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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Kohala Bay Rum
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Kohala Bay Rum
CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 417
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2017-05-09 9:20 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-05-09 20:59, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
And then there were three ...



After extensive blind tastings, I've narrowed the field down to the three closest Kohala Bay substitutes. I won't reveal them yet, but you can see the rums that are featured. I have a clear favorite, but I'd like to try all three in a Rum Barrel as the ultimate test. Final results are so close I can taste it.

One unexpected bonus: I poured all the other blends that didn't make the top 3 into one mega blend (pictured at right) that's one hell of a Navy rum.




Based solely on the color of what's in the glasses, I'm going to guess that Hamilton Jamaican Dark and plantation OFTD are two of the finalists.
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 917
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-05-09 9:34 pm   Permalink

Might I suggest doing a Cobras Kiss and/or 151 Swizzle with your three finalists, in addition to the rum barrel. I think the kohala bay element is more prominent in those and less masked by the myriad of juices.

 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1412
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2017-05-13 12:28 am   Permalink

Quote:
On 2017-05-09 21:34, mikehooker wrote:
Might I suggest doing a Cobras Kiss and/or 151 Swizzle with your three finalists, in addition to the rum barrel. I think the kohala bay element is more prominent in those and less masked by the myriad of juices.



The Rum Barrel test was inconclusive, so I may have to try at least one of the others. Or just declare a three-way tie. My liver is waving a white flag.




 
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LeftarmofBuddha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 31, 2016
Posts: 22
From: Murfreesboro Tenn
Posted: 2017-05-13 10:35 am   Permalink

The Hanalei Bay also nicely highlights Kohala Bay with a smaller amount of juice and syrups. Can't wait to see what you come up with. I can already see that all the rums that will be in your top 3 are available to me locally. So I am excited about that! On a side note, it seems like someone could have a similar or nearly identical blend made from the same rums being made at the same distillery. Ed Hamilton? Plantation? I know this style of rum is niche and really only relevant in the Tiki world, but it seems like The Mai Kai and all the Tiki restaurants and bars could justify it's existence.

 
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CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 417
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2017-05-13 8:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-05-13 00:28, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
Quote:
On 2017-05-09 21:34, mikehooker wrote:
Might I suggest doing a Cobras Kiss and/or 151 Swizzle with your three finalists, in addition to the rum barrel. I think the kohala bay element is more prominent in those and less masked by the myriad of juices.



The Rum Barrel test was inconclusive, so I may have to try at least one of the others. Or just declare a three-way tie. My liver is waving a white flag.






How about a Black Magic and/or Yeoman's Grog?


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1412
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2017-05-14 10:17 am   Permalink

mikehooker and CincyTikiCraig: Those are all good suggestions, but I think the problem I'm running into is there is just too much going on in all of these drinks to make a fair judgement. I'm good at separating components in my mind as I drink, but the additional rums muddy the waters a bit. It's also possible one blend may work better in one drink than another.

So in order to simply test these top three blends to see how they interact with sweet and sour components, I went way back to Don the Beachcomber and settled on Don's Daiquiri from Grog Log (rum, lime, honey). I used my special Mai-Kai lime blend plus rich honey (1 oz rum, 1/2 oz lime, 1 tsp honey), and this seemed to give all the ingredients room to breathe and allowed me to compare the rums on an even playing field, yet with a familiar flavor.



And it worked! I found a small yet distinct difference in the top three. And while they're all perfectly fine, I was able to come up with a 1-2-3 ranking, which I'll be posting shortly.

LeftarmofBuddha: Your point about Jamaican rum has been discussed. I know The Mai-Kai has been looking into having a blend made just for them, but it's not as simple as it seems. Also, there are some obscure rums available only in Jamaica that could also do the trick. I've tasted one, and it's amazing. I'm sworn to secrecy, but I may reveal it later.

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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 917
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-05-14 10:25 am   Permalink

The anticipation is killing me!!!!!!

Spill it!!!!


 
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LeftarmofBuddha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 31, 2016
Posts: 22
From: Murfreesboro Tenn
Posted: 2017-05-14 11:22 am   Permalink

Quote:


LeftarmofBuddha: Your point about Jamaican rum has been discussed. I know The Mai-Kai has been looking into having a blend made just for them, but it's not as simple as it seems. Also, there are some obscure rums available only in Jamaica that could also do the trick. I've tasted one, and it's amazing. I'm sworn to secrecy, but I may reveal it later.





I figured as much. And as much as I'd like to know what you know, I will wait patiently like the rest of us. In the meantime, you're doing the lord's work, so to speak, in finding viable substitutes for all us rum nuts! Thanks, again!


 
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Scaramouch
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 08, 2014
Posts: 63
Posted: 2017-05-14 2:34 pm   Permalink

I went through this process myself a while ago and I concur, it's very hard to get an accurate read as different blends seem to work better in different cocktails, but man, you get to drink a lot of fine mixes along the way Can't wait to see your conclusions.

 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1412
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2017-05-15 10:32 pm   Permalink

Without further ado ...

First off, congratulations to Quince_at_Dannys and LeftArmOfBuddha ... your blends made the top three. The results break down into four tiers: There are three in the top tier, four in the upper middle tier, five in the lower middle tier, and two in the bottom tier.

The top three are:

No. 1 — Equal parts Smith & Cross and El Dorado 12. Facing tough competition, this simple yet effective blend remains the preferred substitute.

No. 2 — 5 parts Appleton Reserve, 1 part Lemon Hart 151, 1 part Hamilton Black. Very close in flavor to Kohala Bay, just not as balanced as No. 1. This blend created by Quince_at_Dannys wisely combines the richness of Appleton Reserve with the funkiness of Hamilton Black, plus just the right amount of Lemon Hart to raise the proof and add heat.

