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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Kohala Bay Rum
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Kohala Bay Rum
Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1533
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2016-06-18 12:03 am   Permalink

The latest word from The Mai-Kai: Owner Dave Levy has been told that the outage is temporary, but still no ETA on its return. Unfortunately, they have not been able to find a decent substitute in their many cocktails that depend on Kohala Bay's funky flavor, so they're exploring other options. Rum experts are being consulted, and the possibility of a proprietary blend is being explored. Stay tuned for more info.

In the meantime, I've updated the blog with tasting notes on all the possible substitutes for home mixologists, including single rums and multi-rum blends:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2012/05/08/rums-of-the-mai-kai-legendary-lemon-hart-returns-to-the-promised-land/#dagger

If you're visiting The Mai-Kai in the near future, check out the "Updates to The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide on The Atomic Grog" thread for further tasting notes on all the Kohala Bay cocktails in their current state:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=47293&forum=10&start=195

Also worth noting: Kohala Bay appears in Martin Cate's new book, "Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki," as one of the nine recommended "black blended" rums. Highly recommended reading.


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happy buddha
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 13, 2008
Posts: 430
Posted: 2016-06-18 05:56 am   Permalink

Thanks for the research as always Hurricane! Always something with these rums; the Mai Kai should have their own brand, like Vic's but good.

 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 1002
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-06-18 10:44 am   Permalink

Not sure how I missed the Dagger radio ad on that page.

http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Dagger_ad.mp3

Truly aweome!

When's 151 Swizzle v.5 gonna be posted?


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jokeiii
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 455
From: Miami
Posted: 2016-06-19 5:31 pm   Permalink

I'm playing around with 3:1 Coruba to Gosling's 151 blend, to see how that stacks up against KB. Reports to follow...
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1533
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2016-07-17 10:50 am   Permalink

Still no updates on the Kohala Bay outage. It still may come back, The Mai-Kai's manager, Kern Mattei, confirmed last night, but in the meantime they have finally been able to get Coruba from their distributor. They hope to begin using it soon in all the cocktails that call for Kohala Bay.

 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 1002
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-07-21 1:42 pm   Permalink

Coruba as a direct replacement for Kohala Bay? I don't see that working out too well. It doesn't have the punch or the funk. I recently made Atomic Grog tribute Swizzles using a 50/50 El Dorado and Smith & Cross combo. Gotta say, they came out excellent. Haven't tried it in any other recipes that call for KB yet but if that does the trick and KB doesn't come back soon I might end up just batching those two rums together so I could start enjoying all my favorite Mai Kai tributes I've been neglecting the past couple months.

 
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Quince_at_Dannys
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 29, 2004
Posts: 189
From: Command Records International HQ
Posted: 2016-07-21 2:50 pm   Permalink

I've been working on a new blend that utilizes a combination Coruba, Appleton Signature Blend, and a small amount of Hamilton Black Pot Still Rum. The Black Pot Still brings just enough funkiness to the mix and increases the ABV, while the Appleton adds mellowness and some tenor notes missing from the other two rums. The stuff I've made thus far is actually too flavorful--like Kohala Bay on steroids. Not necessarily a bad problem to have.

 
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HopeChest
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2015
Posts: 399
From: East Bay, CA
Posted: 2016-07-21 4:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-07-21 13:42, mikehooker wrote:
I recently made Atomic Grog tribute Swizzles using a 50/50 El Dorado and Smith & Cross combo. Gotta say, they came out excellent.



Mike, that combo is right up my alley - what age El Dorado were you using? They're all so distinct.


 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 1002
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-07-21 5:25 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-07-21 16:47, HopeChest wrote:
Quote:

On 2016-07-21 13:42, mikehooker wrote:
I recently made Atomic Grog tribute Swizzles using a 50/50 El Dorado and Smith & Cross combo. Gotta say, they came out excellent.



Mike, that combo is right up my alley - what age El Dorado were you using? They're all so distinct.



12 year


 
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CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 425
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2016-07-24 8:58 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-07-21 14:50, Quince_at_Dannys wrote:
I've been working on a new blend that utilizes a combination Coruba, Appleton Signature Blend, and a small amount of Hamilton Black Pot Still Rum. The Black Pot Still brings just enough funkiness to the mix and increases the ABV, while the Appleton adds mellowness and some tenor notes missing from the other two rums. The stuff I've made thus far is actually too flavorful--like Kohala Bay on steroids. Not necessarily a bad problem to have.



