We grow a mix of all 40 varieties of kō (Hawaiian heirloom sugarcane) at our 45-acre farm on Upolu Point, just west of Hawi on the Big Island of Hawaii (20 acres are currently planted @ 1,000 plants per acre). Each batch of Agricole (on average) produces 500 liters of fresh sugarcane juice. Kuleana typically harvests our sugarcane (by hand) at around 16 brix (highest sugar cane can get is about 20 brix). The varieties used for our estate Hawaiian Rum Agricole are Mahaula, Not Laukona and Uahia Pele.
After harvesting and juicing the cane, we immediately inoculate the juice with proprietary yeast and initiate fermentation. We then closely control fermentation temperatures, resulting in a longer ferment (KRW fermentations last about 40 hours: slower ferments at lower temps = better flavor profile and more complexity). When allowed to ferment at ambient temperatures, sugarcane juice typically ferments in ~24 hours or less. Faster ferments at higher temps tend to produce a simpler product.
DISTILLATION Kuleana Rum Works uses a handmade, 600-liter Alembic copper pot still with a copper lentil that provides a complicated path for the vapor trail and allows for additional rectification of the spirit. We conduct single distillations that typically run for about 10 hours. At KRW, we conduct longer distillation runs with a more gradual temperature intensification in order to gather exactly the ratio/materials we are looking for (the more energy you put into the pot, the faster the output of the distillate). After our distillation, we have 3 tanks: hearts, "good seconds" and tails. For our un-aged Hawaiian Rum Agricole, we only use the hearts tank. Our Hawaiian Rum Agricole comes out of the still at about 60% - 74% ABV, meaning 26% - 40% of the spirit is from the source material. Our heat source is liquid petroleum gas (we make our own propane from bunker fuel).
BOTTLING & AGEING
We rest the finished agricole rum in stainless steel tanks for approximately 30 days before proofing the spirit. We proof our white agricole gradually over a ~10-day period. We use deep ocean water from NELHA (Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority) collected at 3,000 ft deep that has been desalinated to proof all of our rums. The mineral content is the best we’ve found. Our aged agricole rums are transferred into oak barrels from France that were used to make Cognac.
Spirit Type: Domestic Rum