Brand: Hampden Estate, Great House series
Origin: Hampden Estate, Wakefield, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica
To culminate this series of Great House rum reviews, we once again look at a Hampden rum. Just like the 2020 Edition, Hampden Great House 2021 honors the legacy of the mansion that has played many different roles in the estate's operations.
The 2021 expression is a bit different, however. The blend is switched up and features equal parts LFCH ("Lawrence Francis Close Hussey") and <>H. As we know from the 2020 edition, <>H is a Hampden signature marque that features an ester range of 900-1000 g/hLAA, while LFCH is another lighter marque at 85-120 g/hLAA.
This edition was again bottled by Velier at a strength of 55% ABV, and had an estimated yield of 2,400 bottles. Like the proof and the blend's constituent marques, the Great House label has also been updated from the 2020 edition, and features a scarlet color scheme, differing from 2020's forest green.
Amber, with medium clarity, medium-high viscosity
Pineapples, dough, malt vinegar, strawberries, oranges, grapes, cola spice, vanilla
Cola spices, pineapple, bananas, oak, cinnamon, vanilla beans, rotting tropical fruits
Long, spicy, tannic, fruity; rotting bananas and strawberries, cinnamon, rye sspice, oak, gummy bears
Hampden Great House 2021 is another fantastic entry into the Great House series. It's got some nice fruity flavors, but features a more complex nose and palate than 2020, and leans into spicy notes more than funky/fruity notes.
Great House 2021 is an amber color, with medium clarity and medium-high viscosity.
The nose offers notes of pineapples, dough, malt vinegar, strawberries, oranges, grapes, cola spice, and after a while, vanilla. It has expected notes like pineapple, strawberry, orange, and grape are met with some less expected and more savory notes like dough, malt vinegar (it's not too overt, but I definitely pick that up), and cola spice.
2021's palate has notes of cola spices, pineapple, bananas, oak, cinnamon, earthy vanilla beans, and an assortment of rotting tropical fruits. Definitely a spice and oak-forward sip, with the fruity notes taking a back seat to the cinnamon, vanilla bean, and cola spices. The oak is a bit aggressive, almost rushing the experience towards the finish. A little too oaky for my taste, but not at all a bad palate.
The finish of Great House 2021 is long, spicy, tannic, and fruity. Some rotting bananas and strawberries, cinnamon, rye-type spices, oak, and fruity gummy bears. Definitely some funk and fruit in the finish, but similar to the palate, the drying cinnamon, rye, and oak steal the show to an extent. The finish culminates in some nice gummy bear notes, and even though it's a bit dry and oaky, is quite pleasant.
All in all, the Great House 2021 experience is entertaining and enjoyable. It did not wow me as much as the 2020 edition did, but it has its own charm and highlights. 2021 steps up the funk game as far as the blend marques go, which is fun for those rum enthusiasts like me who like to be challenged every once in a while. If you see this bottle lingering on the shelf, this is definitely a great buy, and will help set the stage for the incoming 2022 Great House edition.