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.

Published in: on 11/10/2015 at 11:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Santa Cruz Scrumpy



As we dive deeper into home brewing hard apple ciders and apple wine, we are doing our best to try a wide variety of what is available so we can learn more about what characteristics we like and dislike. This cider has been described as ‘tart’ but to us, it is more on the vinegar-y side of things. We found this with a few ciders, including that which we made from the Mr. Beer Cider Kit. At first we thought something was wrong but no, I guess there are just some people who like cider that tastes like vinegar.

I did not like this cider at all. I mean, we drank it (waste not, want not), but I would not purchase it again. That being said, I prefer my cider to basically be boozy apple soda. Also, the description on this bottle describes the apples they used as “grateful” and upon some research I learned that the word ‘grateful’ used to mean “pleasing.” So, this wasn’t a complete loss.

Published in: on 06/05/2014 at 3:17 AM  Leave a Comment  
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