Golden Devil Hampden 24 Year Old

Golden Devil Hampden 24YO-RG1

Product of:  Jamaica, bottled in Scotland
Aged:  24 Years
Price: $99 
Alcohol: 50% ABV 
0-5 g/L (estimate)
Context:  Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes
True to it’s name, Golden Devil - Hampden Jamaica 24 Year Old rum shows the color of golden amber and hints of pale green in a tasting glass.

Swirling produces a bead of closely-spaced, minuscule rum beads, some turning into long thin legs that ain’t in no hurry to get to the bottom of this sipping situation.

Discussing such ethereal attributes as bouquet are pointless with this rum; the aromas get your attention like a pair of boxer’s glovers wielded with speed and power - toward you!  Acids and aldehydes abound (sometimes called “hogo” or “funk” by layman tasters), then come overripe banana peel, moth, and pine.  Lesser notes of smoke, charred wood, wet leather, rubber and band-aid, decayed pineapple, tamarind and allspice nearly overwhelm your vocabulary’s ability to pair the sampling adventure with real world examples.  No wonder much of Hampden distillery’s out put goes to the perfume industry.

A single tiny sip renders all the massive complexity of those potent aromas into one mature, if irascible, flavor.  It is a jungle beast of a rum for sure, but one that allows petting.  The 50% ABV mimics sweetness on the tongue, while the medium-weight body, not as heavy as expected, quickly distributes flavors across your palate, ending dry and slightly pungent, like kissing on the neck a hot woman who wore just a little too much perfume.

 With every sniff my mind’s eye is transported to Hampden Estate’s stone-wall fermentation building, it’s old wooden vats transforming molasses wash into a volatile brew of acids, aldehydes, alcohols and esters while smaller vats of fruit rot in the open air, covered only by a mesh screen to keep out the largest insects.  Nearby, dunder pit “graves” dug in the ground promulgate bacteria on the spent wastes of previous distillations.  Ahh, the sights and smells of the Hampden distillery, there’s no place else like it.  And yet that’s all here in one little bottle of rum.  

To understand Golden Devil Hampden 24 year old rum better, see what the unaged rum is like Rum Fire and tour the distillery to understand how it’s made.

You need this rum.  Gems like it don’t come along often, and it could  be a generation before Hampden Estate’s current owners are able to release anything like this rum from their stash.  Compared with Hampden Estates unaged Rum Fire, this Golden Devil has rounded off some of the white rum’s more brutal edges after serving two dozen years behind the staves. Still, Golden Devil’s Hampden Jamaica 24 Year Old rum will never be your best friend nor anyone’s go-to sipping rum, but without it, your rum locker will be short on funk and mundane in compare.

Golden Devil Hampden 24YO Bottle No-RG1

Reviewed:  December 2016 Rum Gallery reviewed one of the 303 bottles of a rum that was pot-distilled in April 1992.   

© Dave Russell 2017