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High Ester Liquid Crazy

The masses have demanded more Hampden from our spirits team at K&L and so we went out and found another cask of the rum world's most notoriously ester-laden pot still rum. Hampden is to esters, the chemical compounds that form when alcohol molecules merge with acids during distillation, what Ardbeg or Laphroaig are to peat: high octane and unbridled (by the way, if you're curious about how esters and acids impact flavor, I like Matt Pietrek's article about Hampden's dunder process here). This 9 year old edition of Hampden is full of candied pineapple mixed with petrol, along with crazy combinations of brine, bitter, and sweet. Olives and mango? Banana and scorched earth? Call them crazy, but these potent and in your face flavors are exactly what the rum world is geeking out about at the moment. Do not expect an easy ride from this 62% ABV beast of a rum. Expect to have your horizons expanded and your mind blown. 

2007 Hampden 9 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Jamaican Rum $69.99 - With Hampden distillery's reputation for complex and intensely-flavored pot still rum on the rise, we've been working hard to track down as many full proof, unadulterated single barrels as possible. Our last cask sold out in less than 48 hours and we're expecting a similar cult-like customer response to this potent 9 year old edition: a 62.7% rum that's brimming with all the characteristics we've come to love about this funky Jamaican spirit. The nose is a swirl of petrol, tropical fruit, and the trademark ester-driven, banana-esque bouquet we've come to love about Hampden. The palate has the perfect amount of sweetness from the oak maturation, softening the edges and letting the aforementioned aromas expand to electric levels of intensity. There are notes of olive, grass, sugar cane, and anise all merging together under the guise of a tropical fruit umbrella. It's one of the world's most bizarrely invigorating spirits coming to life in a cask strength, unbridled expression. Not for the faint of heart or the unadventurous!

-David Driscoll