Brand: Hamilton

Origin: Diamond Distillery, Diamond, Guyana

Still: Pot & Column Blend

Age: NAS

Finish: ex-Bourbon*

ABV: 75.5%

For review #151, I cannot in good conscience pass up the opportunity to analyze perhaps the best-known 151 proof rum in the American market. Hamilton 151 is often specifically requested in recipes that range from Smuggler's Cove, to the Total Tiki app, to Liquor.com; it's renowned for the rich demerara character, delivered in a high octane package.

Like all Hamilton rums, the 151 expression is imported by Ed Hamilton, and was originally produced by Demerara Distillers Ltd (DDL) in Guyana. This is a blend of pot and column distillates that were aged up to 5 years in presumably ex-Bourbon casks; this info comes from the Hamilton 86 expression details, as the two are identical aside from proof.

Per Ed's Caribbean-Spirits.com website, the DDL bulk rum is imported in 1,000 liter IBC tanks at a strength of 77% ABV, and diluted to the appropriate proof– 75.5% for 151– using filtered water.


Orange-brown, low viscosity


Ethanol, brown sugar, Play-Doh, prunes, graham cracker


Brown sugar, prunes, caramel


Long, hot, sweet; brown sugar, prunes, ethanol

Rating: 6/10


Surprising to nobody, Hamilton 151 is a very strong rum, and not one I typically consider drinking neat, aside from reviewing. However, there's a great deal of flavor packed into this flammable expression, even if it is limited to a handful of notes.

Amongst the ever-present stinging of ethanol, brown sugar and prunes are heavily present in all segments of the experience. They're joined by lesser notes of Play-Doh, graham cracker, and caramel.

As far as high proof spirits go, you can't really do better than Hamilton 151 for your tiki cocktail needs, or if you ever need human-consumable fuel for a flaming garnish.

Where to Buy

Recommended Cocktails

  • Zombie (Donn the Beachcomber, adapted by Smuggler's Cove, 1940s)
  • Jet Pilot (Luau, Beverly Hills, CA, 1958)
  • Cobra's Fang (Donn the Beachcomber, 1937)

Further Reading

*When the type cask used for aging is not specified, we make an educated guess that it is an ex-Bourbon cask as most aged rums utilize this barrel type.