Velier Hampden Endemic Birds Series – France

This is one of the only review you can read about the Mango which total 70 bottles worldwide. However, as you can see the highest mark right there is LROK, usually I’m not a huge fan of low esters Hampden but let’s see how they are!

Velier Hampden 2011-2020 Red Billed Streamertail (60.3%, cask #296, 260 bottles, LFCH)

Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: Wood is very present. Roasted pineapples, baked apples, cinnamon, leather, petrol, smoke, grilled sardines, lemon peel and some medicinal notes.
Mouth: Nice thick texture and a bit astringent. The wood is very present as it is for the nose. Apples, pineapples, solvents, hay, cloves and vegetal notes. The mouth is a bit monolithic.
Finish: Mid-long and drying. There’s an unpleasant alcohol peak. Vanilla, smoke, canon powder, custard cream, brown sugar and blackcurrants.

I miss the Jamaica funkyness.

Score: 80

Velier Hampden 2012-2020 Black Bird (59.9%, cask #662, 250 bottles, OWH)

Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: Grains, melted chocolate, straw, hay, polished wood, smoke, brine, burnt fish, dark olives, vinegar and vegetal notes.
Mouth: The alcohol is too present. Wood, tannins, polish, grains, cider, caramelized apples, popcorn, not ripe enough pineapples, black olives, vanilla, white pepper and grilled fish.
Finish: Mid-long and sweet. Floral notes, burnt wood, vanilla, fresh cream and chillies.

Where are the fruits?

Score: 81

Velier Hampden 2012-2020 Chestnut Bellied Cuckoo (61.7%, cask #667, 250 bottles, OWH)

Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: It’s a bit monolithic and there’s too much alcohol presence again. Bananas, apples, cider vinegar, mix of green and black olives, wood, polish, brine and fish oil.
Mouth: Nice thick texture, a bit astringent. Olives dominates the mouth. Burnt wood, pineapples, brine, tannins, pepper and blood oranges but again the alcohol presence disturbs me.
Finish: Mid-long. Vanilla dominates the finish. Pastries, solvents, burnt wood, smoke and violet candies.

It’s more expressive and funky than the two first.

Score: 82

Velier Hampden 2010-2020 Owl (62.5%, cask #487, 250 bottles, LROK)

Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: The alcohol is burning. Some great candy notes which reminds me some Savanna Grand Ârome at first nose. Ripe bananas, fresh pineapples juice, papayas, green olives, cider vinegar, brine, fish oil with some smoke presence.
Mouth: Nice thick texture and a bit astringent again. Ripe pineapples, fruit candies, bananas, mangoes, oranges, candied lemons, petrol, burnt wood, black pepper, sardines, hay and some mineral notes.
Finish: Mid-long, warm and dry. Roasted pineapples, dark smoke, candied fruits, vanilla and cake dough.

At least we’re going in the good way…

Score: 83

Velier Hampden 2010-2020 Mango (59%, cask #92, 70 bottles, LROK)

Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: The alcohol burns a bit. Pickles, lemons, grapefruits, vinegar, caramelized pineapples, wood, blood oranges, black olives and leather. This is the most fruity nose of the whole line-up.
Mouth: One more time this is a nice thick texture. It’s more classy than the others. The rose blossoms dominates the mouth, violet flowers, fresh pineapple juice, bananas, Granny Smith apples, brine, vanilla and peppermint.
Finish: Long and drying. The vanilla is very present. Custard cream, butter, violet candies, thick smoke and some floral notes.

I enjoyed this one much more. The finish reminds me the Belgian LROK, I loved it.

Score: 87

Can we say low esters Hampden means bad rum? Not at all.
However in my opinions they lacks of interest when we know what the Hampden distillery can offer us, it’s quite frustrating. I’m also disappointed this time by the alcohol integration in this Endemic Bird Series…
Anyway, thanks Alex for the samples, especially for the Mango one. Cheers!

Discover those rums on the Rum Tasting Notes app
Velier Hampden 2011-2020 Red Billed Streamertail
Velier Hampden 2012-2020 Black Bird
Velier Hampden 2012-2020 Chestnut Bellied Cuckoo
Velier Hampden 2010-2020 Owl
Velier Hampden 2010-2020 Mango

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