Stolen Overproof Rum. I’ve seen the This Is Stolen products and ads around and was honestly a bit skeptical, but after finally seeing this at my local liquor store, I had to pick it up and give it a try. Man, this is good stuff.
This is a 6 year aged overproof Jamaican rum made at Hampden Estate, a rum distillery that began operations in the 1700s and is literally still making rum according to traditional rustic methods. The result? Hampden produces probably *the* most funky rums on the market, used in products such as Smith & Cross and Rum Fire (a couple of my favorites!).
So, what gives Jamaican rum that ‘funky’ flavor that’s often referred to as “hogo”? Why does it taste like overripe fruit and tropical pineapples when none are involved? Answer: High quantities of esters.
Quick chemistry lesson. Esters are organic compounds formed by the chemical reaction between acid and alcohol molecules. They’re also naturally found in foods we’re familiar with. For example, the ester named Ethyl Butyrate is naturally found in pineapples, giving it its signature tropical aroma. The same Ethyl Butyrate ester is formed by the chemical reaction between ethanol (alcohol) and butyric ACID (which interestingly itself is found in vomit and body odor). As both of these are present during the fermentation process, lo and behold, the molecular compounds from alcohol and vomit combine to make pineapple aromas. Who knew.