Hampden Estate

This renowned distillery is located in the Trelawny Parish in the north west of Jamaica, an area historically representing the grand cru of Jamaican rum, characterised by an incredible biodiversity. Hampden Estate has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1753, making it one of the oldest estates in the Caribbean. It has maintained the same production methods and techniques for the last two centuries, such as the use of its own spring water, prolonged fermentation time with wild yeasts, tropical ageing, no added colorants and sugar, and distillation exclusively in pot stills.

One integral part of the production process that gives Hampden rums that high ester content is the addition of “dead wort” into the distillation. Once alcoholic fermentation of sugar cane has taken place—usually 8 to 15 days—it is drawn off, and placed into the still. The top layer, and the dregs, are left in the fermentation vessel for two weeks to allow all sorts of native bacteria to develop. This “dead wort” is then placed into the still with fermented sugar cane, and distillation begins in copper stills, taking around seven hours to complete. The spirit comes off the still at around 82% ABV, which is barrelled up and left to mature. The result is a highly characterful and expressive rum, of a quality unlike many else. Hampden rums were only found as single barrel releases until Master Distiller Vivian Wisdom decided to create the very first aged distillery releases from Hampden Estate in 265 years, bottled at 46% and 60%.