Rum Journal: Hawaii’s Koloa Rum


IT HAS beautiful beaches, warm water and soft sand. It’s a natural place to make rum.

Except this isn’t the Caribbean — it’s a burgeoning rum hub called Hawaii.

Thanks to rich, volcanic soil and a largely tropical climate, Hawaii has become a new location for rum production.

And that’s largely thanks to the Koloa Rum Company, which first distilled and bottled its premium Hawaiian rum in the fall of 2009.

The company, which now produces four varieties of rum, including white, gold, dark and spiced, makes the rum on its plantation in Kaua`i, using local sugarcane and mountain rainwater that counts Mt Wai`ale`ale as its source.

And the result is a uniquely Hawaiian rum with its own fascinating flavour.

All four varieties are solid, but a pair truly stood out: the Kaua’i Spice and the Kaua’i Dark.

The former is a very interesting, very smooth spiced rum. It has a light, almost pinkish hue, an aroma of anise and fruit, and a flavour profile marked by notes of berry, dried fruit and spice. For a spiced rum, it’s exceedingly smooth.

The latter is the star — Kaua’i Dark, a dark, black-cherry coloured rum with an aroma of coffee and cocoa, and strong notes of coffee, cocoa and dried fruit. The dark rum has a rich but very smooth finish, almost more like a liqueur. We’d recommend both rums on the rocks.

All of the company’s rums are strong statements about the product coming out of Hawaii, which recently saw the debut of another rum, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, made on the island of Maui).

Could Hawaii soon vie with the Caribbean for rum dollars? For now, it’s unlikely, but if more rums like Koloa make their debut, it’s certainly not impossible.

— CJ

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