Brand: Hampden Estate, 8 Marks series

Origin: Hampden Estate, Wakefield, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica

Still: Pot

Age: Unaged

Finish: n/a

ABV: 60%

LROK is the next stop on our tour of the Hampden 8 Marks Collection; this marque, which stands for Light Rum Owen Kelly, was created in 1952 and corresponds to a range of 200-400 g/hLAA of esters. Searching for "Owen Kelly" doesn't bring anyone up with that exact name (as relating to Hampden Estate), however it is the partial name of one Dermot Owen Kelly-Lawson, a historical owner of the estate and distiller. Fans of high-ester and/or Jamaican rum will recognize the name from the infamous DOK (Dermot Owen Kelly) marque; more on that in a future review.

Starting with raw materials, LROK utilizes medium amounts of molasses, and is the first in the range to use cane juice vinegar, dunder, and muck– each in a low amount. These materials are fermented for 5 total days: 3 days in alcoholic fermentation, and another 2 days as a dead wash; the result is a 2-4% ABV wash. This is then put through a double retort pot still, resulting in a rum that ranges from 85.5-86.5% ABV.

The marque seems to be enjoying a lot of popularity, considering it is present in several estate bottlings as the sole marque in the blend. Habitation Velier also has a number of LROK expressions, both aged and unaged.

The following Hampden Estate releases contain the LROK marque: LROK The Younger 5 year (100% LROK), LROK 2010 11 year (100% LROK), and Great House 2023 (60% LROK).


Clear, medium viscosity


Pineapples, heavy duty permanent marker, underripe blueberries, yeast, banana peel, starfruit


Pineapple, shishito pepper, banana peel, mango, starfruit, guava, hint of jackfruit


Medium length, fruity, vegetal; banana peel, mango, guava, shishito pepper

Rating: 7/10


LROK is just a good standby, and it's no surprise that this mid-range marque has been chosen for standalone bottlings as it has. This is approachable, while still giving plenty of complexity and funk.

The (in)famous Hampden glue note is present in this, as is the almost token pineapple and banana aromas and flavors, although they are more fleshed out here. Stinging permanent marker comes through on the nose, while shishito pepper shows a vegetal side to the palate and finish that compliments mango, guava, starfruit, and jackfruit.

The other LROK standalone expressions I've tried have been aged, so having LROK as an unaged expression is fun as a comparison. In all, solid rum with a good amount of funk.

Further Reading