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Hampden Great House Continues Into 2022

 

It looks like the Jamaican funk-master Hampden Distillery is ready for a Great House 2022, keeping with a tradition of annual release blends that started in 2019.

For those unfamiliar, back in 2019, Hampden Distillery, one of the most well-known rum distilleries not just in Jamaica, but globally, for their wild, funky, bigger is better rums that have captivated rum maniacs far and wide, initially released a limited estate-only bottling, called the "Great House". The Great House being a reference to the distillery's warehouse and home in Jamaica's Trelawny Parish, which was used up until the early 1900s for storing and aging barrels of rums produced by Hampden. This is pretty incredible given that the distillery itself was founded in 1779!

The inaugural estate-limited bottling was obviously a big hit, as evidenced by the fact that it is now in its fourth iteration, and hence became an annual limited release sought after by lovers of the Jamaican distillery's produce.

 

The Hampden Great House in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica. (Image Source: Skurnik Wines)

 

When it first debuted, it was designed to be an experimental blend of Hampden's rums, initially making use of two of Hampden's marks (think of it as styles produced by the distillery). These bottlings were featured in the iconic black broad shouldered bottles that the rum-verse has come to associate with Velier, denoting the distillery's collaboration with the Italian importer.

Here's a table showcasing the various marks (or styles) that Hampden produces. The number denotes the esters in grams per hectolitre of pure alcohol gr/hlpa of each 'mark'. The higher the esters, the more heavier the rum, the more pungent and strongly flavored the rum, typically.

 

untitled image

(Image Source: Secret Rum Bar)

   

(Image Source: Hampden)

 

As a quick refresher, here are the blends used for the past three annual releases (all of which were fully tropically aged at the distillery):

  • 2019 Great House, 59% ABV, 3,066 bottles: 80% OWH 7 YO, 20% <> H 3 YO 
  • 2020 Great House, 59% ABV, 5,800 bottles: 80% OWH 8 YO, 20% <>H 4 YO
  • 2021 Great House, 55% ABV, 2,400 bottles: 50% LFCH 7 YO, 50% C<>H 4 YO

 

As you can observe, the blend tends to use a lighter (lower ester, or less "concentrated") mark that is longer-aged and a heavier (higher ester, or more "concentrated") mark that is younger-aged.

This obviously creates a rum that looks to be more balanced by stretching both ends of their spectrum of styles to meet somewhere in the middle. As with 2021, the distillery seems to have moved towards using a LFCH & C<>H blend, moving away from using the OWH & <>H recipe.

As Single Cask Rum points out, the distillery tends to only produces one mark (or style) each year, aside from 2010 as the distillery reopened in 2009 and had to speed up production, which he tracked as the following:

  • 1983: HGML
  • 1990: C<>H
  • 1992: HLCF
  • 1993: <>H / C<>H
  • 1997: C<>H
  • 1998: HLCF
  • 2000: LROK
  • 2001: <>H
  • 2002: LROK
  • 2007: C<>H
  • 2009: DOK
  • 2010: LROK, HLCF, <>H, C<>H, HGML
  • 2011: OWH, LFCH
  • 2012: OWH

 

So, what do you think is going to be this year's blend? My gut says it'll follow the Great House 2021 Edition of LFCH & C<>H blend given that the ABV matches last year's at 55% ABV.

Let me know what you guys think!

 

Big credit to Secret Rum Bar and Single Cask Rum for their great work cataloging Hampden's activities.

 
*Correction: Initially, the split for the Great House 2021 Edition was written as 80/20 LFCH/C<>H. This has been corrected to reflect a 50/50 split of the same two marks instead.

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot



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