It All Starts With “Kō” – The Cane.
Every varietal of heirloom sugarcane has a story and flavor profile all its own. Kō Hana Distillers grows single varietals that are hand harvested, pressed to juice and then distilled resulting in one of the world’s most unique pure cane rums.
Kō Hana embraces the natural earthiness and sweetness of the Kō. In stark contrast, the vast majority of the rum in the world is made from molasses — the industrial byproduct of processed sugar manufacturing.
Nearly a thousand years ago, the first Polynesians set sail for the Hawaiian islands using only the stars for navigation. Among the plants they brought with them were select varieties of Kō. These Kō plants were the progenitors of the remaining heirloom varietals of native Hawaiian sugarcane in existence today.
Kō was used in daily living and was purposely planted around homes. In addition to its leaves, Kō was valued for its ease of chewing and ample juice in the stalks. Its sweet juice was a key ingredient in many medicinal recipes. Kō was also used as an offering to the Gods and as a core component in many ceremonies.
GSN’s Remarks: We were sent samples of the Kea, Koho and Kokoleka rums.
Kea (White): Kea is the cane variety. Visually clear. The nose has the familiar agricole funk and a fresh, light flavor. The mid-entry has a creamy, round mouthfeel with notes of marshmallow, cane juice, vanilla and light coconut. The finish is clean and long. GSN Rating: A
Koho (Barrel Select): Pilimai is the cane variety. Visually medium copper. The nose has more wood and a denser perfume. Entry is oaky and slightly sweet, with the agricole intertwined with the wood. Notes of brown bread, toffee, caramel and brown butter greet the palate. The finish is long and even. GSN Rating: A+
Kokoleka (Chocolate): Made with Hawaiian cane spirit, honey and cacao. Visually dark reddish brown. An interesting nose of cocoa and agricole rum. Dark, moody and mysterious. Entry is slightly chalky from the cocoa, but well balanced with the rum. Slightly dry and bittersweet. Imagine a cocoa dusted rum spongecake. Really well done, unique and appealing. GSN Rating: A++
We had the opportunity to visit the distillery a few years ago and took the tour. Here are some pictures from our visit as taken by staff photographer Kimberly Frodelius.
For more information go to: Kohana Rum