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Koloa Dark rum, a version of their White Rum with added caramel color and flavors. Bottled unaged at 80 proof.via American Rum Report
I was a little surprised at how good this was over ice.
I had been polarized by their legendary coconut rum versus their awful white rum. Before going on a long trip whereby I was able to pick up small 50 ml sample bottles, I had read all of the reviews here. Apparently, this very young company in Kauai does not age their white rum and merely adds very sweetened flavors to it to achieve the rest of their line.
So I asked for small 50 ml samples of their dark, spiced, and coffee, but the liquor store only had their dark rum, lucky for me. After sampling some good rums before this year's Super Bowl, I told myself WTF and opened up this bottle that I had placed in my fridge hours before. On first sip, it almost went down the toilet. Had I tried this rum in my early days before I got away from highly sweetened rums, I may have loved it. However, knowing what I know now, the rest of this small bottle in the snifter probably needs to go down the toilet. This is sickness in a bottle!!!!
So what in hell does it taste like? I have been to Hawaii three times in my life and those islands are famous for coffee, chocolate, vanilla, macadamia nuts, papayas, passion fruit, mangoes, guavas, pineapples, and coconuts. This "rum" has absolutely no notes of any of them!!! So this can only mean that the dark coloring and flavoring are all chemicals. Buyer beware!
How in hell do they manage to make a great tasting coconut rum from what starts out as crap is beyond me. They must have just lucked out. I heard that their coffee rum is very good, but I am through trying any of their other "rums". As bad as I found this rum to be, there are actually other rums that I found to be worse, as shown in my cabinet.
Ahhhh, sadly the reason I chose to review this rum was I got to visit the distillery on Kaua'i while there for a wedding. I was so excited to go thinking this would be a great place to get my first taste of Hawaiian rum. Well, fortunately it wasn't busy and I got to taste all of their offerings and interact with the person pouring the rums. Well, I was disappointed and unimpressed with all their offerings and as it turns out, the one I was most excited about had the least to offer. Koloa does not barrel age their rums...any of them. In fact the dark rum gets its color from dye and its flavor artificially added according to the guy running the tasting room. Sadly, he admitted his only experience with rum was there at the tasting room and drinking it in Mai-tais. Really sad to break it to those who thought this was a good rum especially since the Koloa's representative was bragging about having the best sugar cane in the world to work with. Maybe they'll buy some barrels and start actually aging some tot give it real flavor and color.
Nice little spice finish. Went really well in a mix drink.
Had a bottle while vacationing in Oahu. Super balanced vanilla aroma, feels also pretty sweet and round in mouth. Has distinctive Tiki flavours. Obviously there is sugar added, because there were white crystals present in the bottom of the bottle. The sugar thing is a tricky topic - obviously the overall product ahould be achieved just by fermentation, aging and distillation and therefore is debatable whether rums with added sugar are good rums. The Koloa dark in fact is sippable on its own and works very well also in coctails. I have approached sweet rums like these with a mindset that in coctails you can use less sugary beverages instead of coke, juices, syrups etc to keep the overall amount of sugar consumed under control. So an 8 would be too much in terms of the sweet profile but it’s definitely an enjoyable rum on its own and also in mixes. Not sure how the dark profile was achieved because there are very little tannine notes. Added caramel?
This is one of my favorite mixer rums for tropical drinks. I especially like the exotic vanilla notes. It's a key ingredient in the Kauai Mai Tai. It's too bad I can't get it here in Colorado but I luckily have accomadating friends who bring me a bottle now and then.
Koloa is responsible for my affinity for this spirit. I am a particular fan of the gold, dark, and coconut. So good. So smooth. Dangerous AF.
I like to mix it with orange seltzer, a little of the koloa coconut, and a tiny splash of guava nectar for a strong, smooth, flavorful, somewhat low calorie mai tai.
This is a great dark rum for making drinks. It can be sipped but is a bit medicinal and young tasting.
The aroma makes you want to sip it but the body is not a full as I like. Mixes well and adds to drinks that normally have an edge. It has a place in my bar...
Vanilla overkill. Bit expensive and too sweet like all the koala rums. Nice to taste but wouldn’t buy again.
Really great vanilla-coke flavor, smooth and sweet. I only sipped it neat but I think with ice it would be great. Might try it in a Remsberg’s Planters Punch...my go to test of all rums:) 3/4 oz lime juice, 1 oz simple syrup, 3 oz rum, 3 dash’s angostura bitters. swizzle w crushed ice and a few luxardo cherries w a dash of luxardo cherry syrup. A Rum Old Fashioned of sorts.
I didn't know what to expect when I first tried it, but wow. Extremely sweet for a dark rum. Great for tropical mixed drinks though.
Had a rum tasting on a sunny afternoon, because why not. Koloa Kaua'i Dark Rum bottle and label design looks very nice and artsy. Deep brown color. There is some unmatured alcohol to the nose and palate with an explosion of sweetness and a tad of vanilla and plenty of coffee. Some burn at the end. Mix it with your favorite soda and down it goes. Not a neat sipper really.
Great dark rum suprisingly not from the Caribbean. Very smooth and rich. One of my favorites.
This rum is smooth and has great flavor. It finds itself at home either in a mixed drink or sitting in a glass alone. One of my favs and definitely the best by this distillery
Buddy of mine got me hooked on this amazing Hawaiian Rum, find it sweet to my pallet.
All I could taste was sweet sweet sweet. Had some interesting floral notes, which was intriguing, but I just could not get past the sweetness. Would probably be okay in mixed drinks, but would absolutely not recommend with Coke.
This stuff is like the best of EVERYTHING dark!! Aroma carries vanilla, chocolate, coffee, charred wood, licorice and root beer! The taste is not nearly as complex as the nose, but it's still pretty good: it enters with thick, vanilla custard, followed by a surprisingly pronounced cola kick. Then an odd, but somehow appropriate finish of overripe plums shows up with molasses.
Drinking on it's own is fine, but this stuff makes the best gosh darn rum'n'cokes ever!! At $40 a pop, it's expensive as a mixer, but if that old standby is your thing, this is absolutely worth the money!
Beautiful dark color & rich, spicy aroma. Great sipping rum!
Strong with the vanilla flavor, similar to Papas Pilar. A nice mixer.
On its own it was good. It was a bit sweet and less complex than your better aged rums but for the 45 buck I paid it was one I would by again for mixing drinks. Not a sipping Rum but mixed it was really solid. I was not expecting much from this Rum but it was a nice surprise.
I was very surprised at how good it was for not being an aged Rum. It is sweet but very good.
(12/2018) 40% ABV. Nose: strong vanilla extract with molasses and a bit of caramel. A tinge of cherry syrup. Palate: it seriously tastes like watered-down, sweetened vanilla extract. A very short finish that leaves a bitter spiciness in the throat. Not recommended, even for mixing. Might be good for baking though, or with recipes calling for vanilla liqueur. Or perhaps with cola. Shame.
(11/2016) "Too sweet for my tastes" - Definitely colored (and sweetened) with too much caramel (and who knows what else). You could mix it, just adjust the sugars accordingly. Expected better.
Sugar: 28 GPL. Surprisingly good rum at a reasonable price ($35. USD)
Normally, dark rums are for mixing and you wouldn't think of sipping them as most are "well rums" but this rum surprised and impressed me. I found tastes of vanilla, chocolate,coffee, and caramel are present but the coffee and chocolate are predominant. This is a smooth rum that finishes with just the right amount of heat. I would suggest this is the best dark rum for mixing out there, but I am going to serve this as a sipping rum. If you like Goslings Family Reserve rum then you will like this one.