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Rum Review: Koloa Coconut

Kōloa Kaua’i Coconut Rum Review

Koloa Kauai Coconut Rum

As of this writing, I think I still hold the curious distinction as one of the world’s foremost coconut rum experts. Some thought me crazy when I wrote the Coconut Rum Challenge, but as I said there, I have long enjoyed coconut rum in a variety of tropical drinks.

Since writing that article, I have received coconut rums from a few smaller distilleries. One of those distilleries is Koloa from the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Unlike many of the other coconut rums out there, this one comes in at a relatively full strength 40% ABV. Let’s take a look at this new player in the coconut rum game and see if it can beat the reigning champion.

Like the rest of Koloa’s rum line, the coconut is bottled in clear glass with a plastic screw cap. The label design is simple and classic, featuring a fine line drawing of their tasting room at the Kilohana plantation on Kauai.

In the glass, the rum is perfectly clear, and a swirl in my snifter produces a number of droplets that eventually yield and fall downward.  As I move in for a nosing, there is a fair bit of astringency that reminds me this is not one of those 21% ABV coconut rum liqueurs (I’m looking at you, Malibu). The aromas are of fresh but mature coconut meat, supported by a foundation of crème brulee and molasses. Beyond the initial aromas is a medley of faint hard candy notes: cherry and grape among them. Let’s taste…

As the rum enters, the astringency and sweetness balance each other, and many of the initial aromas are translated into flavors. The mature coconut flavors soon mingle with the candy, and the result is nothing short of delightful. There is the slightest hint of saccharin bitterness as the coconut flavor fades out, but it’s not enough to ruin my enjoyment, rather, it inspires me to replace it with a fresh sip.

Granted, this is definitely a mixing rum, but I could easily imagine folks enjoying Koloa Coconut Rum over ice, or with a just splash of cold coconut water. Move over Bacardi Coco (which scored a 5/10 in our previous taste test) we have a new leader in the coconut rum game.

On to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 2/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3/4
  • Aftertaste: 1/2
  • Total Score: 8/10

Buy Koloa Coconut Rum online

Have you tried Koloa Kauai Coconut? Please share your thoughts below!

Aloha,
Josh

Disclosure: This bottle was provided by the distiller for review purposes.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2013 3:30 pm

    I’ve been chomping at the bit to try some Koloa rums and use them on the site. I wish I’d get samples! Glad to see this turned out well. No shame in having experience with coconut rum. It was a really great article.

  2. Gil Batzri permalink
    November 11, 2013 3:18 pm

    Nice to know, I haven’t been super impressed with their other rums, but I will give this a try when I finish my Coco

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      November 11, 2013 3:25 pm

      ‘Tis quite good.

  3. Martin permalink
    June 2, 2014 3:50 pm

    Have you tried Koko Kanu – a coconut rum from J.Wray & Nephew (Appleton Estate)?

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      June 3, 2014 4:12 pm

      I have not seen that here, Martin. In terms of J Wray/Campari products, I only have the Coruba Coconut.

  4. Michael Kohl permalink
    September 6, 2014 11:13 am

    Hands down the best coconut rum. Try mixing with cream soda for a delightfully refreshing cocktail.

  5. steph f permalink
    March 6, 2015 3:36 pm

    A wonderful coconut rum! Enough so that I’m willing to pay the expensive shipping charges to WI to get this rum again. I should have brought more bottles back from Kauai!

  6. Casey Stewart permalink
    April 12, 2015 12:46 am

    I would love to see how Whaler’s Coconut Rum stacks up, overall.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      April 12, 2015 7:45 am

      That one’s not sold around here, but based on my experience with their other products, I would expect it to slot in near the bottom.

  7. Brian s permalink
    July 9, 2015 9:48 am

    I love clarke’s court rhythm coconut rum but sold out everywhere over here

  8. ralph alexander permalink
    December 25, 2015 1:19 pm

    Where are the recipes for the Kauai Coffee Rum?? We were hoping to use at Christmas time Wondering In Seattle ie.. Starbucks Land. (A reply please) R Alexander

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 30, 2015 2:35 pm

      Sorry, Ralph; I haven’t had it yet! Should work interchangeably with recipes calling for other coffee liqueurs, however.

  9. kristen permalink
    September 21, 2016 4:13 pm

    Have you tried Blue Chair Bay premium blend coconut rum since writing this article? Give it a shot, I’m curious to read what you think.

Trackbacks

  1. New Rum Review: Koloa Kauai Coconut | Inu a Kena
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