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Rum Reviews

Hampden HGML 1983, 58.9% ABV, Jamaica, Rum Artesanal

The 1983 Hampdens are some of the oldest Hampden casks found in the market today, and has been progressively released by a couple of independent bottlers in the recent years.

This includes Rum Artesanal’s High Ester Rum Distillery bottling that was distilled in December 1983 and bottled in March 2019. It comes from a single cask #6, aged for 35 years in Europe and bottled at an abv of 58.9% with an outturn of 322 bottles. For those ester junkies out there, they’d be happy to know that the 1983 Hampdens are of the HGML marque (Hampden George MacFarquhar Lawson), denoting an ester content of 1000-1100 g/hlaa.


(Image Source: @weixiang_liu)

The nose is incredibly intense with lots of fruitiness and thick sweetness, a combination of glue, vanilla, grilled pineapples, banana milkshake if I may add. There is so much going on in the nose, with a side of menthol, rich spices, anise, peppercorns, that bit of rotting fruits but just very slightly, and flashes of thick oak to add to that complexity.

On the palate, rich spiciness immediately hits your tongue, but in a very pleasant manner. Interchanging between sweetness and savouriness like salted caramel stroopwafels, and to throw in some sour notes in that mix too. In the middle is the funky part where liquorice and iodine shows, briney, some tar but also hints of ripe apple sweetness. The finish is a tad herbal, thyme and rosemary, sour yoghurt, juicy, rich tropical fruits, pineapples, and a slight bitterness that lingers to the end.

An extremely complex rum that if you were to ask me, showcases the beauty of continental aging for Jamaican rums. There aren’t signs of overaging, and it is just bursting with flavours in perfect balance and harmony. In fact this is one of the better 1983 Hampdens in my opinion, the balance is pretty extraodinary and doesn’t give you palate fatigue as some do. A real gem by Rum Artesanal that has flown under the radar.


Your occasional rum addict!