Brand: Down Island Spirits

Origin: Hampden Estate, Wakefield, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica

Still: Pot

Age: 10 years

Finish: ex-Bourbon

ABV: 60%

Down Island Spirits Jamaica HD 2012 was one of the Florida-based independent bottler's first forays into the rum scene, arriving with rums from other favorite producers like Worthy Park and Foursquare.

The rum was initially produced at Hampden Estate– technically undisclosed, but the location of "Trelawny" on the bottle's label and the "HD" initialism point to the famed distillery– on a copper pot still in 2012. It spent 3 years aging on-site, before being transported to the UK for an additional 7 years of maturation at Main Rum Company in Liverpool; all aging was done in an ex-Bourbon cask. A total of 238 bottles were yielded from the cask, each with a strength of 60% ABV.

On the question of which marque this is, there has been some ambiguity in online discussions that I've seen. I sent an email to Mike, asking him if he knew and/or could disclose; he confirmed that this is the OWH marque. Given that the Hampden 8 year expression is blend of 100% OWH rums, a fun comparison can be had between the 8 year and this Down Island single barrel of the same marque (aged for 2 years longer, with some continental aging).

This sample was provided to me by /u/LIFOanAccountant, a fellow rum reviewer on /r/rum and at MaltRunners.com.


Dark copper, low viscosity


Overripe pineapple, banana split, blueberries, vanilla frosting, peach pits, muddled red grapes, light creaminess


Overripe banana and pineapple, powdered sugar, vanilla, jackfruit, butterscotch, sour red grapes, stewed blueberries


Long, fruity, complex; sour grape mixture, banana peel, jackfruit, vanilla, butterscotch

Rating: 8/10


If you're wondering if this is like every other Hampden bottling you've had, I can tell you it's not. Jamaica HD 2012 brings the storied distillery's staple notes of tropical fruit, but marries those with elements of delicate confections.

Pineapple, banana, blueberries, and jackfruit are all over the place in this tasting, which is balanced by sweet dessert notes like vanilla frosting, butterscotch, creamy banana split, and what I can only describe as a "zing" of powdered sugar that sits at the top of the palate. The classic jackfruit flavor is amplified by sour grapes in the long, fruity finish. This is a 60% rum? No it's not; it drinks closer to the high 40s to me, perhaps eased by the dessert notes versus bombarded solely by fruit after rotting fruit.

This is a solid bottle, and a no-brainer purchase if you want a single cask, decade-old Hampden rum at a great value.

Further Reading