Cask Rum with just 250 bottles available for sale. As noted it is exclusive to The Whisky Exchange. The rum has been aged for a full 10 years in Jamaica. It has been bottled at 61.9%

Hampden Estate 2010 VIREO Single Cask #488 TWE Exclusive comes in a “Velier” style bottle along with a Velier style cardboard sleeve. This is because Velier are the Importer of Hampden Estate rum in Europe and they work closely with them.

Hampden Estate 2010 VIREO Single Cask #488 TWE Exclusive rum review by the fat rum pirateHampden Estate 2010 VIREO Single #488 TWE Exclusive was released on the 7th January and retailed at £195. I am saying retailed because all 250 bottles sold on the first day. I’m reviewing this even though you’ll have to buy it on the secondary market because, well because I am! Why do I do this blogging to begin with? Who knows.

I didn’t buy this rum I actually picked up a bottle of the new age statement 8 Year Hampden Estate and the new Great House 2020 Edition just a few days ago.

I was sent a sample for review from The Whisky Exchange they weren’t expecting it to sell out quite so fast!

So lets see what this is like.

In the glass we have a dark spirit with an orange hue. It looks well aged and 10 years in the tropics is certainly well aged. You’ll notice that these Tropically Aged Hampden’s tend to be a fair bit darker than the Continental Aged ones we see so often from Independent bottlers.

The nose is full on Pineapple Juice, Burnt Banana and Pear Drops (English boiled sweets). It’s rich and full and fruity. It has a honeyed sweetness which comes through alongside a hint of nail varnish and some slightly smoky and spicy oak.

It’s not as OTT as some Hampden’s but it has a nice balance and complexity to it.

Sipped it is a bit more savoury than the nose suggests with much more wood and oak spice especially on the initial entry. This leads into toffee, candied fruits and some cinnamon. As the mid palate develops you get some clove.

This is all carried along by a rich warming array of woody oak and slightly smoky spices. It has a slight astringency to it and a touch of white wine vinegar which makes a little acidic.

The finish is long and quite clean with notes of mint and some menthol ecalyptus coming through. It fades out gently with rich warming oak and some black pepper.

It’s a really lovely, well balanced example of what Hampden do. It’s funky but still keeps a nice balance to it.

Those who bought this with the actual idea of drinking it won’t be disappointed. Those looking to find a bottle will hope that the flippers try and get a quick return. It seems some bottlings are being flipped instantaneously – leading to some not selling for the high prices the speculators might have expected.

A great bottling though.






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