February 23, 2007

Maui Rum Review

Maui Rum Gold, Platinum, and DarkMaui Rum
Gold, Platinum, and Dark Rum from Hawai'i
80 Proof (40% ABV)

There are some days we wish we lived in Hawai'i. Y'know, hanging out on the beach, maybe some surfing, plenty of tropical drinks. Oddly enough, this is especially true during the winter, where it's been kind of cold and rainy and, well, cold. Luckily, we were able to pipe in a little slice of the tropics over the last few days in the form of Maui Rum. We've been whipping some tropical drinks of our own (with no umbrellas...we've had enough of those this winter).

So how did our three bottles of Maui Rum compare to our hopes?

Maui Platinum Rum
Maui Platinum Rum came in a tall, slender bottle with a silver label - ours also came with a sweet little lei around the neck. The rum itself was clear. When we popped the cork (that's right, no screw-top on this puppy) we were greeted with a whiff of burnt caramel; sweet with a hint of molasses. The smell was more appealing than Bacardi or other white rums we've tried...we were excited to try it.

When we sipped it we were greeted with more molasses, followed by more caramel and vanilla undertones. Tastewise it was similar to other white rums we've tried, with an extended and slightly bitter finish. We thought Maui Platinum Rum was outstanding as a mixer - try it in daiquiris (the old school kind, not the kind you get at Applebee's).

Maui Gold Rum
The Maui Gold came in the same bottle as the Platinum, but with a golden label (and a lei). The nose was more refined than the platinum, with a scent that was more raw sugar and fruit than burnt sugar. When we tried it the flavor was caramel smooth, with some spices on the back end. We liked the lingering flavor and the thicker mouth feel, but the finish wasn't overwhelming.

We were constantly seeking out the flavor of Jim Beam (something we typically do, but not usually in our rums). That's because Maui Gold is aged in Beam barrels. We couldn't taste it, but we were reassured by the fact he was around. We dug Maui Gold on the rocks with a little bit of lime or as a mixer in heavier drinks, and we have a constant desire to find that Beam in the bottom of our glass.

Maui Dark Rum
Maui Dark Rum was black as Bill O'Reilly's soul in the bottle, and when we held it up to the light we saw a little mahogany red tinge. We really enjoyed the chocolate and coffee tinge of the nose, followed up by the caramel we sensed in the other two bottles. The flavor was BIG, all coffee and roasted nuts (we feel like we should say Macadamias, but it was more Brazil nuts), as strange as it sounds, and we really liked the way things unfolded on our tongues.

This is a rum made for sipping, and it made one of the best Dark 'N Stormy's we've ever experienced. Just make sure to use the real stuff, ginger beer, not that weak, sweet ginger ale you find at the supermarket...it won't stand up to it. All in all, we liked it better than Myer's and it more than stood up to Gosling's, and really, can you ask for anything more out of your dark rum?

The Verdict
All in all, we were quite happy with Maui Rum. Each bottle had its own character, and they had a different enough taste from the Caribbean (and Nova Scotian) rums we've tried that they have a distinct island character of their own. As far as we know these rums are only available in Hawai'i, and we're not quite ready to say it's worth a trip to Maui for the rum alone, but you should definitely track it down and give it a try the next time you're in the Aloha State.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at February 23, 2007 9:34 AM
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