Stats: K&L Wines Exclusive Single Cask pick under the Golden Devil label of a 12 year, continentally aged Hampden Estate C<>H marque (1300-1400 esters), bottled at 64.1% ABV, with only 290 bottles produced.
Nose: Delightful fruit bouquet… fresh pineapple, mango, and banana, not of the typical rotting or overripe funk variety, but more of a Laffy Taffy/Starburst candy sweetness. Strawberry Hubba Bubba. Bonkers candy (anyone remember those?!) Heavy dose of cinnamon. Graham cracker. Toasted coconut. Sidewalk chalk. Elmer’s glue. Mild pencil shavings. Cut grass. A light sprinkle of rain on the pavement. This truly evokes a sense of childhood, both sitting in a classroom as well as playing outside. No spirit has ever triggered my sense memory this way. There’s no astringency whatsoever. No nail polish, varnish, ethanol or other indicator of how high proof this is unless I stick my nose way in the Glencairn and get a slight sting. Has well integrated/underlying baking spice notes like nutmeg and clove. This truly has one of the most rewarding noses of any rum I’ve tried to date. It just keeps giving more and more notes to savor. I don’t even wanna sip it after 20 minutes cuz I’m enjoying it so much. But I suppose I should…
Mouth: Holy crap. Warm and oily, gives a thick mouth coating feel. Well intigrated heat. Drinks well below the 64% it boasts. Strawberry chew, sauce for shortcake, cherry cola, overripe pineapple, mushy bananas. An earthy/soiliness, some olive juice, lots of cinnamon, a musty, tobacco-filled study festooned with elderly gentlemen enshrined in worn leather chesterfields reading the daily paper. Anise, allspice. This is truly magnificent.
Final Thoughts: I’m in love! My imagination has never run so wild from nosing and tasting a spirit. I usually can pick out maybe 5 notes from any pour and struggle for more, but this one brought so much to the surface. This is the bottle that all other rums should be judged against. And it should be readily available for the WORLD to enjoy! Not just a single cask stationed in California (I jumped many a hoop to get this to Texas). I honestly think the whole category of rum would be elevated if people from all walks of life were exposed to this. Kudos on this pick.
My rating: 5
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle
I indeed bought a back up and feel my back up needs a back up. This is as good as it gets.