7 Jamaican Rums: Hampden, Worthy Park, Long Pond, Clarendon

7 Jamaican Rums: Hampden, Worthy Park, Long Pond, Clarendon

Rum time again, only from Jamaica. Expect funky esters, proper of slow fermentations, as well as some dunder.

I believe there are six distilleries in Jamaica. Today we focus on Hampden, Clarendon (home to Monymusk), Worthy Park and Long Pond.


HD 32 yo 1990 (53,1%, The Whisky Jury 2023, refill barrel #CH1990)

Nose: someone tried to glue together a dozen of overripe bananas. Then pickled olives, pineapple, sour cherry. The ester level is so high that you get a little buttermilk and citrus. Aniseed and light vanilla. Then back to acetone and new plastics, as well as pine needles and Hammerite. Geeky rum.

Mouth: ester galore, attacking your tongue (and saliva). The acidity is quite extreme, with sour fruits like fermented pineapples, green bananas and a lot of citrus. Really sour, but quaffable. Then brine, white pepper, anise and hints of pencil shavings. Acetone too, even a whiff of vinegar. More plastics and glue, as well as oak spice and green olives in brine towards the end.

Finish: very long and rather more gentle now, folding down to sour citrus notes with green olives and some umami echoes in the background.

This is quite something. The ester level here is 1300-1400 g/hlpa, better known as the C<>H marque or Continental Hampden. Even that cannot be mentioned explicitly, or so it seems. Anyway, the ABV is well chosen, in my opinion, keeping this extreme ester bomb at a drinkable level. Whether this is too much or within limits, is your call.



HD 10 yo 2012 (58,3%, The Roots 2023, cask #25, 229 btl.)

HD 2012 (Hampden) - The Roots Nose: much fresher pineapple this time, as well as orange peels and bananas. Whiffs of aniseed and liquorice alongside caramel and brown sugar. There is a clear hint of acetone or Edding permanent markers, but it’s actually quite rounded and accessible.

Mouth: a confirmation of its balanced nature. Peaches, pineapple, with hints of sage, dried mint, brine and liquorice. Then resinous notes, flints, but also light honey and hints of sour grapes. The funky side is perhaps a little more prominent, but still a nicely balanced Hampden.

Finish: medium length, on herbal notes, peppered lemons, salt and green olives.

This is not an ester monster. However its relatively accessible profile also makes it dangerously drinkable. Sweet fruitiness with mild funk. I thought it would be sacrilege to have such a youngster after the much older TWJ, but it came off really well. Sold out as far as I can tell. Score: 89/100



Clarendon 21 yo 1999 (56,2%, Flensburg Rum Company 2020, cask #3, 257 btl.)

Clarendon 1999 - Flensburg Rum Company Nose: quite mineral, with a narrow, oily profile. Sunflower oil, later developing mild nutty notes and grasses. No pungency but not a lot of complexity either. Fruits are very discreet, just a hint of fresh pineapple. Later aniseed and green banana leaves come out.

Mouth: more green banana, pineapple sourness and nice citrus. Grapefruit and lime too. Really fresh. More vegetal oils, a hint of vanilla ice cream, mint and anise. Firm saline notes. It shows green olives after a while. Again really bright and fresh.

Finish: quite long, still very citrusy and vibrant.

A slightly uncommon style, with less funkiness but a perfectly bright, vibrant citrusy core. Total freshness and really drinkable. Clarendon is one of the Jamaican nams that we have less experience with, but this is really beautiful. Score: 90/100



Clarendon 17 yo 2004 (57,1%, Precious Liquors for Bar Lamp Ginza 2022, cask #433877, 299 btl.)

Clarendon 2004 - Precious Liquors Nose: much more varnish and solvents. A little acetone while also showing marzipan, bananas and green olives. Pears and citrus zest too. A little wood spice, liquorice and light petrol. Far less focused than the 1999, which means more complex.

Mouth: sweeter now, with a lot of anise, red apple and orange peel. Mentholated notes too, as well as light mocha. Hints of butter toffee in the background. Some saline notes and herbal potions, but less pungent than the nose suggested. Hints of leather in the end.

Finish: quite long, on spicy wood, mint, ginseng and dried herbs.

A fun bottling, balancing sharper notes with a sweeter side. Overall perhaps a little rougher than the others. Score: 86/100



Jamaican Rum JMWP 14 yo 2007 (58,1%, The Whisky Blues for The Alcohol Bar & The Whiskey Seeker 2021, barrel #61, 274 btl.)

Worthy Park JMWP 2007 - The Whisky Blues Nose: caramelized sugars up front. Baked bananas, juicy plums, plenty of toffee and a little chocolate. Then salty hints, peppery oak, mint leaves and pine needles. Ginger and clove. It seems to become sharper over time, but later the plummy notes, melons and other fruits get stronger as well. Entertaining.

Mouth: still this sharper side. Lots of pine needles, green tea, lemon peels and caramom. Green bananas and pineapples in the background, as well as light brine and a woody dryness. Liquorice and leafy notes.

Finish: long, salty and woody, wih hints of banana and cold coffee.

A sharper style. I really liked the complex nose, showing nice fruity notes, but it’s narrow and slightly harsh on the palate. Long gone, I believe. Score: 87/100



Long Pond 18 yo 2004 (60%, Rum Sponge 2023, refill barrel, 284 btl.)

Long Pond 2004 - Rum Sponge

Nose: a fairly creamy pot style with low esters. Fresh coconut shavings, with hints of molasses and just subtle whiffs of diesel oils. Banana, light vanilla, as well as some chocolate. Then sharper ginger and liquorice, as well as light brine. Hints of pineapple and caramel too.

Mouth: sweet woody notes, alongside caramel and coconut. Seems slightly commercial in a way, but it’s interesting enough. Bananas, cake dough, spiced toffee. Then a little honey and sugared latte.

Finish: long, with more caramelized notes, wood spice and tonka bean.

A nice Long Pond with a firm tyropical fingerprint. Plenty of sweetness balanced by wood spice. Sold out from Decadent Drinks, but still available from Royal Mile Whiskies or TyndrumWhisky. Score: 88/100



Long Pond 2007 (66,6%, Spirits Project 2023, refill barrel, 247 btl.)

Long Pond 2007 - Spirits Project Nose: nicely volatile, with plenty of nail polish, other kinds of varnishes and black olives. Liquorice and freshly glued oak closely behind. Then banana leaves, hints of plums, toasty cloves, hazelnuts and candied lemon. Plenty of menthol too.

Mouth: really hot and heavy, with savoury spice, salted glue, more lemon sourness and hints of coffee beans. Nuts, ripe pineapple, black peppercorns and this drying varnished note. It takes water well, becoming slightly more rounded and caramelly.

Finish: very long, quite spicy, with echoes of sweeter things in the background.

While not extremely estery (TECC style), this is quite a heavy hitter. The mere alcohol kick and the wood spice gives it a real boost. Water is required though. Check Angelo’s Spirit Project. Score: 89/100