The Legacy of Sugarcane in Hawaii Lives on Through Hawaiian Agricole Rum

By Olena Heu

Photo: Manulele Distillers.


Rum Tour and Tastings

Experience one of the world’s finest pure cane rums made from heirloom variety Polynesian sugar cane. Manulele Distillers, home of Ko Hana Rum, offers tours and tastings daily. Distillery tours are available everyday between 10 am and 2:30 pm. Tastings are available until 5pm each day. Tours are about 1 hour long. $25 for adults 21+. $15 for 6-20 years. 5 and under free. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

$25 BOOK NOW

For nearly 2-centuries, Hawaii has been synonymous with sugarcane. Now that the sugar industry in the islands is no more, growing, harvesting and hauling sugarcane continues in a surprising new venture – Hawaiian Agricole Rum.

Please visit the Ko Hana Rum website at www.kohanarum.com.

Ko Hana Rum

Photo: Manulele Distillers.


The islands of aloha host the best growing conditions in the world for sugarcane. The native Hawaiian plants are usually rare, hard to find and sometimes difficult to identify by the untrained eye; you might spot them planted in a botanical garden or on a private plot of land. Manulele Distillers grows 34 different varietals of Hawaiian sugarcane in central Oahu. From the fibrous stalks comes hand-harvested, sweet pure cane that is pressed into juice, distilled and eventually transformed into Ko Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum (agricole means the spirit is made using sugarcane juice instead of molasses).

Rebirth of an Era

Photo: Manulele Distillers.


The pineapple plantations in Kunia closed in 2006, three years later a small plot of land was leased by Robert Dawson of Manulele Distillers to try to plant sugarcane to make agricole rum. Dawson has a passion for sugarcane and tried tirelessly to find and plant as many ancient Hawaiian sugarcane varieties he could find. As they say when one door closes another opens, and the opportunity to grow a new farm and new community and to build a new business began to flourish.

Support Small Business

Photo: Manulele Distillers.


The goal of Manulele Distillers is to sustain the history of agriculture in Hawaii. They maintain the high value of Hawaiian sugarcane and pass those morals and great sense of pride into the community. The farm was planted and thrived, then came the distillery and originally they were only open just one day a week. Now open everyday with a steady flow of visitors, they employ 19 people including three full-time farmers. Tasting tours are held every 30 minutes daily between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Super Premium Sipping

Photo: Manulele Distillers.


While this rum is considered top shelf, 100% locally sourced and between 80-125 proof, each is distinct in color and taste. There are four different selections: KEA – White Rum, KOHO – Barrel Aged Rum, KOA – Cask Strength Rum and the KOKOLEKA – Cacao & Honey Rum. Each comes in a brilliant crystal-clear, cube-shaped, 375ml bottle that also makes a beautiful glass container for olive oil, flowers or candles.

Rum Tour and Tastings

Experience one of the world’s finest pure cane rums made from heirloom variety Polynesian sugar cane. Manulele Distillers, home of Ko Hana Rum, offers tours and tastings daily. Distillery tours are available everyday between 10 am and 2:30 pm. Tastings are available until 5pm each day. Tours are about 1 hour long. $25 for adults 21+. $15 for 6-20 years. 5 and under free. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

$25 BOOK NOW

Please visit the Ko Hana Rum website at www.kohanarum.com.

What did you think? Share your reaction and earn 100 points!

Recent most reacted articles