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DESCRIBING RUMS IN A WAY THAT PAINTS A PICTURE AS WELL AS GIVES THE EVERYDAY READER REFERENCES THAT ARE BOTH FAMILIAR AND RELATABLE

I started in the world of wine tasting around 2006. These tastings were always blinded, so you had to work on finding and building a repertoire of a broad range of descriptors in order to piece together what you had in your glass...So when it comes to smell and flavour description, I’ve been doing it for quite a few years. In 2015, my interest in rum was sparked and since then I have thrown myself deep in to the world of this amazing spirit and wonderful people.


/Kris von Stedingk

 
 
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Hampden Estate Pure Single Jamaican Rum - Overproof - 60% abv.

Updated: Dec 26, 2018

Hampden Estate Pure Single Jamaican Rum - Overproof - 60% abv.

Oh hell yes! I have been waiting to sit down with this one since I heard that it was going to be released! Hampden’s very own 7 year tropically aged overproof?! Expectations are high!

The second the cork comes out of the bottle you can smell it across the room! Jamaica! High ester funk and gasoline. I normally don’t fuss about this but the colour is gorgeous. Deep golden orange and caramel. On the nose I immediately get overripe/rotten bananas mixed with baking spices. Cinnamon bark is clearly present, which compliments the oak and vanilla notes that are not following far behind. It smells like freshly baked banana bread that has just come out of the oven. One could question if it was left to bake a bit too long, but this was the point here, giving it a slightly charred aroma to balance the spicy sweetness. Now take that burnt banana bread and drizzle it with a high-proof calvados (this burns a bit) and sprinkle with raw sugar...I could go on, but I think that paints a decent picture of what’s going on in my nose at the moment.

On the palate I am surprised! Really fresh green fruit! Sour Granny Smith apple peel. Bitter citrus notes. Lime peel oil. Unripe kumquats. Definitely bitter. But I like it. It goes well with the astringent dryness from the oak. There’s a lot of wood going on here. White and black pepper. Walnuts. The banana flavour that I’m often used to finding in these Jamaican funk bombs is surprisingly absent, although being quite prominent on the nose. Actually, the overall Jamaica-ness of this one is mild, and instead delivering a cleaner, woodier and citrusy-dry finish. If it weren’t for the nose, I could almost be convinced this was an aged fruity Port Mourant (and I do like my Port Mourant).

The mouth feel is not overly oily and very dry. The finish is looooooong and goes from citrus to wood to nuts and then somehow fades away leaving you with the taste of mango.

A few drops of water; very similar but mellowed down. The wood on the nose comes through a bit more and the banana takes the back seat. On the palate, the bitterness is dampened and instead a nutty-butter-like flavour comes through, balanced with citrus fruit, oak and cloves.

This rum is definitely interesting. Not what I expected, but a pleasant surprise. It will be interesting to taste this one again in a couple of weeks and see if my impressions are the same.


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