Koloa Rum Company is located on the picturesque island of Kauai, the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Near its namesake town of Koloa, where commercial sugar production first began in Hawaii in 1835, the company produces single batch rums distilled from copper pot and column stills. One thing that makes Koloa Rum unique is that is it distilled from Hawaiian cane sugar, not molasses or cane juice like most other rums. Another interesting fact is that this distillery uses some of the machinery from the rum flavoring process to produce jams and jellies under the Hawaiian Kukui Fruit Specialties brand.
While the distillery is not open to the public, visitors can sample various Koloa Rum products at the company store and tasting room in nearby Lihue. The free tastings are held daily, every 30 minutes on a first come, first served basis. Make sure arrive a little early or plan to stay a little longer because the tasting sign-up sheets can fill up quickly if there is a tour or luau in the adjoining Kilohana Plantation.
All of Koloa's rums offer a subtle sweetness and surprisingly smooth finish for their high proof - most of the rums are bottled at 40% ABV/80 proof. The Kauai Spice rum is reminiscent of a freshly baked holiday spice cake with notes of cinnamon and honey, and the Coconut rum has a light, natural flavor similar to coconut water without being overly sweet. Another delectable offering is the Kauai Coffee rum, which is infused with locally grown coffee and has rich notes of espresso and mocha. Koloa also makes ready-to-drink cocktails including Mai Tai, Rum Punch, and Pineapple Passion.
In the future, Koloa Rum Company plans to move their distillery and tasting room to the center of Koloa town, where visitors will be able to see some of their sugar cane fields, learn about the rum-making process, taste the rums, and enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.