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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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Velier Hampden 2010 - HLCF - 68.5% abv.

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

Merry Christmas Rum Lovers!

Rum-Review-A-Day: Day 24 - Velier Hampden 2010 - HLCF - 68.5% abv.

It’s Christmas Eve and Day 24 of the 24 days of rum reviews! This means that I need to go with something near and dear to my heart; the Hampden 2010 HLCF. This has got to be one of my all time favourite rums, and I have never sat down to give this one a proper review. On top of that, this is my absolute last pour of my last of the 5 bottles I started with. This bottling by Velier is a cask strength (68.5% abv.) high-ester heavy pot still rum (Forsyth double retort pot still). This is exactly what Hampden Estate specialises in. They take their left over pot mash (stillage) and store this in large wooden vats (muck pits), allowing it rot and grow a plethora of beautiful yeasts and bacteria. Adding some of this back to the molasses during fermentation results in the expression of an extreme profile of congeners, which give rise to the exaggerated Hampden funk that we all know and love. While most Jamaican distilleries reuse their stillage, which does provide some levels of Jamaican funk, Hampden Estate is the only distillery still using the muck pit approach to reach these deliciously sour esters. This specific rum has been tropically aged for 6 years and was originally released in 2016…Enough background, let’s dig in to this diamond of a rum!

On the nose - This rum is weird and dirty and fruity and oily and beautiful and makes me want to cry with joy. Those are the first notes that jump out of the glass. Need more info? Lets start with the fruits; rotting and fermented bananas and pineapples. LOTS of both. Blueberries. Mango, peaches, guava, apricots, creamy papaya. It’s like a giant tropical, orange coloured fruit salad that has been left out in the sun for too long. Bubbles start to form and release mind blowing dundery funk! The wood is there but subtle (possibly not so subtle, but more drowned out by the fruit) , mainly coming through with hints of sweet vanilla and milk chocolate. Salted caramel. These sweet and fermenting fruit notes are all lying on a base of sour cream, cream cheese and condensed milk. Mix this together with whiffs of cinnamon and cardamom, and you’ve got yourself a blueberry new york style cheesecake, graham cracker base and all. Take this cake and drizzle it with melted rubber and dash of fusel oil...And keep in mind, this is bottled at 68.5% abv. with 550 gl/lla of esters, so all of these notes are explosive and wonderful. The smell just fills the room…

On the palate - the fruit salad continues. Heavy rotten/black banana. Overly ripe mango. Guava. Lighter pineapple than on the nose, but it’s still there. The spices come through much more on the palate, and now give a decent punch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light virgin oak woody notes. Sweet white chocolate swirled with bitter dark chocolate. Heaps of burnt rubber. Almost like I imagine chewing on a burning tire might be like…fortunately that is something I have never tried…then add a few drops of laboratory benzene. There are also earthy sour notes that I imagine are thanks to the wonderful Hampden dunder. Damp hay and manure. A little bit like being at a horse farm, if a horse farm could be appetising. The creamy notes that I feel on the nose only come through lightly on the finish. The palate is much richer and dirtier than one can expect from the nose…but put the fruity funky nose with the dirty rubbery taste and you have a match made in perfection.

Mouth feel is extremely oily and wonderfully hot. Whatever you do, don’t gulp this one…Although I have a feeling that no matter how you sip it, if you drink it straight you’re going to have some heartburn. And it will totally be worth it. The finish is exceptionally long and leaves you with a wonderful blend of rubber and pineapple.

…These were my last drops. This hurts my soul.

Thank you HLCF, for all the great times and all you have contributed to my life ❤


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