Quince, I would love to hear more about the blend that you are using. I've always thought that Ed Hamilton's Pot Still Jamaican would find a place in the Tiki lexicon, maybe that place is as part of a replacement for Kohala Bay.


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1533
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2016-08-13 12:43 am   Permalink

The latest from The Ma-Kai: Frustrated with the Kohala Bay outage, which shows no signs of abating, The Mai-Kai has turned to Appleton Reserve Blend as a replacement. It's not as funky (or high proof), but it has a distinctive character and doesn't lack flavor. And, like Coruba (and Kohala Bay), it comes from the venerable Wray & Newphew.

Lots more research is needed, but preliminary tastings show that the Barrel O' Rum and a few other drinks (Bora Bora, Tiki Swizzle) seem to benefit from the more sophisticated and flavorful Reserve Blend. Some (Zombie, Yeoman's Grog) don't appear to be much different. And a few others (most notably the Black Magic) miss the funkiness of Kohala Bay.
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Tonga Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 186
From: The Tonga Lounge in Safety Harbor, FL
Posted: 2016-08-27 05:23 am   Permalink

I have 4 1.75 liter bottles I am holding close and being pretty selfish with. I hope it comes back. I had been using it rather freely thinking that distribution was actually growing. Luckily I bought 2 more before the shortage hit.

 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 1002
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-08-27 09:44 am   Permalink

Every time this thread is bumped I have a glimmer of hope that it's someone saying Kohala Bay is back and then I read the post and my faith is shattered. I've only got a few ounces remaining so I'm not using it anymore.

Can't imagine Appleton Reserve on it's own taking the place of Kohala Bay in the mighty Jet Pilots and Swizzles at the Mai Kai. Hayward, any idea how long they've been using Kohala Bay and what they were using before then?


 
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RumScrummager
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Posts: 29
From: Ft. Lauderdale
Posted: 2016-09-05 9:10 pm   Permalink




The last confirmed sighting of Kohala Bay rum on a liquor store shelf took place on Saturday May 21st, 2016 at 11:16am (soon to be known as Black Tot Day 2.0) at Rollo's Liquors located at 9100 S Dixie Hwy, Kendall, FL 33156.

I know this because I was the one who took the above picture of the last two remaining dusty 1.75L bottles shortly before I purchased one.

NOTE: I had not known at the time that Kohala Bay was in dire shortage. There was still some hope left that it was a 'supply chain' issue and that it would be coming back. Unfortunately for me, the spotty-faced cheese**** kid behind the counter snagged the other bottle (after I drew his attention to it) before I could go back and get it. Looking back, it was a mistake. I should have just snagged both bottles and paid without saying a word.

Still, I have two unopened 1.75L bottles at home which I never plan on opening. However, having said that, I understand that plastic is not as resilient as glass and I may, at a later date, have to transfer the precious liquid to a more secure glass container.

Meanwhile, I use Coruba dark, which is the next best thing.



 
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1533
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2016-09-08 12:58 am   Permalink

RumScrummager: Mahalo for sharing your story. Rollo's was the place where I first discovered Kohala Bay, of course. It wasn't too long ago that besides Rollo's, only The Mai-Kai offered this fabulously funky rum. It's sad to see it gone, especially at The Mai-Kai.

MikeHooker: Your concerns about Appleton Reserve are legitimate. However, after tasting all the former Kohala Bay drinks at The Mai-Kai, I'm surprised at how well it blends in many of them. The sign of a good mixing rum, I guess. What they were using before (Bacardi Black, et al.) just didn't cut it. It works better if you close your eyes and try to forget what the drink could taste like with Kohala Bay, but many folks won't know the difference. I'll post a list soon, with my reviews and recommendations on which cocktails suffer, which benefit and which are pretty much the same. As far as I know, Kohala Bay came along as the replacement for Dagger, which goes all the way back to Donn Beach. There may have been some years in between without it, but I'm not sure.


This is the last bottle I'll be dipping into for a while. I have three more in the rum cellar, where they'll probably stay. On a brighter note, I've heard that progress is being made at The Mai-Kai on having a distillery make a special blend that will duplicate the flavor profile of Kohala Bay. It may not be widely available, but at least the mighty Jet Pilots and Swizzles will be back to normal. This is still preliminary, so we'll have to wait to see how it plays out.


 
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