A mix of 24+ year old Jamaican rums for $57? How could I pass? This is supposedly a mix of Appleton and Monymusk casks, and since it doesn't have the usual funk of Hampden, I'm inclined to believe it. It's bottled by the Smooth Ambler folks in West Virginia, who usually sell re-labeled MGPI bourbon and rye.
So how is it? Not mind-blowing, but it's pretty damned good. Quite like a Calvados, actually, with heavy Christmas spices a lot of oak on the back end. Blind that's what I would have guessed it was. There's a bit of "old Clynelish/Benrinnes" Highland taste too. Very little sweetness whatsoever, and certainly not immediately identifiable as a rum. There are some light acetone notes that detract on the finish (a touch over-oaked?), but it's a small nit.
If you're hoping for a Hampden ester-bomb, you'll be disappointed. It's got none of the farmy, pot-still notes that I usually demand in my Jamaican rums, but it's strong enough to stand on its own legs. Needless to say I've demolished the bottle pretty quickly, if that's a sign of the quality.
Recommended, if only because there's basically no good rum on the average whisky store shelf. Everything in U.S. rum is 80 proof and chill-filtered, or filled with sugar and caramel coloring. This cuts a different path. Until the Kill Devil/Golden Devil series gets wider distribution and single cask indie-bottled rums hit more U.S. shelves, this is a top player.
86 pts, B. You can only drink so much Springbank and Laphroaig. And this isn't some candy-ass, sugary, watery affair. Give it a whirl if you can handle heavy oak.