Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of, well you know the rest. It’s the essential ingredient in a Mai Tai and now Hawaii is producing it’s own RUM! It is being made on the Kilohana Plantation on Kauai, where a tasting room opened late last fall. The Koloa Rum Corporation was established in 2001 to produce "world class, small batch micro distilled, Authentic Hawaiian Rum", according to its website. The goal is to showcase local products and provide employment on Kauai. The corporation is also working with its next-door neighbor, Kauai Community College, on teaching technologies associated with the distillation process.
Kauai seems to be a natural for rum production. In 1778, the island was the first Hawaii landfall for Captain Cook, who brought along barrels of rum for his sailors. The first sugar mill on the island was in the 1830s. Now, rum producers have abundant natural resources at their disposal, as well as history. They are using local sugar cane, molasses and water from Mt. Wai’ale’ale (the wettest place on earth).
When we visited, there were three varieties available for sampling in the tasting room – the only one of its kind in Hawaii. We tried all three: gold, dark and white. The website now mentions a spiced version, but we didn’t experience that. The ones we did have were all wonderful, very high quality and delicious alone or in the local Mai Tai mix also sold at the plantation.
Koloa Rum Corporation says it plans to sell products on the other islands of Hawaii and, eventually, the mainland. But for now, the only way you can try this wonderful rum is to visit Kauai!
January 5th, 2010