Jamaican HD 1992, HLCF, Hampden Estate, Jamaica, 29 Years Old, 60.2% ABV
@nobilisrum is a relatively new Danish independent bottler that began releasing their first rums in late-2020. They made quite an impression with their first releases, a 1988 Enmore, followed by a 1993 Hampden C<>H, and a 1986 WIRD.
Thanks to @the_rum_cartel for the samples, today is the first of a three-part tasting of Nobils’ release no. 5-7, beginning with the 29-year-old Jamaican HD 1992 from the Hampden Estate distillery. A pure pot still distillate, this rum is a single cask release, aged largely in continental Europe and bearing the HLCF marque (Hampden Light Continental Flavoured) which denotes an ester level of 500-700 g/hlaa; relatively moderate in comparison to other high-ester rums produced at Hampden Estate. This one has an outturn of 216 bottles at an abv of 60.2%.
That nose is that familiar Hampden-esque, filled with a bevy of sourmash, basil, ripe yellow bananas. It seems a notch tamer than some of the other Hampdens I’ve come across, not as hard-hitting, and in fact the transition of notes flow rather well, revealing olives and brine, lemon oil, dried figs, a bit of sawdust, and also a layer of marzipan and cream. I think I could go on but it is really quite a complex rum here.
The spice on the initial palate is very welcoming, it builds and holds at a very comfortable level, allowing one to truly enjoy the rum without being overwhelmed by the alcohol. It is oily, grippy, quite sweet initially with notes of honey and glue. You get quite a bit of that wood in the middle, drying, a bit musty, and some leather. The finish interchanges between sweet and savoury notes, the brine and smoke clearly dominant here, even some vomit (I kid you not), followed by lemon oil, sweet cream, vanilla, and some herbs.
What an interesting Hampden we have from Nobilis today, complex, mature, a bit heavy, and despite not being one of those higher ester Hampdens that are often dominated by tropical fruits, it holds its own very well, bearing all the qualities of a great Hampden rum.
Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu
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