Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kill Devil 16 Year Old (Hampden Distillery, Jamaica)

46%, Distilled: 1998, Bottled: 2016.

Look, I won't bore you with a bunch of boring preamble. This bottle crushes.

It smells like apple pie, melted butter and sour cream (that's slightly past its sell-by date). But my hackneyed attempt to pinpoint the exact flavor analogs can't do it justice. This is a truly earthy nose, just so complex and intoxicating. This should be re-distilled into an essential oil so I can smother myself in it and frighten my co-workers.

And the palate is dynamite: sweet mango, a "gym locker" funk, a kind of rotting fruit odor (which might sound gross, but it's amazing) and a nice bit of spice. This is one of those times when my tasting notes simply fail. Hampden rum is like peated whisky: it's polarizing and brilliant, and if you can't "get it", then I can't respect your palate, or you as a person, generally.

Normally, I'm not a big rum guy, as I find them too sugary and one-note. This is in a category by itself. Props to Sku and K&L for alerting me to Hampden. This is one of the finest spirits I've tasted in a while. It's Springbank quality. I'm almost reluctant to share this with the public, because I want to hoard it all for myself.

89 points/B+. Unique, wonderful stuff. Can't wait to try the 24 year old Kill Devil cask.

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