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Hampden 1992 Masam, from the private stock of Silvano Samaroli (27 years)


Background: this is a sample I ordered along with a bottle of IB Diamond rum. The 1992 vintage seems like a great one from what I heard, so I have high expectations for this. Of course this is modulated by the fact that this is a sample (bottle aging and all that).

Nose: sour barley; sweet ripe papaya; acetone; pineapple on the verge of rotting; baby vomit; all par for the course when it comes to Hampden; Bombe Alaska; lavender; rose syrup with milk (they call it bandung over here); apple cordial; Asian pear; pencil shavings doused in honey; salted caramel; liquorice; something sweet and meaty and smoky, perhaps burnt pork floss; overripe papaya and mango make up the base notes; with time the top notes become more citrusy.

Palate: creamy mouthfeel; dry sake; new make malt whisky (without the harshness); salted caramel; English breakfast tea; a woody astringency; wet burp; a Hampden-esque assault of tropical fruits at mid-palate, albeit more mellow than usual, balanced by drying liquorice notes.

Finish: more wood; liquorice; a grassy bitterness that brings to mind parsley; a nice menthol tingle in the throat accompanies the aftertaste of creamy mango, green papaya and liquorice, lasting a long time.

Conclusion: very good but not great. The nose promises greatness, but the palate and finish do not match up to it. Much of the fruitiness gets lost from the nose to the palate, and in its place we have more woodiness, which throws off the balance a little. Moreover, the wood influence manifests most of the time as liquorice notes of varying intensity, and end up being too one-dimensional. I am obviously nitpicking here, because this is still an excellent rum.

Score (assuming a normal distribution with mean 50): 87/100


Image Courtesy of u/zoorado



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