Oh, hi! Today we are getting a lesson in spirits. No, not like the supernatural beings, more like the distilled beverages that make you feel funny kind of spirits. We will travel to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui to check out the operation … okay, as usual I am dramatically stretching the truth. Jim Sargent is the owner and operator at Haleakala Distillers in Maui (I didn’t lie about that) where Maui Dark Rum – the hand-crafted spirit used in Bob Chinn’s World Famous Mai Tai- is made. He has been kind enough to share with us his top secret recipe… okay, thats a fib… but he has been more than helpful in explaining how he makes his incredible Dark Rum!
Our distillation process is very primitive. A Scottish farmer from the late 1700’s would be able to run it, as most of them were distillers on the side, using the same simple process. We use a series of copper pot stills, all made by hand on the premises. We take our fermented molasses mixture and distill it in three successive discrete distillation operations. The product of the third distillation is then allowed to rest and then pumped into oak barrels previously used to age Jim Beam bourbon. The barrel aging continues until I or our distillery manager test each barrel and release the ones with sufficient aging to bottling. Just prior to bottling there are 2 filtration operations, one through activated carbon (made from coconut shells) and a second through a submicron particle filter.
Bottling is done by hand in batches of 200 to 300 bottles.
The color in the Maui Dark is from two sources, some from the barrels and the rest from a few drops of caramel, which is made from Maui evaporated cane juice.
All the ingredients in our bottles are natural, Maui-sourced ingredients. No artificial or imported ingredients.
Enjoy and Aloha!
Thanks, Jim! Keep up the good work!