Those should be high esters profile because in 1990 Hampden used C<>H ester level and in 1992 they used HLCF. They have all been reduced. So my question is: are old high esters Hampden well supporting the reduction ?
Rum Nation Hampden 1990-2013 Supreme Lord VII (45%, 822 bottles)
Colour : It’s gold with copper hues and clearly the darkest of the trio.
Nose : Esters, bananas, ripe pineapples, spices, chili, vanilla, nutmeg, candied lemons. I can smell the tropical ageing influence, those flavours are really very concentrated.
Mouth : The alcohol is very well integrated. It’s warm with a pineapple dominance. Then it’s woody, slightly smoked and it evolves into bourbon vanilla, blood orange, grapefruits, mangoes, it’s very fruity.
Finish : Mid-long with some dark smoke, canon powder, ashes and stewed fruits.
This one is very fruity and funky for 45%, the mouth is just a bit monolithic. A more complex mouth would have been really appreciated.
Score : 89
Samaroli Hampden 1992-2017 (52%, cask #19, 228 bottles)
Colour : Gold.
Nose : Esters, bananas, exotics fruits, green olives, lemons, oranges, citruses, it’s very fruity and pretty well balanced.
It’s even slightly acidulous at first but with more time it becomes floral. It’s a very complex nose, wonderful.
Mouth : The first mouth is sweeter than the nose and very flavorful. The alcohol is perfectly integrated. It’s starting with lemons, pineapples, grains, smoked wood and some flowers in the background. I like the old Hampden and high esters combo, what a beautiful contrast. To be honest, the 25 years of ageing respect perfectly the distillate !
Finish : Mid-long. Mainly fruits and burnt wood. This finish has exactly the same precision than the nose and the mouth.
Everything is matching here. It’s precise, balanced and classy. Job done.
Score : 91
Berry Bro’s Hampden 1990-2007 (46%, no informations)
Colour : Pale gold.
Nose : Aerial and sweet but full of flavours. Bananas, peaches, apricots, pineapples, lemongrass, butter, cake dough and vanilla. It’s slightly acidulous and fresh too.
Mouth : The alcohol is perfectly integrated. Ripe pineapples, candied lemons, bananas, coconuts, mix of yellow fruits, light wood, leather, vanilla, solvents, polish. Wow, it’s very complex!
Finish : Long. Smoked wood and some dark chocolate which adds bitterness and also hints of sweetness. It’s perfectly balanced.
This was released at 70€ in 2007. I would have bought ten of these if I had known. A perfect balance at any level without loosing its personality. My favorite of the trio, it’s the first reduced rum that I loved that much, that’s nearly unbelievable!
Score : 93
Reviewing these three bombs was amazing! It’s the proof that reduced rum doesn’t mean below-average rum at all, they totally made me change my mind.