Kill Devil Jamaica Hampden Distillery Aged 9 Years

KIll Devil Jamaica Hampden Estate Single Cask Rum Review by the fat rum pirate Kill Devil Jamaica Hampden Distillery. Hampden Distillery as is the trend in Jamaica is better known as Hampden Estate. This is largely because these distilleries did/do produce their own sugar cane on their vast estates. So they are not just simply a distillery.

Kill Devil have featured quite prominently on the site over the past two years. They began issuing 46% ABV single cask spirits in a similar fashion to bottlers such as Cadenhead’s and Samaroli. Like Cadenheads Kill Devil have now moved into Cask Strength bottlings.

Like Cadenhead’s their Cask Strength offerings are immediately different to the standard ABV bottlings. Kill Devil use a red/pink colour scheme on their bottle labels rather than grey for the 46% ABV offerings.

I came across this bottling on the Whisky Barrel. The Whisky Barrel is a sit which concentrates largely on single cask Independently bottled whiskes. They do also carry a number of rums from bottlers such as Berrys’, Bristol, Duncan Taylor and of course Kill Devil.

Released late in 2017 this 9 year old Hampden Estate 100% Pot Still rum is one of just 55 bottled by KIll Devil. I do not know if they bottled the remainder and the more regular 46% ABV. I doubt this was all that came out of the cask. It was distilled in November 2007 and bottled sometime in 2017. The ABV for this is 62.7% ABV. It has been aged entirely in a European climate. It retailed at around £60. Presentation wise it is standard Kill Devil you get a sturdy cardboard tube and a good quality cork stopper. The opaque bottle and the labelling is the standard Kill Devil design. Information on the bottle is sufficient if not hugely detailed.

I’ve really been enjoying the funky Pot Still rums of Jamaica but I was slightly concerned by this bottle. The odd number of bottles and its fairly inexpensive price tag were concerns.

KIll Devil Jamaica Hampden Estate Single Cask Rum Review by the fat rum pirateSo should I have been concerned? Let’s find out….

In the glass the rum is a very little straw to white wine colour. I’ve no doubt there is no added colouring with this one.

Pungent is the best word. This rum is right up there in terms of fruity, medicinal, boozy, funky nonsense. It’s huge.

Even if you leave this for half an hour in the glass it will still leave you reeling when you swirl the glass or take a sip. Give this to a novice rum drinker and they will never touch a drop of rum again! If you’d given me this five years I would have run a mile.

Which is probably why I found the nose on this so absolutely tremendous today. Black bananas, huge notes of cough medicine, pineapple, mango, nail varnish, paint stripper . This is Hampden dialled up to 11. You can sip this for hours and still be picking out more and more nuances and flavours.

Sipped at the full ABV it is a real tongue stinger and will numb it. Fortunately because there is so much flavour in this rum the rest of your mouth will be having a party with it – even with the tiniest sip on the tongue. This is like some kind of mad rum concentrate.

Sipping it at the full ABV would take you hours. I tried a mouthful at full ABV (even with my mouth wide open to dull the flames) – it was just too much to realistically sip and enjoy for me. Water? Absolutely bring it down to around 50-55% ABV and you’ll get a much more pleasureable experience.

Whatever you do don’t worry about losing any flavour. There is little chance of that.

KIll Devil Jamaica Hampden Estate Single Cask Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThis is a really big, powerful, funky and medicinal rum from Hampden. Straying more into what I would term as Long Pond territory. It has that minty and almost clinical fruitiness to it. In terms of the nine year of ageing the barrel has for what I can been quite passive with this distillate. This is very much a distillate driven rum. The ex-bourbon may have given it a bit of depth but in terms of flavour this is very much a refined but pretty much unaged type of profile.

It starts with a huge sweet hit of sugar and banana’s, toffee and that strong fresh menthol/minty note. It’s got an earthy note as well – soil and a bit of hay. The ageing in the barrels does come through in the mid palate which is bright and fresh and very spicy. The finish is the only real downside and that is perhaps where it does fall down a touch. It’s quite short and whilst its nice and warming it is a bit of a let down. The aftertaste is slightly odd and very boozy. You really need to brush your teeth to get the smell of this one of your breath.

Sadly you’ll struggle to find a bottle now. Even had I reviewed this ASAP it did sell out within a couple of weeks. Still it does encourage me to try some single digit Hampden rums.

I got a bit of a bargain with this one and I’m pleased I’ve still got (most) of one bottle of this left.





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One comment on “Kill Devil Jamaica Hampden Distillery Aged 9 Years

  1. Sounds delightful!

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