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Hawaii Distillers of Vodka and Kona Coffee Liqueur

More Hawaii Distillers

In recent posts, I covered the micro-breweries and brewery of Hawaii, as well as, the wine makers and rum distillers in the islands.  I thought I had covered all the spirit-makers in Hawaii, but much to my dismay, I find that I overlooked two categories completely!    So, this post is to address my oversight.  All of  them are award-winning distillers who use Hawaiian grown sources for the making of their products.

Included is the only coffee liqueur in-the-world that is 100% coffee based and not diluted or flavored by vanilla, chocolate or some other additives.  What makes this an even better product is that its made of 100% Kona Coffee extract!  Truly, purely the best!

There are also three distillers who make vodkas on Maui and Oahu.  You will find organic sources vodka, as well as flavored vodkas that feature the fruits of Hawaii, including one made from Maui Gold pineapples.  They source their water from the volcanically filtered aquifers below the islands to desalinated, purified waters taken from the cold depths of the waters off the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur

Aloha Distillers, who makes Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur, was overlooked in my recent search for breweries, wineries, and distillers in the islands.   Kona Gold is the only coffee liqueur made from 100% coffee extract and if that isn’t special enough, it happens to be made of 100% Kona Coffee extract!

Liqueurs like the widely known Kahlua brand, are made from a blend of coffee extract and additives such as vanilla and chocolate to give it a richer, smoother flavor.  This is because most liqueurs are made with marginal coffee beans that produce an extract too weak and without sufficient flavor to stand on its own.

Fortunately, the people at Aloha Distillers know a good thing when they have it.  Start with the best, don’t dilute it with any additives, and you’ll end up with the best.  Robert Plotkin, the President of the National Bar & Restaurant Association, and author of numerous books including the 4th edition of the Bartender’s Companion wrote:  “Kona Gold is the only coffee liqueur in the world made from certified 100% coffee beans, and contains no other additives such as chocolate and vanilla.  You will be wowed at the vivacious flavor of the Hawaiian coffee liqueur.”

Hawaii’s Vodka Distillers

Located in Kahului, Maui, Ocean Vodka is an 80 Proof vodka made from organic sugar cane and desalinated, purified water from a depth of 3000 feet in the waters off the Big Island of Hawaii.

Also located on Maui, is the Haliimaile Distilling Company, which makes Pau Maui Vodka.  What makes Pau Maui Vodka so distinctive is that they are made using Maui Gold Pineapples!  Island 808 makes five different flavored vodkas: Pineapple, Mango, Coconut, Lychee, POG – Pineapple, Orange, Guava; plus their triple-distilled pineapple-based vodka, but unlike their pineapple flavored vodka, there is no pineapple taste to it.  Both are made by the LeVecke Corporation.

Pau Maui Vodka is made and bottled on Maui, while Island 808 is triple-distilled in Hawaii, and then blended and bottled in California, so I guess you could say its only semi-made in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Vodka is made by Island Distillers in Honolulu.  Made from sugar cane alcohol and blended with *naturally lava rock filtered water, its Honolulu’s only vodka distillery.  In addition, they also make a Coconut Hawaiian Vodka.  Both are made in very limited runs and availability is very limited.

*Owner, Dave Flintstone, from Hawaiian Vodka was kind enough to comment on this post with the following clarification:  “Not only is Hawaiian Vodka made with naturally lava filtered water, the actual vodka itself is lava filtered through crushed lava from the Big Island. This is a proprietary process that took years to develop, and it results in an ultra smooth, delicious vodka that is uniquely Hawaiian and unlike any other.”   My thanks to Dave.

In Summary

So, there you have it, gives a new meaning to the phrase,  “Spirit of Aloha!”   The greatest majority of the brewers, distillers, and wineries in Hawaii are less than 10 years old and only a handful are older than 20 years old.  Its nice to see that all but one, focuses on making the most of Hawaii’s natural resources and produce.  Besides, what better way is there to distinguish yourself from all the brands that have a strangle hold on the market, than to carve out your own little niche to exist in.   Something that I can appreciate and share with them.

