After my all to brief visit to 22° North, Todd Oldham was kind enough to walk me over to the Koloa Rum Company Tasting Room and Company Store where I was greeted by Jeanne Toulon, the Director of Public Relations at Koloa Rum Company.
The Koloa Rum Company was founded in 2001 to produce and market world class, small batch micro-distilled, authentic Hawaiian rum and related products. Never before had rum been legally manufactured on the island of Kauai despite its long-time history of commercial sugar production. Principal production operations for the Koloa Rum Company are located in Kalaheo in southern Kauai not far from Koloa town, the site of Hawaii's oldest sugar plantation which was founded in 1835.
After a seven-year struggle to secure the necessary permits and licenses, the Koloa Rum Company was granted a license in 2009 to distill their first rum, the first in the history of Kauai.
Rather than making their rum from molasses, Koloa Rum is distilled from the crystallized sugar that was produced by the Gay and Robinson Sugar Plantation which closed in 2008. This sugar is said to have a higher than normal molasses content and excellent for the production of high quality rum.