Rum Fire Velvet Jamaican White Overproof Rum

Rum Fire Velvet Jamaican White Overproof Rum review by the fat rum pirateRum Fire Velvet Jamaican White Overproof Rum. There are a lot of words and phrases I have used over they years when reviewing White Overproof rum from Jamaica. Velvet is certainly not one I have ever thought to use before, if I am being honest.

Rum Fire Velvet is produced at Hampden Estate. There has been a bit of confusion over this bottling for the European market and the Rum Fire (minus the Velvet) bottling which is widely available in the US. This European edition of Rum Fire is presented in a stubby stylish bottle, with a modern stylised look. The US Rum Fire appears in a normal “bar bottle” and looks a lot less premium.

I read recently somewhere that the two bottlings will be alligned with the “Velvet” part being removed. I have not seen any evidence of these bottlings in Europe as yet. Christelle Harris Director of Sales and Marketing at Hampden Estate, has frequently been asked if there is a difference in the liquid between the European and US releases. She has said on numerous occasions that they are the same juice. Others still disagree. I’ve not tried the both of them side by side. So I have no idea if the US version is, as many say a higher ester version. Let’s move away from that discussion as I cannot prove anything either way! Nor am I particularly bothered as I do not have any access to the US bottling so I might never know.

The change in the bottling may be imminent as both Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange no longer have stock of this rum. Admittedly, COVID-19 may also be playing a part in this.

When, it was available here in the UK, it retailed at around the £30 mark for a 70cl bottle. As an Overproof Jamaican Rum it is presented at 63% or 126 Proof. If you wish to compare to a 151 Proof in terms of potency. It’s noted in another review from Lance over at The Lone Caner as being “Triple Distilled”. It is 100% Unaged Pot Still Rum. There is also a bit of information on the type of Marque that this particular rum may be. Also some more notes around the potential differences between Rum Fire Velvet and Rum Fire. More information on this rum is also available over at Rum Diaries Blog. Steve reviews both the Hampden Gold and this rum in that article.

In the glass the rum is crystal clear. Rum Fire Velvet like all of Hampden’s output is quite pungent. To those unfamiliar, these White Jamaican Overproof rums can be quite an experience. I don’t know that many people who weren’t initially hit full in the face by the sheer amount of funk coming out of them. For many, the first experience is not entirely pleasant. My wife, in particular cannot stand the smell of these rums. Nor can she understand why I like them. Then again she is a Vodka drinker…….Rum Fire Velvet Jamaican White Overproof Rum review by the fat rum pirate

From memory, Rum Fire Velvet White Jamaican Overproof Rum doesn’t seem quite as pungent and vegetal as either Rum Bar Overproof or Wray and Nephew’s famous White Overproof. It seems fairly low(ish) in terms of esters. Maybe a little more accessible to the newbie. There are of course notes of Bruised Banana and slightly fermented tropical fruits. Pineapple Juice, Guava and a touch of Mango. It has a slightly sour aroma as well and some strong notes of sweet alcohol and an almost “stony” like quality. I’ve given this a bit of time in the glass but it wasn’t all that in your face, when I initially poured it.

Sipped at full proof, this is a lot punchier and a lot more flavourful than the nose suggested. Much more funky and very, very boozy. The initial sip is quite sweet/sour with a very grassy note to it. The mid palate really just floats into a full on assault of booze and a what I can best describe as Diesel fumes and a lungful of freshly laid Tar. Which was nice.

A few sips later and I’m starting to get some more of the sweeter fruitier notes. Lots of Citrus Fruit and Marmalade, a touch of Raisin, plenty of Banana and lots of fermenting Apples and Pineapple.

As a sipper it would be very much in the “I’ve had a hard day” mould. It’s certainly not something I would find myself sipping on a daily basis. If I did it would suggest I might have a few problems……..

As mixers these White Jamaican Overproof’s really offer a lot to someone who appreciates the depth of flavour these rums offer in mixed drinks. I’m talking about people like me, who despite having a fondness for a Rum and Coke – they still want the Rum and Coke to taste primarily of Rum. Not just find it fading away in the mix.Rum Fire Velvet Jamaican White Overproof Rum review by the fat rum pirate

As a mixer this works wonderfully well, it’s difficult to drown this kind of flavour out. The best you can do is mix it with fruit juices. Even still, the grassy, vegetal boozy madness of it still reminds you its in there. You’ll belch the next day and find yourself reliving the rum all over again.

It is along with Wray and Nephew and Rum Bar Overproof a great Jamaican Overproof. I find it difficult to split the three as they all deliver a similar experience. Just avoid the Monymusk White Overproof as that is awful.

Good solid Jamaican rum at a more than reasonable price. Well worth seeking out.

 

 

 

 

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