Hanalei Spirits
|

Hanalei Spirits Distillery – Kauai

Recently I had the pleasure of taking a 90 minute tour of the Hanalei Spirits farm and distillery on the north shore of Kauai. Situated on a 7 1/2 acre agricultural parcel, the Wells family has farmed the land to grow almost all the produce needed to give their premium craft spirits a distinctive flavor. The moto is, “Gathered from the land – Crafted by hand.” I was blown away when I learned that the family members almost single handedly do it all, from plant to labeled bottle!

We started the tour in the small distillery at the back of the property. There, our friendly tour guide met and introduced us to the products produced on the property. She told us a bit of family history, and then led us out to the farm where we saw some of the plants and trees used in the production process. I was astonished to learn that the green ti plant is grown for 6 to 8 years before being dug up for the root which is the base of the Okolehao spirit. Lilikoi vines were growing on a massive framework and when the flowers bloom, they need to be polinated by hand. Same with the vanilla vines. Sweet tasting, white, Sugarloaf pineapple could be seen growing on the ground in rows and columns. About the only thing missing was the taro plant, used to make their Taro Vodka. That is sourced from Hanalei Taro Company just down the highway. When I asked how many gardeners they had, the answer was one – Tutu (Grandmother in Hawaiian).

Ti plants
Lilikoi vines

Next we went back to the distillery to see the impressive equipment used in the production of the small batch spirits.

Hanalei Spirits
Aging barrels
Kauai small batch spirits

And then the tasting began. Visitors were offered a small sample of each of the premium crafted spirits produced on the farm.

Hanalei Spirits Vodka – a smooth neutral spirit, make with sugar cane and the finest mineral-rich water in the world.

Hanalei Spirits Taro Vodka – the first legally distilled taro vodka. Subtle fruity aromas and ultra-smooth for a sweeter, more rounded flavor.

Hanalei Spirits Rum – a light bodied white rum made with sugar cane that allows the local delicate fruit juices to shine.

Sugarloaf Pineapple Rum – a low acid, white pineapple adds a distinctive flavor to the white rum.

Dark Rum – the deep rich color comes from spending time in new charred white oak barrels where it picks up hints of vanilla and a subtle chocolate finish.

Tutu’s Gin – new to the collection because it is Tutu’s spirit of choice.

Okolehao – an excellent substitute for any whisky cocktail, this was the silky liquid of choice for sailors in the 1790s when they ran out of rum.

Lilikoicello – crafted from passion fruit (liliko’i) with a tart, aromatic flavor.

Alani – the Hawaiian version of a traditional orange curacao, blending sweet orange blossoms and acidity.

You may find many craft cocktail recipes using these spirits on the Hanalei Spirits website. A few examples are: Hawaiian Sunset, Hanalei Mule, Spotted Pig “Bloody Mary”, Hanalei Hurricane, and Sunset on the Pier. Or, just substitute Hanalei Spirits in your favorite cocktail recipe.

Most of their spirits come in 50ml, 375ml, and 750ml sizes. Also available is the Hanalei Gift Pack, consisting of five, 50ml bottles. Prices range from $7 to $105.

As the farm and ideas flourish, other products are being produced besides spirits. From the blue ring ginger root comes ginger syrup (perfect for your “mule” cocktail). Pure, barrel-aged vanilla extract and raw, wildflower honey are also available.

Tours

45 minute Tasting Experience (from the website) – One of our Hanalei Spirits Family members will walk you through each of our craft spirits and tell you the unique stories behind each, from farm to bottle. We will start with our lineup of award winning Vodkas and Rums, then finish with the our premium seasonal spirts. The tasting includes a 1/4 oz pour of each of our spirits, and we will not be serving any cocktails or food. The tasting lasts about 45 minutes. Near the end of the tasting, you will have the opportunity to purchase any spirits you wish to take home with you. Hopefully you will feel like family or ‘Ohana, as we like to say in Hawai’i, by the time you leave.  We can’t wait to share our spirits with you!

90 minute Distillery Tour and Tasting (from the website) – A behind the scenes tour of our distillery operations, followed by a tasting of all of our premium craft spirits. The tour lasts about 90 minutes. We begin by walking down to a portion of the farm where we introduce the native plants we grow to produce our spirits. We then head to the distillery, where we explain the equipment, and complete process from farm to bottle. Near the end of the tour, a Hanalei Spirits family member will walk you through a tasting of all our craft spirits. We will start with our Vodkas, Rums, and finish with the our seasonal spirts. The tasting includes a 1/4 oz pour of each of our spirits, and we will not be serving any cocktails or food. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to purchase any spirits you wish to take home with you. Hopefully you will feel like family or ‘Ohana, as we like to say in Hawai’i, by the time you leave.  We can’t wait to share our spirits with you!

Cost of Tours – FREE!

Tour Days – Monday, Wednesday, Friday

ALL GUESTS MUST BE 21 OR OLDER. Reservations are required.

To book at tour, go to the Hanalei Spirits Website.

Hanalei Spirits

Contact Information

Location: Kilauea, HI, USA

Phone Number: (808) 346-2839

Email Address: cheers@hanaleispirits.com

Website: To purchase products or schedule a tour, https://hanaleispirits.com/

“We recommend stable footwear, that you do not mind getting dirty. At this time we unfortunately do not have handicap accessibility. All guests must be able to walk and stand for an extended period of time, through uneven terrain, along a gravel road. Rye, Piper and Maile are the family farm dogs that will be greeting you upon your arrival. They are all friendly, but please notify us in advance if you have any issues or allergies with dogs.”

I hope you enjoy your experience at Hanalei Spirits as much as I did. Clearly the family has a passion for their business and it shows. Cheers!

Hanalei Spirits Tours

For more of my blogs, or to subscribe, go to our Guides page and scroll all the way to the bottom. For more information about Honu Point, our luxury vacation rental on the north shore of Kauai, go to any other page of this website. We would LOVE for you to follow us on Instagram. Mahalo!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *