Only for the brave, the most extreme Jamaican rum we have ever bottled! Spicy, hot, explosive: as usual with Hampden, it’s a dry and clean distillate, with very little room for sweetness and oak. Cinnamon, huge tarry and salty notes, a lot of the strongest white pepper, and of course the classic Jamaican “funk” with its estery notes. Please add some water!
Tropical + Continental
2nd fill Bourbon
Assassino! Colour: pale gold. Nose: yeah it’s a bit like the Wild Parrot, that is to say a notch more eau-de-vie-ish, and a tad less ‘grand-arôme’ than the 1992-1993s. As if they had done a little less ‘esterification’ back in 1998. But no worries, this is still as funky as the best Jamaicans can be, with all the usual suspects (olives and friends). With water: wow wow wow! Small herbs, genepy, verbena, perhaps chives, ramson/wild leek, which is very Hampden now that I’m thinking about that… And all things muddy, brake-fluidy, tarry, and plasticine-y. Mouth (neat): takes your tongue and twists it. Some gingery/clove-y oak, somewhere, sometime. With water: impeccable, and even kind of civilised. That’s my Vittel, I’m sure (where’s the cheque, Nestlé?) Salty and rather a little rounded, with some softer spices. Almost gentle, in fact. Finish: very long, superb, salty, spicy. Mustard on some speculoos. Yeah I know. Comments: you could spend evenings pondering the respective merits of the 1992 and the 1998. But you’d need several bottles (and a good liver). I’m a tiny-wee bit more in favour of the 1992, perhaps.
SGP:453 – 91 points.
Whew! That was all very very close (and high)… What a distillate! In my book, Hampden is an epitomical malternative.