 

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12 Comments »

  • Not only is Hawaiian Vodka made with naturally lava filtered water, the actual vodka itself is lava filtered through crushed lava from the Big Island. This is a proprietary process that took years to develop, and it results in an ultra smooth, delicious vodka that is uniquely Hawaiian and unlike any other.
    mahalo for the mention,
    Dave from Hawaiian Vodka

  • randy says:

    Thanks for taking the time to add your comment. Very much appreciated. Wish you all the best success!
    Randy

  • Damin martin says:

    Such a wonderful concept view dude! I Pau Maui Vodka is my favorite and whatever you wrote here about this issue seems to me wonderful. Thanks mate.

  • randy says:

    “whatever you wrote here…”? Would have been nice if you had at least read the post! Hahaha! Have a great day!

  • rumbustion says:

    Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur is made and bottled in California by the huge company Frank-Lin Distillers. While they may use Kona coffee as an ingredient, this liqueur is not made in Hawaii.

  • randy says:

    Mahalo for commenting, but a quick check of the Frank Lin website does not show them as the makers of Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur. You may want to check your resources. I also contacted Aloha Distillers and here is the reply I received:

    “No, this is incorrect. We make the Kona Gold here in Hawaii and send it in vats to California for bottling. It is less expensive. We could not call it “A product of Hawaii” (as stated on bottle) if we did not manufacture it here. Thank you for your interest,…”

    My thanks to Ann Fazendin, Sales and Marketing @ Aloha Distillers for responding.

  • rumbustion says:

    I have thoroughly checked my resources, perhaps you can do the same. On this page of Frank-lin’s site, http://www.frank-lin.com/spirits.html , you will see Kona Gold Coffee Liqueur listed under cordials.

    Aloha Distillers does not now and never has had a permit to make alcohol in Hawaii. They simply do not make the liqueur in Hawaii. They make the coffee extract. They are right about one thing, they are not allowed to call it a “product of Hawaii” if it is not “wholly rectified or combined” in Hawaii. So they will be forced to rectify that soon. Pun intended.

  • randy says:

    I appreciate your continued interest in this post…and hopefully other parts of my blog…and have looked at the link you have provided. I think what you may be confusing is that Frank-lin is a “distributor”, not just a bottler. So, while they do list Kona Gold in their product line, that does not necessarily mean they make it. I hope that helps.
    And, as you point out, the product is “wholly rectified or combined” in Hawaii. It is the finished product that Aloha Distillers ships to California to have bottled. As to whether or not Aloha Distillers has the proper permits and licenses, I cannot speak to. I will say that I would be surprised if they did not given the size and popularity of their product.
    Again, thank you for your interest and comments. I hope you will continue to visit and share posts in my blog.

    Randy

  • rumbustion says:

    Randy, you are misreading my comments. And you need not school me in what Frank-lin does, I know very well their business, and I know very well that they make Kona Gold. There is no confusion on my end, only misinformation on yours.
    I did not point out that Kona Gold is “wholly rectified or combined” in Hawaii, quite the opposite: Kona Gold is wholly rectified or combined in California. By Frank-lin Distillers.
    There is no distillery, no rectification plant, no alcohol beverage manufacturing of any kind at Aloha Distillers’ location. BECAUSE ITS MADE IN CALIFORNIA. Only the coffee extract, the coffee flavoring, is made in Hawaii.
    Why you feel the need to defend a product that is pretending to be made in Hawaii is a mystery to me.
    You do a disservice to those who appreciate truly Hawaiian made products.

  • rumbustion says:

    oh, and another thing. You can clearly see the type of misinformation supplied by Kona Gold simply by reading the home page of their website, where they state “Kona is the only coffee grown in the United States of America.” This is so completely untrue it is laughable. On the Big Island alone, coffee is grown in at least 3 other locales besides Kona, plus there are plantations on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu, even on Molokai. Kona Gold ignores this most obvious of truths, and so they do with the true nature of their product.

  • randy says:

    Thank you and happy to hear you’re going to share this with others.

  • Steven says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about hawaii\’s vodkas. Regards

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