This new expression from Jamaica’s Hampden Estate is a long-aged rum said to be in the style preferred historically at the estate. Bottled at cask strength at 59% ABV and featuring the high ester count that Hampden is famous for, this is a rum that is so full of flavor that it might be difficult to sip neat. I found that just a small ice cube smoothed out some of the rough edges.
Some would say that an expensive rum like this should be never used in a cocktail, but as someone who enjoys Mai Tais with bold, flavorful rums I can’t think of a better choice for a rum to employ in this rum-forward cocktail. And if it ain’t cheap, well, I’m worth it!
Indeed, this rum shines in a Mai Tai! Thick and rich flavors are still present but are done in a way that’s so much more approachable. One of the best Mai Tais I’ve ever made at home.
It’s possible you might be able to recreate a similar taste profile using a combination of less-expensive Jamaican rums, such as Appleton 12 along with Hampden’s Rum Fire. But I feel no guilt going straight to the top shelf.
Hampden Great House is becoming available in the United State this month. Check your local or online craft liquor store. Get it now, before it’s gone.