Kentucky. Tennessee. California. Texas. These are just a few states which come to mind when one thinks of whiskey. Most other states, of course, have at least one distillery these days producing this spirit type as well – all one needs is access to the right grains and a local water supply. This is something Hawaii-based Ko‘olau Distillery is showcasing, announcing a new whiskey made in part from locally sourced corn.
Old Pali Road Whiskey, according to those behind it, is an “American style” whiskey that’s said to be the only aged, amber whiskey produced on O‘ahu, which is one of Hawaii’s islands. Each batch of it is produced from “pure Hawaiian water, filtered for decades through the volcanic rock of the Ko‘olau Range before flowing into an artesian well” that intermingles with “locally sourced corn” to provide for a “distinctive, bourbon-style base.” It is then blended with a sourced, five year old American whiskey before being bottled.
This whiskey and distillery is the passion project of a pair of U.S. Marine veterans, who spent time stationed in O‘ahu. They plan to limit production to fewer than 10,000 bottles a year to start, creating batches of eight barrels at a time. There was no immediate mention of price, or where they are sourcing the older whiskey from. It looks to be bottled at 86 proof.
“The science and art of whiskey-making fascinates me and there is something exceptionally gratifying about making your own,” said Ko‘olau co-founder Eric Dill in a prepared statement.
“You’re either part of Hawai‘i or you’re not,” added co-founder Ian Brooks. “This is where I’m bringing in jobs, bringing things to Hawai‘i instead of just taking. We want to make a quality product that pays homage to the idea of what Hawai‘i represents. That is what we want to share with people.”
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...