Huihui and Nanea from Kuleana Rum Works are blended rums made from distillate mostly sourced outside Hawai’i. These are semi-premium ($30-40) rums and are a best fit in cocktails.
Nanea is blend of column still molasses-based rums, aged between 2-4 years in ex-Bourbon barrels, giving this a completely different flavor profile that Kuleana’s signature Hawaiian Rum Agricole. The base rum is from Guatemala and aged two years. The “body” rum is from Guadeloupe and aged three years. The “accent” rum is from El Salvador and aged for four years. This is a very pleasant rum to sip, and the 43% ABV gives this a little extra flavor to savor. The column stills give this a light body featuring spice notes.
Huihui is a similar blend of three rums, all unaged and issued at 40% ABV. The base rum molasses-based rum from Papua New Guinea, with the “accent” rum being cane-juice based rhum from Martinique. The “body” rum is Kuleana’s own Hawaiian Rum Agricole, but Kuleana does not break down the percentages.
I’d had Huihui before and rated it 4/5 stars on my Forbidden Island Kill Devil Club rum list, but honestly this didn’t resonate with me as much this time. I think the grassy notes from the Martinique rum are a bit overpowering, even with this just being an accent. Moreover, it sort of overshadows the Hawaiian Rum Agricole that I find much more pleasant. It didn’t work for me in a daiquiri, either. Nice to see some of Kuleana’s own product in the blend, though.
Tasting these rums in a Mai Tai it should not surprise anyone that the aged Nanea is a better fit than the Huihui. Even with a lighter body, the vanilla and spice notes from Nanea do work well in a Mai Tai that I totally enjoyed. I’d expect Nanea would work very well in any cocktail calling for a gold rum generally or something like a Barbados rum specifically.
The bottles were provided by Kuleana but this is not a sponsored post.