Review: Jamaica 5 Years Old (Hampden) – Rum Exchange

The Jamaica 5 Years Old comes from the Rum Exchange made in collaboration with the guys from 1423 World Class Spirits. Andreas Isopp is the Rum Exchange creator – which, besides the website linked, it’s also a Facebook group designed for selling and <surprise!> exchanging rums.

Andreas (Dornbirn, Austria) started his rum journey around about 8 years ago and 4 years later he started buying/collecting different bottles reaching an outstanding number of around 300 bottles of rum. Following his rum passion last year he quit his job and started importing products from 1423, the same company which helped him create his own bottlings. The first 2 hail from Jamaica, one from Worthy Park finished in ex-Ruby port casks and one from Hampden which is finished in ex-Oloroso casks – the later being the subject of this review.

Now, as I mentioned, in my bottle there is Hampden distillate, aged for 3 years in Jamaica and 2 years in Denmark in ex-Oloroso casks (distilled in 2013 – bottled in 2019). Molasses based and pot still distilled, bottled at a decent 61.5% ABV with no additives, not even caramel colouring. 355 bottles only, it does look promising.

On the nose there is this sweet sulphuric aroma, but not the kind would normally put me off. Good ol’ rotten tropical fruits, especially banana and pineapple followed by a drier note of red wine. Ginger and cloves for a bit of spiciness, sweet raisins, lemon zest and cherry filled chocolate. A tad of rubber and mushroomy notes underneath. Smells quite rich and sweet but I doubt I’ll find the same amount of sweetness on the palate.

On the palate the ABV does bite a bit but not as much as I was expecting giving it’s youth. Same cherry-chocolate combo upfront followed by the overripe tropical fruits and sweet pear. Savoury notes mid palate, varnish and a bit of ginger that are quickly overwhelmed by a marmalade-ish aroma and followed by a smokey note I’ve often found in Hampdens. The sweetness comes at the beginning but towards the end it becomes drier finishing with some earl grey tea and a slightly spicy and smokey tobacco taste. The finish is quite long but the heat from the ABV is longer.

This is a young rum but don’t let that fool you, it does pack quite a flavoursome punch and it’s very complex giving its age. Great stuff, now I just need to try the Worthy Park one. You can find both in the link above. Now Andreas told me there are other 2 bottlings on the way and I’m looking forward to see and try what else he has to offer.

Jamaica 5 Years Old (Hampden) – Rum Exchange score:
Flavour/taste: 56/70
Value for money: 11/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 82/100


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