The production of rum made from native Hawaiian sugar cane has been growing over the past decade. Whereas O’ahu’s KōHana is experimenting with a variety of cane varietals and release types, Kuleana Rum Works on the island of Hawai’i is taking a different approach.
Kuleana’s seminal product is Hawaiian Rum Agricole, a 40% ABV unaged rum made from sugar cane juice produced on the Big Island and distilled in a copper pot still. There are noticeable savory flavors common to other cane juice-based rums, but this product doesn’t have the “grassy” overtones that are sometimes objectionable to consumers and to this author. I taste a mix of green apple, olive, and banana flavors. It’s a crisp rum that works great in a glass by itself, but the bold flavors are superb in cocktails like the Mai Tai too.
This is a blended product designed to have a consistent taste over time, so there aren’t any specs on the specific blend of cane varietals or a harvest date. You can expect bottles you purchase in the future to taste similar. Kuleana products are available in many states including Total Wine locations, and available directly from Kuleana’s website. Hawaiian Rum Agricole run around $50-65 per 750 ml bottle.
Kuleana’s other rum products include distillate sourced from other countries and bottled in combination with the Hawaiian Rum Agricole. We’ll have more to say about those other expressions in the coming days.
The bottle was provided by Kuleana but this is not a sponsored post.