Hampden, the pot still high ester specialist, is finally marketing its aged rum under its own brand, after leaving it to independent bottlers.
This 8 year old, aged entirely in the tropics in the Hampden cellars, has been distilled in a copper pot still with double retort after a very long fermentation using natural yeasts.
Nico's tasting notes
The nose opens up to a huge fruit salad, drenched in a great ray of sunshine. The very ripe exotic fruits have not yet passed the fateful stage of fermentation, they are simply filled with sugar and develop sweet pastry aromas. Almond powder and amarena cherries, for example, are enhanced with a nut and pine thorn liqueur.
Aeration and time bring a very nice golden patina, which brings firmness and vivacity. This is what is needed to contain all this powerful and fragrant fruit. We can also distinguish a small veil of spices, with cinnamon and vanilla that take us back to the heart of pastry delicacies.
The palate is balanced, soft, but with enough strength not to get bored. It is very slightly coppery, and catches the taste buds with greedy notes of caramelised nuts. The fruit is darker than on the nose: blackcurrant, blueberry, then more melted and candied prunes. The rum is relatively light, and shows a fine creamy facet.
The finish is fine and pastry-like, between prune and almond.
"A sunny, bright nose of fruit, giving way to a finer palate..."
Compared to the old Hampden 46°, this rum from the OWH mark (the old one was a blend of OWH, LROK and DOK) offers a more approachable profile from the start. The fruit bouquet unfolds immediately, whereas the former, more complex rum needed more aeration. On the palate, this Hampden 8yo is relatively light (if you can call a Hampden "light"!) and less demanding than its predecessor. It is perfect to discover the unique style of this distillery.
Comparison between Hampden 46° and Hampden 60°.
The two versions of Hampden from these first official bottlings are very complementary. The 46% version shows all the talent of the distillery in the field of fruity and pastry aromas, with a generous and elegant taste that will delight the tasters.
The 60% Overproof version shows a less ample but equally concentrated facet. Like a resin that holds a world of aromas within it, it can be diluted and arranged in different ways without ever losing its character.