Blackadder Raw Cask Finest Jamaica 2000 Hampden 14 Year – 57.4%
Stats: Independent bottling of a single cask Hampden distillate from September 2000 that aged 14 years continentally, rumored to be the LROK marque. Only 202 bottles were produced with no filtration or additives.
Background: I first got to try this expression several years back in the Bamboo Room of Three Dots & A Dash in Chicago as part of a guided tasting with Kevin Beary. Up to that point, I had not been aware of the existence of Hampden as a rum producer, though certain elements of their craft had been present in blends I was very familiar with, such as Smith & Cross. So this was my first foray into single cask, single marque Hampden exploration and boy did it blow me away and start me on a path of discovery. Very soon after, Rum Fire was launched, followed by several other Hampden Estate and Habitation Velier releases that I’ve since come to love and/or enjoy and/or appreciate along with many other single mark indie bottlings that have crossed my path. Being several years removed from my first taste of this particular bottling on that fateful night, I am super grateful to u/spicvandyke on Reddit for procuring a bottle and sampling me on it so I could see how my memory and palate perceive it today.
Conditions: Drank neat in a Glencairn over the course of two sessions with no dilution.
Nose: Forest, cinnamon, nutmeg, humidor, muskiness, plums, seaweed, slightly “off” milk
Mouth: Cloyingly sweet pineapple juice, rotting bananas, guava, cracked pepper, clove, anise, salami, orange bitters
Final Thoughts: A small pour of this just fills the room with a delightful fruity aroma. Nosing the glass brings forth heavier spice and musky notes. The palate is a wild ride. Now that I’ve experienced quite a few Hampden expressions of different ages, marques and ABV’s, I don’t find this one to be in the upper echelon of the distilleries output, but I could see why it spoke so profoundly to me when I first got the opportunity to try it. My taste buds had never experienced anything like it. Assuming this is the LROK marque, I find it to be more enjoyable than Hampden’s current 11 year LROK on the market, and also prefer it over the 10 year and NY Edition HV LROKs. If I could find this locally for under $150, I would surely pick it up.
My Rating: 4
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
Note: Image borrowed from spiritradar.com