So one more time we’re facing a legend, this TheRumCask 26yo is known as one of the best Hampden release, I also had some disillusions with some legends so will this one beat the 30yo release I reviewed weeks ago? I’ll use the great Treasure Cask as a benchmark in this case.
Treasure Cask Hampden 1990-2016 (60.4%, 328 bottles, C<>H)
Colour: Light gold.
Nose: The alcohol is a little bit too present. That’s a powerful start, no doubt we’re drinking C<>H. As I said it’s powerful but it remains balanced, maybe a bit too wise. Caramelized pineapples, overripe bananas, mangoes, lemons, oranges, tobacco, salted olives, grapefruits, passion fruits, straw, butter and iodized notes. It’s fruity and complex, very well balanced but the nose hasn’t the same strength and punch than the TRC 26 we face it with.
Mouth: It’s slightly drying and acidulous but this time the alcohol is well integrated. Pineapples dominates the mouth, tannins, citruses bitter, ginger, mangoes and bananas. Then it evolves with black olives, wood, chillies and canon powder.
Finish: Long. Dark smoke, burnt wood, bitter cocoa, vanilla, mint freshness, tobacco and cold ashes.
Well, we play in the big leagues but we’re not close of the throne!
The Rum Cask Hampden 1990-2017 (61.9%, 270 bottles, C<>H)
Colour: Light gold.
Nose: It’s starting with an aromatic strength that makes me forget the rum I tasted before! (what was it?)
The alcohol integration is nearly perfect and makes me think of course about my 2020 crush, my beloved Nobilis Hampden 1993. It’s quite acidulous with pickles, pineapples, lemons, bananas, leather, wood and polish. The fruity/citruses side dominates the nose, I already love it. Oranges, glue, black olives, brine, grilled fish and toasted bread.
Mouth: What a nice oily texture! It’s astringent, starting very sweet and then it literally explodes in the mouth, that reminds the mouthfeel I got with amazing rums like Albion 1994 (Stijn I hope you read me!). Fresh pineapples, candied lemons, oranges, grapefruits and overripe bananas. The texture now turns silky, it’s slightly spiced as well. Sea salt, raw fish, exotic fruits, peppermint and fuel. What a length!
Finish: Very long. The vanilla flavour is very present, cake dough, floral notes, wood, fruity candies and bubblegum. We have that thick smoke as usual with Hampden’s but this time it doesn’t overwhelms the other aromas.
You did it. That’s the best Hampden I ever tasted! Kudos to The Rum Cask team & Flo, this one is truly stunning. In my opinion this one is clearly better than the 30yo release (which was already very nice).
So the legend was true this time, I got slapped in the face one more time. Hampden hasn’t finished to surprise us!
I’m very thankful Quentin, see you tomorrow for the second part that won’t disappoint you for sure.