Kōloa Rum is made on the islands from three very simple ingredients: raw sugar, rain water, and yeast! It’s distilled twice, the second time more water is added. Their white rum is the base to all of their other rums. The distillery is located in a little center off the main highway, they have a tasting room and a gift shop. There isn’t much else in this center except a restaurant, an active train, a coffee shop, and a jewelry store from what I could see. When we were there the other little shops were closed so I didn’t wander around too much.
Upon arrival you need to go into the Kōloa Rum gift shop and sign up for a tasting, they run every 30 minutes and only allow 16 people at a time to do a tasting so you may not get the time you want. Sign up for the next time slot if you can, its well worth the wait.
When your time slot is called, they will open the door to the tasting room, pick a spot at the bar and get ready for a good time! Your rum-slinger will check each guest for a valid ID, then tell you about Kōloa Rum, what you will be tasting and as you go, she will explain a little about each rum and some notes you should be tasting. You can sip it or shoot it, there is no right or wrong in this tasting.
Every day is a different tasting, the day we went was Rum Punch so the rums we tasted are as follows: dark rum, spice rum, coconut rum, and a pre-made rum punch plus a rum cake with macadamia nuts and a chocolate rum sauce on top. The dark rum was probably my favorite, I could taste the vanilla notes in it and could see how this would make a great baking rum. Next up was the spice rum, not a huge fan, our rum-slinger said it tasted like Christmas in a rum and she was not wrong. The coconut rum was probably my second favorite, I mean how can you go wrong with coconut in a rum? It is naturally flavored with coconut and you could taste the caramelized pineapple notes at the end. The pre-made rum punch was good, lots of tropical juices and a little on the sweet side. The rum cake with mac-nuts topped with a chocolate rum sauce was the perfect way to end this tasting. It was moist and flavorful, as i’m writing this I wish I went back into the gift shop and bought some cake to take with me.
Total time for the tasting was 15-20 minutes, we got there a little before 11am and had to wait for the 11:30am tasting. I forgot to mention! The tasting was FREE! Yep,totally free! It was a fun way to spend some of the day, they don’t ship rum so we didn’t get any to take home but you can go to their website and find a distributor in your area if you want to buy any and when I get home I have a feeling my family will be buying some.
Have you done the tasting at Kōloa Rum? Which day and rums did you get to taste? Let me know in the comments below!
Address: 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy Lihue, HI 96766