Maui 2015: Hali’imaile Distillery Tour & Tasting

We went on a tour of Hali’imaile Distilling and it was great! When we went into the space where they were fermenting the sugar cane which would then be distilled into rum, it smelled like our apartment when we’re fermenting our ciders and wines. One of the coolest things is that the sugar cane for their rum is grown right there on the island. Also, their vodka is distilled from pineapples, also grown on the island. We learned that the huge pineapple plantation sends their harvest to the winery, who then juices the pineapples and keeps some of the juice for their wines, gives some to the distillery for their vodka, and gives some to Maui Brewing Company which uses it for some of their beers. I totally love how it’s all local (except for the whiskey). The Beach Bum Rum is Sammy Hagar’s label, but distilled by Hali’imaile Distillery. The guy in the picture below who looks like Sammy Hagar is actually Mark Nigbur, the Master Distiller & genius. The glass stills that are pictured are not only engineered and designed by him, but they are the only ones in the world. We were really impressed with their proprietary yeast strain that ferments very quickly, so much more quickly than what we can use at home, and Cole was asking Mark about it. They chatted a little and Mark gave Cole his personal business card and said, “Call me if you have any questions about yeast or distilling or anything!” This guy was the coolest. He also autographed a bottle of booze we bought.

Before the tour we went across the way to the Hali’imaile General Store, a bar and restaurant, for a drink. We had their award-winning Tai Mai (this is not a typo) and it was delicious. Limey without being overwhelmingly limey, as is too common.

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