Letter of Marque Hampden “DOK” 2009 8YO

If you have been following the rum scene on Social Media you may know it already but if not, I have very exciting news for you. Together with my buddies from Rumboom and Barrel Aged Thoughts I have been involved in a very special project: We are about to release our very own rum! Under the label “Letter of Marque”, we will constantly be looking for very special casks of rum as you don’t get them every day. That said, don’t expect very frequent or even regular releases from us though. Instead, we will only be releasing special and exceptional single cask rums that we are absolutely convinced of. Getting these is no easy task of course but we will do whatever we can to bring these treasures to you!
For our first release, we have selected a “DOK”, a mark that is used by Hampden to describe rums that have been distilled with an ester concentration of 1500-1600 g/hlaa, the maximum allowed by the Jamaican government. What is more, this is probably the very first aged DOK bottled at cask strength ever!
Here are my tasting notes of our first release, which should already give you a rough idea of what to expect.

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-18 at 09.47.14 (2)Letter of Marque Hampden “DOK” 2009 8YO (Jamaica, 66,4%): Right after pouring you will find that this is high ester territory. Grilled pineapple, ripe oranges, nail polish remover, glue, mixed fruit jam and notes of marzipan loaf enter my nostrils. Behind that we find a sea of vanilla and oaky aromas. A pleasant sweetness balances out slightly sour citrus notes and fruity esters. At the palate we immediately meet the fruity aromas from the nose again, which are now joined by a decent bitterness from the wood. Vanilla, varnish, ginger bread, cinnamon and cloves are just some of the flavours I am picking up, though none of them is dominating in any form. With the third and fourth sip I can further detect green apples, quince and a few selected fresh herbal notes. The finish is ultra long and will leave you with a mix of adstringent and dry notes as well as sweet and fruity nuances.

Almost a year lies between the initial cask sample that made us want to get the rum and the final release. Cross-tasting the final product with the cask sample from last year reveals a few interesting insights. While the rum didn’t change drastically, marginal differences are clearly recognisable. Relatively speaking, the rum is now slightly more woody, heavier, rounder, a little less fruity and, surprisingly, the notes of vanilla are less pronounced. I didn’t expect that!

If you want to learn more about our rum, what it is, where it comes from, its release date, where to get it and to stay up to date with what’s going on with Letter of Marque in general, make sure to follow our blogs and, more importantly, the Letter of Marque Facebook page. Moreover, you can also check out our Instagram profile for news. These are very exciting days for us and I hope that we’ve found a rum that you find just as fascinating as we do!
Finally, a big thanks goes to Jens and Michael from The Whisky Cask/ The Rum Cask, who helped us realising our dream!

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