Eastside Distilling, Inc. recently announced the introduction of Hue-Hue (pronounced “way-way”) Coffee Rum. Hue-Hue is a coffee-infused rum that starts with Arabica coffee beans grown at the Finca El Paternal Estate in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. This free trade coffee is custom light roasted by Portland Roasting Company, then small-batch cold brewed by Eastside by hand, following a proprietary process that has been optimized for spirits by Eastside’s Master Distiller, Mel Heim. After brewing, the coffee is hand blended with silver rum and a trace amount of raw Demerara sugar. The result is a 70 proof spirit that is “all about the coffee.” Hue-Hue is unique in having the full flavor and richness of cold brew coffee, without the syrupy sweetness of sugar-drenched coffee liqueurs.
The Hue-Hue name is derived from Huehuetenango, a city in the highlands of western Guatemala where the coffee is sourced. The Hue-Hue bottle design created by Portland’s Sandstrom Partner’s takes inspiration from Guatemala’s burlap coffee sacks that are uniformly labeled throughout the country to convey details of origin. Similarly, the Hue-Hue bottle conveys the coffee’s origin on the El Paternal Estate, its Portland roasting history, and the cold brewing and infusion with select rum.
Mel Heim, Master Distiller of Eastside, commented, “Our contemporary imagining of coffee rum as a hip incarnation of Pacific Northwest ‘cold brew’ is a premium spirit that quickly rose to be the number one seller by volume in our tasting rooms. We were very proud of cold brew coffee rum and we knew we had a hit, but the old ‘Below Deck’ bottle it was packed in was keeping its great DNA a secret. The new Sandstrom Hue-Hue bottle fixes that and then some because it explains what our cold brew coffee rum is in a way that is worthy of its premium ingredients and it also tells the fascinating back story of its Guatemalan and Portland roots. I think that people will see Hue-Hue on the shelf and be attracted to its uniqueness. When they experience it, I think they will convert to Hue-Hue as their coffee spirit, the same way they’ve converted to cold brew as their coffee of choice.”
Hue-Hue Coffee Rum (70 proof)
Visual: Dark reddish-brown.
Nose: Intense powerhouse of fresh ground coffee bean laid over a subdued warm and buttery rum base.
Taste: Exactly what you’d expect, only better. A dark shroud of rich coffee supported by a hefty rum base, and this is the important part, lightly sweetened. In some ways it has the characteristics of an espresso, but with just a touch of sugar.
Finish: Long with the deep coffee roast flavor going on and on long after the rum and sugar have faded.
Overall: Yes, I would gladly wake up and smell the coffee if it was Hue-Hue. This is miles ahead of any mass-produced coffee liqueurs on the market. Excellent!
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Eastside Distilling