Distilled and Bottled by Hampden
Color: reddish gold
Intro: Hampden’s 11yr Light Rum Owen Kelly (or LROK) is a special release containing some of the distillery’s oldest spirit at the time of its bottling. This bottle is 100% LROK, a marquee whose ester levels range from 300 to 400 gr/hl (grams per hectoliter). It has been aged 11 years in Jamaica before being dumped and proofed down to 47% ABV. It’s bottled without coloring or chill filtration. The bottle is styled after Hampden’s Estate 46 and Overproof 60 rums with its dark glass and busy, informative label.
Nose: A lovely rum to nose. One sniff gives me a big hit of ripe banana and banana peel closely followed by Bazooka Joe bubble gum. Underpinning those notes are pleasant floral notes which transition to clove spice with a hint of candied bacon and a pinch of sea salt.
Palate: The medium weight mouthfeel gives way to a blend of sweet, sour and spicy notes, beginning with Green banana followed by grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar and a touch more of the nose‘s clove note.
Finish: A long finish full of burnt popcorn and butter, there’s molasses and a continuation of that persistent clove spice. All of which pair nicely with a return of the bubble gum note from the nose.
Rating: 7/10, Very Good
Conclusion: We’ll get the elephant in the room out of the way right now: this rum is good but absurdly overpriced. I can buy a bottle of Great House and Overproof for the price of Hampden’s 11yr LROK. The worst part is that I like both of those more than this bottle which feels like it’s about $100 too expensive.
Although I love Hampden and their delicious, funky rum, this bottling marks a worrying trend of special releases being too extravagantly priced (looking at you birds). And because their core line-up is delicious and affordable, it is difficult to recommend buying this release over their core line or the exceptional Great House.
If you want to try marques like LROK to experience all it has to offer, you’re better off looking for independent bottlings or grabbing Hampden’s own “The Younger.” A 5 year old LROK bottled at the same ABV and about one third the price of this 2010 vintage.
Ratings | Description
1 | Undrinkable
2 | Bad
3 | Poor
4 | Below Average
5 | Average
6 | Above Average
7 | Very Good
8 | Great
9 | Excellent
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