No. 3 — 4 parts Coruba, 2 parts Hamilton Black, 1 part Plantation O.F.T.D. The difference between No. 2 and No. 3 is ever so slight. This is slightly funkier, but it doesn’t have the breadth of flavors of No. 2 or the sophistication of No. 1. This blend was the handiwork of LeftArmOfBuddha.

I swear, I did all the tastings completely blind. Even the final cocktail tastings. And the old standby continued to rise to the top. Maybe it was because it seemed so familiar, or maybe because it really is the next best thing to Kohala Bay. But kudos to everyone who took the time to make up their own blends. All of the rums in the middle tiers are great, they just fall short of the top 3.

Click here to see the full results and analysis:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2012/05/08/rums-of-the-mai-kai-legendary-lemon-hart-returns-to-the-promised-land/#kohala-bay-substitutes

I'll leave you with a big tease. I was recently thrilled to discover a rum from Jamaica (not available in the U.S.) that may not look exactly like Kohala Bay. But the taste is so close, you'd swear it was an aged version of the same rum ...


More to come ...


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LeftarmofBuddha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 31, 2016
Posts: 22
From: Murfreesboro Tenn
Posted: 2017-05-16 07:53 am   Permalink

Wow! I didnt even realize you were considering my blend in the shootout! That's awesome! My blend came about from trying to recreate the flavor of your #1 pick (smith and cross and el dorado 12) using slightly cheaper bottles that are readily available to me. Also, I did a bit of research into which rum you were saying would be a possible replacement for KB the other day and believe I know which one you tried. I will let you reveal that when you see fit. Thanks for considering my blend at all!

 
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HopeChest
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2015
Posts: 260
From: East Bay, CA
Posted: 2017-05-16 4:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-05-15 22:32, Hurricane Hayward wrote:

I'll leave you with a big tease. I was recently thrilled to discover a rum from Jamaica (not available in the U.S.) that may not look exactly like Kohala Bay. But the taste is so close, you'd swear it was an aged version of the same rum ...


More to come ...



OOH!! I begged my in-laws to bring me back a bottle of that last time they went to Jamaica but they couldn't find a bottle of it anywhere. This makes me want it even more.


 
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CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 417
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2017-05-16 7:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-05-15 22:32, Hurricane Hayward wrote:
Without further ado ...

First off, congratulations to Quince_at_Dannys and LeftArmOfBuddha ... your blends made the top three. The results break down into four tiers: There are three in the top tier, four in the upper middle tier, five in the lower middle tier, and two in the bottom tier.

The top three are:

No. 1 — Equal parts Smith & Cross and El Dorado 12. Facing tough competition, this simple yet effective blend remains the preferred substitute.

No. 2 — 5 parts Appleton Reserve, 1 part Lemon Hart 151, 1 part Hamilton Black. Very close in flavor to Kohala Bay, just not as balanced as No. 1. This blend created by Quince_at_Dannys wisely combines the richness of Appleton Reserve with the funkiness of Hamilton Black, plus just the right amount of Lemon Hart to raise the proof and add heat.

No. 3 — 4 parts Coruba, 2 parts Hamilton Black, 1 part Plantation O.F.T.D. The difference between No. 2 and No. 3 is ever so slight. This is slightly funkier, but it doesn’t have the breadth of flavors of No. 2 or the sophistication of No. 1. This blend was the handiwork of LeftArmOfBuddha.

I swear, I did all the tastings completely blind. Even the final cocktail tastings. And the old standby continued to rise to the top. Maybe it was because it seemed so familiar, or maybe because it really is the next best thing to Kohala Bay. But kudos to everyone who took the time to make up their own blends. All of the rums in the middle tiers are great, they just fall short of the top 3.

Click here to see the full results and analysis:
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2012/05/08/rums-of-the-mai-kai-legendary-lemon-hart-returns-to-the-promised-land/#kohala-bay-substitutes

I'll leave you with a big tease. I was recently thrilled to discover a rum from Jamaica (not available in the U.S.) that may not look exactly like Kohala Bay. But the taste is so close, you'd swear it was an aged version of the same rum ...


More to come ...



Outstanding work HH!

Without asking you do spill the name of the teased rum, is it A) a Wray & Nephew affiliated product, and/or B) the possible source of Kohala Bay?


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1412
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2017-05-16 10:34 pm   Permalink

Quote:
Outstanding work HH!

Without asking you do spill the name of the teased rum, is it A) a Wray & Nephew affiliated product, and/or B) the possible source of Kohala Bay?




Yes, it's indeed from Wray & Nephew.


 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 917
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-05-17 05:47 am   Permalink

I'm glad to see the trusted ED/S&C blend reigns supreme among all the others tested. It's simple and effective. I've decided to go ahead and enjoy my last few ounces of kohala bay. There's just no sense in preserving it for posterity. Rum is meant to be enjoyed. Not left in a cabinet to evaporate. Here's some money logic for you though. A 1.75L jug of Kohala Bay costed what, $30? It's the fluid equivalent of two standard fifths plus about 9 ounces. Essentially I could take a bottle of El Dorado 12 (about $25 when on sale) and a bottle of Smith & Cross (always $30) and dump them into my soon to be empty handle of kohala bay. This will give me a mostly full bottle of the best kohala bay sub. At a cost of $55!!! That's rough when you put it in perspective. Kohala bay was a work horse and a tremendous value.

I assume there's no regulation on how much rum you can bring back from Jamaica. And would guess this mystery product eluded to above is relatively inexpensive. Some Floridian (Frank?) oughta take a cheap party cruise down there and bring a few cases back to the states to dole out to the rest of us!

[ This Message was edited by: mikehooker 2017-05-17 09:41 ]


 
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