Hampden <H> 2010 Velier 7 Year Old / 70th Anniversary
Velier was founded by Casimir Chaix in Genoa in 1947 as a wine and spirits importer and distributor. By the 1980s they were still a small family-company with less than ten staff. This all changed in 1986 when it was purchased by Luca Gargano, a former brand ambassador for Saint James who was at the time still in his twenties. Under his direction, they selected their first single cask whiskies in 1992, and their first rum in 1996. In the decades that followed, Velier have gone on to become one of the most collectible brands in the industry, and Gargano has positioned them as the one of the foremost authorities and bottlers of rum anywhere in the world.
Named Diamond H, this is a blend of 5 casks produced at the Hampden Estate distillery in Jamaica. Distilled in 2010 and aged 7 tropical years before bottling in 2017 for the company's 70th anniversary.
The cask mark "<>H" is used by Hampden to denote rums with an ester count between 900-1000 g/hlaa. Whether it was written as "<H>" on the box is a typing error or a stylistic choice from Velier is unclear. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels. The label features artwork #107 by Warren Khong, an exclusive commission.
The Hampden Estate was founded in 1753 by a Scotsman called Archibald Sterling, in the Queen of Spain valley of Jamaica’s Trelawny parish. For 250 years it remained family owned, selling rum to third-party blenders and independent bottlers. Mismanagement however meant that by 2003 it was in financial trouble, with the Jamaican government stepping in to assume ownership and some of its debt in order to preserve the jobs of its employees. They sold it in 2009 to the Hussey family’s Everglades Farms, who as first point of business began laying down the casks that would eventually become the first Hampden Estate labelled official bottling of the distillery’s rum, launched in collaboration with Velier in 2018. Famed for its heavy, ester-driven style, Hampden is joined by Worthy Park as the only two Jamaican distilleries that produce exclusively pure single rums (using only pot stills). It currently has four pot stills: two from Forsyths in Scotland, one from Vendome in Kentucky, and another from T&T Engineering in South Africa.