Brand: Hampden Estate, 8 Marks series

Origin: Hampden Estate, Wakefield, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica

Still: Pot

Age: Unaged

Finish: n/a

ABV: 60%

With HLCF, we arrive near the middle of the Hampden 8 Marks Collection; this is the beginning of the higher end of the ester spectrum that Hampden produces.

HLCF stands for "Hampden Light Continental Flavoured", indicating that this marque may have been among those sold to European (the eponymous "continent") broker/blenders in the 1800s. Firms in countries like Germany were importing high-ester rums for blending, taking advantage of the lower volume needed to produce a flavorful product– and lowering the amount of import taxes paid by the firms.

During fermentation, HLCF uses a medium level of molasses, low levels of cane juice vinegar and dunder, and low amounts of muck addition. After 3 days of alcoholic fermentation, the dead wash is left for 4 days, equalling a total of 7 days of fermentation and yielding a wash measuring 2-4% ABV. It's then sent through a double retort pot still for distillation, producing a rum ranging 85.5-86.5% ABV.

The following Hampden Estate releases contain the HLCF marque: Rum Fire (100% HLCF), HLCF Classic (100% HLCF), and Great House 2023 (40% HLCF).


Clear, medium viscosity


Fresh pineapple, paint primer, banana, mango, blueberries, dates, sugarcane


Pineapple, banana, mango, glue, blueberries, green grapes, green bell pepper


Medium length, minerality, fruity; pineapple, banana peel, mango, green grapes, white vinegar

Rating: 8/10


HLCF is excellent; unsurprsing, given that Rum Fire is also excellent. This has plenty of funk and complexity, without being overwhelming and muddied.

Fresh pineapple, banana, mango, blueberries, green grapes, blueberries– summertime fruit salad, or main notes of the HLCF marque? The answer is both. Dates are also present on the nose, which again shares some chemical paint primer, and freshly-cut sugarcane. Green bell pepper comes in the palate and continues in the finish, where it's joined by white vinegar, which provides some bitterness.

This mid-range marque is delightful and wonderfully balanced, making it seem like a no-brainer to use for Hampden's overproof offerings. HLCF acts as an on-ramp into the higher end of the collection, which makes me excited to see what the rest of the range has in store.

Further Reading