Hampden Estate 2010 LROK Single Jamaican Rum
Hampden Estate has been continuously producing traditional pot still rum in the heart of Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish since 1753. For almost all of that time though, the rum remained unaged, and much of it exported to the European market to be used in commercial flavorings, perfumes, or buried in blends of bulk rum from throughout the Caribbean. In 2010, following the worldwide spirits boom, they began aging their own rum onsite for the first time in their history, setting the stage for one of the rum world’s most exciting brand debuts. A couple years ago we saw the first fruits of that in their standard and overproof bottlings, both of which became instant classics. Those both were blends of various recipes, or “marques”, ranging from lighter, low ester rums to high ester flavor bombs filled with the famous Jamaican “funk”.
This bottling is made from a single recipe, their “LROK” marque. This refers to rums with an ester content between 350-450 gr/hlpa, labeled "Light Rum Owen Kelly", or LROK as a shortened designation. It should be noted that this is a light rum only by Hampden Estate's standards, with an ester count far above most other rums on the market. This also represents the oldest rum yet released to be aged entirely on premise in Jamaica, at 11 years. This tropical aging delivers a more intense integration of oak and concentration of flavors compared to rums aged in Europe, with particularly high levels of evaporation. It is often said that 1 year of aging in the tropics is roughly equivalent to 3-4 years aging continentally in terms of the rate of oak influence.
The nose immediately shows the extra couple years on display here compared to previous releases, with spice and anise sitting next to the familiar Hampden notes of dried bananas and mangoes, pineapple candy, and damp earth. The palate continues the trend of exotic fruits, alongside mint, camphor, vanilla, and cinnamon. The finish takes a moment to get started but then goes long with licorice, dry oak, bright and slightly bitter orange zest, and Christmas rum cake. Bottled at 47% abv.