Maui’s Kupu Spirits debuts new whiskey

Maui’s Kupu Spirits debuts new whiskey

After one year of resting in new charred American oak barrels, Kupu Spirits is launching its namesake whiskey this month.

Kupu Whiskey is blend of rye and bourbon that has been aged in bunkers provided by Haleakala Ranch which date back to World War II. 

The 88-proof whiskey combines caramel and vanilla notes, building to a peppery spice with a hint of nuttiness.

“After closely monitoring the aging process for over 2 years, we carefully selected the barrels to pull for Batch #1. Selecting the perfect marriage of the lighter #2 charring of white American oak, along with the ideal climate conditions where the whiskey was rested, we feel this rye-heavy blend really stands-up to top whiskeys in its class. While the subtle complexities of the sweet corn and vanilla flavors are apparent, we wanted to primarily showcase that spicy, peppery kick of the rye that we all know and love,” said Kupu Lead Distiller, Nick Reiss. “Our team at Kupuworked very hard, putting in the time and sweat to build the foundation of a program here on Maui that will continue to bring more delicious whiskey for years to come.”

The official debut of Kupu Whiskey will be on World Whiskey Day, May 15, at MBC Waikiki. CEO and Co-Founder of Maui Brewing Company/Kupu Spirits, Garrett Marrero, will be in attendance alongside Lead Distiller Nick Reiss, members of the MBC team, and distribution partners from Paradise Beverages

To celebrate, all Maui Brewing Company locations will offer a promotional cocktail, the Ko’olau Cruiser, created by MBC Waikiki General Manager and Head Mixologist Shawn Shelton and made with Kupu Spirits Whiskey, Orange Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, and lemon juice. 

In addition, Executive Chef Terry Lynch has created a dessert pairing Honey Toast with Kupu Whiskey Caramel Sauce.

At the brewery/distillery on Maui, the team at MBC Kihei will offer the following from May 15 through May 22:

  • A HI Fashioned sampler, featuring four beverages on a sampler paddle including a signature White Kupu Old Fashioned, a Kupu Barrel One Old Fashioned, an Origin Kupu Old Fashioned, and a Barrel-aged Old Fashioned Barleywine.
  • White Kupu Sloshie Special, a classic frozen blend of Mango Iced Tea with Lemonade, Kupu White Whiskey and cane sugar. 

Along with the new whiskey, Kupu Spirits also offers gin, white whiskey and ready-to-drink cocktails. The company was founded in 2019. For more information and to connect with the brand, visit www.KupuSpirits.com and follow Kupu Spirits on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.


Jason Genegabus has written about Hawaii’s cocktail, beer and wine scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at barflyhawaii@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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