Review #59: Faultline Jamaican 16

Faultline is K&L’s independent bottling brand and we had acquired a delicious Hampden 14 year and a so-so gin from them for our own collection. Toward the end of the night, we decided that we wanted to finish the night with some dunder-heavy sippers. Dunder, for scotch drinkers, is slightly analogous to the rum-world equivalent of peat. Except instead of moss, it is a fermenting pit of rotting waste (fruit, molasses, and sometimes dead animals, e.g. goat heads). The bacteria cultivated in the dunder pits can produce many well-known rum flavors; for example, specific strains produce butyric acid, a compound that smells like vomit but when bound to alcohol, produces pineapple aromas.

The Faultline Jamaican 16 ran out really quickly after its release, so when we saw the Jamaican 16 on the Smuggler’s Cove menu, we were pretty excited to try it. Sadly, it did not meet our expectations. I think I understand why now the 16-year ($109) retailed for lower than the 14-year ($129) release.

Faultline Hampden 16 year old

  • Score - 5.5/10

Tasting Notes

Nose: Chinese medicine drawer, dried mangoes, apples and oranges, vanilla, saline, lime juice, estery

Palate: Tastes more alcoholic than it smells. Estery mid palate, oaky, and astringent

Aftertaste: Slight mezcal-like, wormy


Overall: 5.5/10. Expected far more.

TLDR;: Earthworm

Bought for: $28/pour at Smuggler’s Cove ($109.99 MSRP)

Quick overview of our scoring system. Note that we try to give a “5” for an average whisky, which is lower than standard whisky scoring guides (typically around 80).

Additional Information

  • Still: Pot still
  • Age: 16 years
  • ABV: 62.5%
  • Molasses

About Fautline and Hampden

  • Faultline is K&L’s independent bottling brand and its name stems from the desire to connect K&L’s northern and southern California stores
  • Hampden has been operating since 1779, surviving on bulk sales to European blenders
  • The Hampden distillery is known for its high dunder rums
  • Produces pure single rums (100% pot still rum that are molasses-based) and one of two in Jamaica (the other being Worthy Park) that produces pure single rums vs. blended rums (blended with column still rum)

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