Hailing from Jamaica comes Koko Kanu. Which is a first on this site as its a flavoured, rather than a “Spiced” rum. Distilled by J Wray and Nephew it certainly should have a solid rum at the heart of it.
In the UK Malibu is without doubt the most popular Coconut “rum” but at only 21% it falls massively short of what can be labelled a rum. In reality it is little more than a Coconut and rum liqueur. Like Koko Kanu it also has a decent base rum as it is produced at West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) home of Cockspur Rum. The Malibu brand (12 flavours now available worldwide) is owned by Pernod Ricard.
I’ve not seen Koko Kanu in any UK supermarkets (personally I think it could sell quite well). I had looked at it online but never bought it. I eventually saw a bottle in a local Cash and Carry and decided to buy it (they also stocked J Wray and Nephew White Overproof) it was around £18 for a bottle which I didn’t think was bad. It is around £18-22 online. The slightly unusual square 3/4 bottle is very eye catching and distinctive. Yet at the same time quite simplistic and uncluttered. The bird on the front of the bottle is actually the “Doctor Humming Bird” and the flower is the “Lignum Vitae” both are native to Jamaica. The presentation to me is aimed at the female market and was introduced in 2008.
Bottled at 37.5% Koko Kanu can (just) be labelled as Coconut Rum in the UK. Originally Malibu was introduced to the market as a more convenient and arguably less skilful way of adding coconut flavour to mixed drinks such as Mai Tai’s and Pina Colada’s. It is fair to say that a drink made in this way with Koko Kanu will be slightly more potent than when made with Malibu! No doubt like J Wray and Nephew White Overproof – this will be a big selling point in Jamaica.
Koko Kanu is naturally flavoured with Coconut Essence. When I first opened the bottle there was actually crystalised sugar around the rim of the bottle and the screw cap. This gives you a little indication as to how sweet this rum is.
To describe this rum is really rather than simple and nothing should come as much of surprise. As this is the first flavoured rum I have reviewed it is also the first Coconut rum I have reviewed. So I have no basis for comparison. In short it smells like Coconut and tastes like Coconut. So job done……….still I’ll try and elaborate a little more.
First up is the nose. It smells how you would expect. It’s very sweet. There are wafts of young alcohol notes but predominantly it is very sweet sugary coconut. It reminds me of Coconut Ice if you are familiar with that very sweet coconut confection. For a more international flavour its very much like a Bounty Bar minus the chocolate.
Moving onto sipping this. The overall sweetness of the drink means it is actually not bad as a sipper. Not in the sense it gives a tremendous rum experience though. It doesn’t in any way shape or form. But it does give you a nice liqueuer like drink which you can enjoy chilled over ice without a mixer.
With a mixer though is really what Koko Kanu is made for I’m sure. With fruit juices it works particularly well but it also goes well with lemonade and cola. It’s very easy to drink especially if you are in the mood for a sweet treat.
Perhaps one of my major concerns would be the amount of calories in this drink. It really is very, very sweet and sugary. If you are on a diet stick to the Bacardi Superior! This rum flew of the Hydrometer scoring and I could not get a reading!
To give this rum a “score” is slightly unfair. I have nothing to judge it against and whilst it is pleasant I have no way of knowing if I will find a better Coconut rum. Maybe something less sweet perhaps? I don’t know.
It’s perfectly pleasant if you want a rum that tastes of Coconut. I dare say it offers much better value than Malibu as well. I’ll mark this one up as “good” until something else comes along and perhaps I can update the score. It hasn’t blown me away but it might well be the best you can get.
Like Ronseal it does exactly what it says on the tin (bottle).