Why choose rum Hampden
When you are talking about rum from Jamaica, one cannot fail to mention the rum Hampden, which represents its history, tradition and original production methods. The probable foundation year of the sugar cane plantation dates back to 1753, but the most fascinating fact is that until 2003 - therefore for 250 years - it continuously belonged to the Sterling family.
This family of Scottish origins has kept rum production methods unchanged since 1767, the probable foundation year of the Hampden distillery. The Hampden Distillery, is located near the northwest coast of Jamaica in Trelawny located within the Cockpit Country, the largest rainforest in Jamaica. It is an almost untouched area, characterized by the richest concentration of biodiversity in Jamaica. After a short break of six years, the distillery resumed business in 2009, under the name Hampden Distillery and a new property, which has kept the environment and production techniques unchanged.
As was the case for all the distilleries in Jamaica and more generally the Caribbean rum, originally rum production was linked to that of sugar cane, whose processing residue - molasses - is the basic element of many rums. Given the great demand for sugar, until the early 800s in Jamaica there were hundreds of sugar cane plantations and consequently of distilleries. The advent of beet sugar and the abolition of slavery, with a consequent increase in production costs, drastically reduced the plantations and distilleries associated with them, but Hampden still remained among these.
The production of rum in Jamaica, alongside that of sugar cane, was from the mid-700th century aimed at supplying the British Royal Navy, to whose sailors every day at noon about 8 cl were distributed. of rum. This is the famous Tot, a practice that ended only in 1970 and that managed to guarantee, together with the local market, the survival of the rum Hampden and a few other distilleries. But Hampden managed to continue the production of rum also thanks to the ability to differentiate the production and types of rum. Hampden rum, with a high content of esters, was also able to resist the increase in European duties, since it lent itself to being diluted.
For example, in the German market, this concentrated rum was diluted locally, while still maintaining excellent drinkability. Another use that allowed Hampden to withstand the sugar production crisis was its use in the cosmetic industry. So up to the present day Hampden rum has continued to be produced, but always without allocating part of the distillates to aging in the distillery. It wasn't until 2010, therefore 258 years after its birth, that Hampden rum began to be stored within the plantation, instead of being exported and then aged on the continent.
So the Hampden rum, to which the market has decreed a huge success, the one with tropical aging, is a recent intuition, also the result of changed market conditions. In fact therum aging due to the climatic conditions of the Caribbean it is much more penalizing than an aging done in Europe, due to the greater evaporation of the distillate, but the quality of the rum is absolutely superior. Only recently has the market recognized the peculiarity of rum aged in the Caribbean places of origin and therefore the Hampden Rum launched the first bottling with its own label in 2011: the Rum Hampden Fire.
Characteristics Rum Hampden
Many connoisseurs consider Hampden Rum among the best rums in the world and the opinion can be shared starting from the unique characteristics that distinguish it. First of all, the raw material: the sugar cane of this region has unique characteristics and the water used comes from a proprietary well from which pure spring water is drawn. In 1760, a stone dam, the so-called Hampden Dam, was built specifically for this purpose.
Another unique feature of Hampden rum it concerns fermentation: the must consisting of molasses with the addition of spring water is naturally fermented, a practice now in disuse due to longer times and considerable complexity. Not only that, the Hampden rum is the result of a fermentation that lasts even thirty days and all this takes place in ancient wooden vats, on whose walls there are often decennial residues of previous fermentations, decisive for the aroma of the distillate. After a first phase of fermentation of fifteen days, a further fifteen is carried out by adding the famous Muck Pit.
It is an ancient procedure, which can be assimilated to that of the “mother yeast” for bread, carried out by adding dunders to the fermenting liquid, ie waste from the previous distillation in the shape of a cake that has been kept in the distillery since its foundation. All these procedures bring the total fermentation time to one month, incredible when compared to the usual five days used in other rums. Another feature that makes you consider Hampden rum among the best rums in the world is given by the exclusively tropical aging, which considerably reduces the quantity of the distillate compared to an aging done in Europe, but which gives the distillate inimitable peculiarities on the continent. Of course, no sugars or dyes are added to a distillate of this stature, which could compromise its authenticity.
Rum Hampden and the uniqueness of Jamaica rums
For those used to drinking Cuban rums or rums of Spanish origin, such as those from Venezuela, Guatemala and many others, the approach with the rum from Jamaica it could be upsetting. In fact, Hampden rum and many Jamaican rums use a completely different distillation method from that of commercial rums, obtaining rums that are much richer in aromas and flavors.
If in fact the rums defined as industrial are obtained with a continuous distillation that originally leads to distillates over 90% alc. almost tasteless (they are the so-called "light rums"), Hampden rum and many other Jamaicans use traditional discontinuous Copper Pot Still stills (often represented on the labels), which use much lower temperatures in the distillation phase. This allows to distil other flavoring substances as well as alcohol, such as esters and other congeners, which migrate into the condensate.
The final result of this type of distillation is a rum that for aroma, flavor and texture is placed in a separate category with its strong and pungent flavor. Hampden rum and other Jamaicans are often defined as opposed to Cuban rum of "heavy rums" and among them Hampden rum has the reputation of producing rums with the highest content of esters: they are very rich, almost oily rums.
The large concentration of esters in Hampden rum, which makes the rum flavor stronger, is mainly due to the length of fermentation and its intensity, which can be increased by adding more dunders. Precisely for this reason Hampden has codified its rums precisely with the content of esters, that is of the substances that characterize them: there are eight different concentration categories ranging from 40 gr / hpla to 1600 gr. ie the maximum concentration of esters allowed in Jamaica.
Rum Hampden and international success
From the year 2011, the date of production of his first room, Hampden has known an ever increasing success especially among true rum connoisseurs. After the first international awards, the real step that led to the success of this rum with unique characteristics took place in 2017, when two of the main global rum distributors, the French company La Maison du Whiskey together with the Italian Velier, bought the rights distribution for Hampden aged rums and their stock of 2500 barrels.
The fact that the owner of Velier was Luca Gargano, one of the world's leading rum experts, has turned the spotlight on this historic company. In fact, the history of Hampden rum is unique and not replicable as is the company's terroir, which cannot be replicated in other places. Naturally, a new awareness of rum drinkers has also contributed to the success of Hampden rum, a new focus on authentic products, not counterfeit and with peculiar characteristics.
Velier currently markets different types of Hampden rums to try, they are: Hampden Great House Distillery Edition; Hampden Estate Overproof and finally the Hampden Estate, that is three “pure single jamican rum” according to the classification that Gargano himself has codified. On the market, however, there are not only Hampden rums distributed by La Maison du Whiskey with Velier on the market, but also European bottlings of previous vintages, which can also reach important figures given their rarity.
Where to buy rum Hampden at the best price
There are various web shops where buy Hampden Rum, but we recommend doing it on Amazon. Fast shipping, guaranteed and above all you will never risk losing your money. Payments are always insured and if you do register with Amazon Prime, you can receive this incredible product directly at your home Rum at the best price on the web and especially without unnecessary shipping costs.