Okinawa’s Helios Distillery has been selling rum under the “Teeda” brand for several years. They’ve just launched a new limited-edition age statement expression that’s aged five+ years in American white oak casks.
The Helios Distillery has been getting quite a bit of attention of late since their KURA The Whisky Rum Cask Finish release is fairly easy to find in Japan and still affordable. But the company’s roots are actually in rum! They established themselves quite firmly supplying Americans stationed on the island back in the days of USCAR.
Teeda, which is Okinawan for “sun,” ordinarily doesn’t come with an age statement. However this limited run of 2000 bottles is a blend of rums aged 5 to 15 years. The tasting notes make it sound like a trip through Candy Land: rum raising and cinnamon on the nose, caramel and candy sugar on the palate, and a maple syrup finish. Adding water is supposed to bring out vanilla ice cream as well. That all sounds quite scrumptious!
It’s currently going for around 3500 yen including tax. 700ml / 40% abv
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I’ve always wondered if Japanese Rum will get its day in the sun. I’ve never tasted any as I don’t think I’ve seen any for sale here (unlike gin and whisky), but Nine Leaves always sounds interesting when I’ve read about them. It also sounds like a lot of Japanese rum is made from sugar cane, so may be more similar to the rhum agricole style that I love.