Hampden HGML 4 Year (2018) Habitation Velier

Single Cask #132 Single Jamaican Rum

Rum is not a spirit I drink neat often. In fact, most of my rum goes into Tiki drinks. Of the rums that I have enjoyed, nearly all were unaged. Similar to my appeal of unaged agave, rum seems to hit for me without the introduction of oak.

Rum Fire and Wray & Nephew are two bottles I adore. I make a fair bit of cocktails with both and only reach for aged demerara rums when called for in recipes. I like aged rum, but I’ve never fallen in love with one. Exploring rum more often now and I am more than happy to try something new especially if it’s high-ester rum!

More info on this bottling can be found on Velier’s website.

Distillery: Hampden Estate.

Region: Trelawny, Jamaica.

ABV: 60%.

Age: 4 Years.

Cask type: Ex-Bourbon.

Price: $130.

Color: 0,8, Deep Gold. Natural Color. Minimal filtration.

Tasting Notes

Tasted neat in a Glencairn glass with 10+ minutes of rest. A small amount of dilution was added with an additional rest of about half an hour.

Nose: The nose initially is a pungent, sweet, nail polish remover that thankfully diminishes entirely with a few minutes of rest in the glass. Banana leaves, palm fronds, corn husks – a vegetal undertone to dark molasses syrup. Allspice dram aromas with nutmeg, cinnamon, and peppercorns. Raw cane sugar and light espresso notes. Plantains, yucca, and mandarin orange peels. With even more rest I started to get a sour aroma like kiwi or tamarind. A touch of water brings aromas that remind me of old-fashioned spice drop candies and candied fennel seeds.

Palate: Why is this so sour? Unripe bananas, kiwi peels, and sour tamarind candy. It’s shutting off my brain I can’t compute this flavor in a spirit! Behind the sour fruits are deep molasses flavors, oatmeal raisin cookies, and a raspberry dark chocolate bar. Water blooms with hot chili oil and black peppercorns. Mango salsa and chili crisp. An odd balance that I wasn’t quite expecting.

Finish: The palate was completely wild and now the finish brings familiarity. Astringent youthful oak and vibrant floral vanillins. It’s very garden-esc and vegetal in profile. An herbaceous finish with edible flowers and bee pollen. Water thankfully enhances the sweeter flavors of molasses and ginger cookies. Vegetal still but with a splash of burnt caramel. The lingering fruity oak flavor is quite enjoyable and my cheeks are coated in a pleasant leathery oak flavor.


I’m not the biggest rum drinker but just experiencing a delightfully sour spirit was fascinating. I was that kid who sucked on lemons and limes, reveling in the acidic tart flavors. I’ve been in love with sour candy for as long as I can remember but have yet to experience it in a spirit to this magnitude.

This was a fun sample but I don’t know where this would land for rum drinkers. It’s the opposite of a ‘crushable’ bottle to me. A distinct flavor that feels situation-specific to a dish or cocktail.

I don’t feel confident scoring this rum, but I do recommend giving this a try.