5 december 7.45 am : I’m awakened by my friend Alex’s call. He tells me to get out of the bed and to click on the link he sent me. I’m now on “Therumcask” webshop, more exactly on their new Hampden release. Of course after all the good reviews I’ve heard about the previous release (1990 26yo) I instantly bought one bottle of this.
5 december 9.15 am : I’m now wide awake and I go back to “Therumcask” webshop. I’m not surprised I can’t find anymore of the Hampden I just bought, as all those kind of bottlings are sold out very quickly.
5 december 10 am : My friend Alex shared the link he sent me few hours before in a small french group earlier this morning, saying it’s still in stock. I realize at that moment something went wrong but I only think of a small encryption failure from the webshop because I’ve tried to search it through the search bar and I found it.
5 december 2 pm : I finally read a “Barrel Aged Thoughts” statement about the issue, the Hampden is sold out but the release was planned 6th december! I directly asked Alex, where the **** did you get this link? The answer was funny! He was just browsing the website, randomly typed “hampden” in the search bar and found it, he just thought that it was normally released and just shared the information. We still didn’t understood how the website listed it in the pages accessible by research if it isn’t released, but it seems that it was what happened!
Now let us get down to business!
Duncan Taylor Hampden 1990-2012 (52.9%, cask #10, 294 bottles, C<>H)
Colour: Light gold.
Nose: The solvents are very present, glue, polish, wood glue and fresh paint. Then I smell the fruity notes, rotten bananas, oranges, caramelized pineapples, mangoes, green olives, vanilla, esters, old wood with some spicy notes which are balancing the nose. It’s aerial and well balanced, it’s not looking like an extreme one.
Mouth: Very sweet at first or even a bit watery, then it becomes stronger. It’s slightly acidulous with lemon juice, pineapples, bananas, grapefruits, blood oranges, esters, olives, nutmeg, wood glue and the burnt wood arrives earlier than what we’re used to.
Finish: Mid-long and dry. Burnt wood, thick smoke, tobacco, ashes and the nose’s vanilla comes back.
A classy Hampden, but it lacks that little something that we’re waiting for.
The Rum Cask Hampden 1990-2020 (55.6%, around 260 bottles, C<>H)
Nose: More punchy and fruitier than the first one! It has a stronger identity. Exotic fruits, ripe pineapples, rotten bananas, grapefruits, candied lemons, esters, glue, polish, with a slight smoke that coats the whole nose. It’s powerful but with a certain maturity.
Mouth: Astringent with a nice oily texture. It’s intense and the alcohol is very well integrated. Esters, bananas, fresh pineapple juice, melons, polish, glue, candied fruits, oranges, lemons, tannins, some candy notes and this slight smoke in the background.
Finish: Veeery long and slightly bitterish. Vanilla, cake dough, exotic fruits, roasted pineapples, smoke, burnt wood, ashes and some floral notes. The finish is more balanced than it was in the Duncan.
All you can expect from a very great Hampden, I just loved it!
Kudos to The Rum Cask team & Florian (Barrel Aged Thoughts)
The Duncan Taylor didn’t have the easiest opponent today. The kind of tasting that changes the whole room fragrance after 30min airing time!
Thanks Alex, that’s maybe the first time I don’t need to spam my F5 key to get a bottling like this.