Hampden Estate is far more than just a name on a label: it is first and foremost a place steeped in history. In the heart of the island, surrounded by nature with rare birds and wild animals, visitors arriving at Hampden Estate could almost believe they have gone back in time: facing the long alley of palm trees that leads to the distillery, it literally seems as though nothing has changed since the 18th century. Hampden Estate is one of the only Jamaican distilleries that has never stopped operating for more than two centuries: the years have gone by, its owners have succeeded one another, but its philosophy has always remained unchanged.
The earliest written record mentioning Hampden Estate dates back to 1753. At that time, the estate was owned by a family of Scottish origin, the Stirlings, who were cane growers, sugar and rum producers. By 1767, Hampden Estate was already producing over 50,000 litres of rum a year, mainly for export to England and Scotland. One hundred years later, the estate was bought by George McFarquhar Lawson, who introduced a unique method of production. It gave birth to the most aromatic rums in the world, the Trelawny Rums, named after the region surrounding the estate. Developed in 1852, this style of production became a veritable trademark for Jamaican rum.