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Spirit Review and Recipe: Kōloa Dark Rum


Long available only in Hawaii, Kōloa Rum is now making its way to the mainland, though it is still hard to find. Our tasting panel recently sat down with a bottle of their Dark Rum, brought back by a lucky friend. Some of us aren’t much for sipping rum, but Kōloa can change your mind, and given its price point, will find itself very popular if it can increase its distribution network.


Kōloa is distilled six times in Kaua’i, Hawaii in a steam powered copper pot still, and cut with filtered water from the ancient Mount Wai’ale’ale. Deep brown in the glass, with a purple tinge. Legs make clear before you taste it this rum will have some viscosity. Nose of intense vanilla, with a slight ocean salt aroma, followed by cocoa, molasses and coconut. Vanilla, chocolate, crème brulee up front, giving way to cola, burnt caramel, and a long coffee and chocolate frosting finish. Packs a punch but smooth. Medium-plus body. If you don’t like vanilla, you will not like this rum! If you do, you will be quite pleased.


While we preferred this to sip, you can’t post a rum review without a cocktail recipe, and we got this on the Kōloa website. It sounds perfect for winter.


Recipe: Rum Latte

1.25 ounces Kōloa Dark Rum

.5 ounces Demerare Syrup

3.5 ounces coffee.

1 ounce heavy cream

Build in a coffee mug, and top with the cream, fresh nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.


Charted Details

Spirit: Kōloa Dark Rum

From: Kōloa, Kaua’i, Hawaii

ABV: 40%

Price: $35

Rating: 97 pts

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