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HomeEatRUMRum Review: Kuna 8 Year Old – Panama

Rum Review: Kuna 8 Year Old – Panama

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The “newly arrived” rum immediately caught our eyes at our local supplier. An indigenous tribal head adorned the white box with eyes that drew us in wanting to know if he was evil or friendly. Here’s hoping Kuna 8 year old is friendly.

In researching the rum, it’s clear we found another rum cloaked in mystery. Lookout Beverages Group LTD markets Kuna along with Emperor and Canaoak Rums. The company is based in Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. They have been in business since 2014 and began exporting their rums worldwide in 2016. The company’s website has a lot of fluff in its ‘About Us’ section around marrying tradition with innovation, however, there are no verbs to explain either. Founder and CEO Christophe Aulner does say that it’s their “unique finishes” which sets their rums apart from the others.

Kuna refers to a tribe and one of Panama’s oldest communities. In this complex world, they have maintained their tribal identity, balancing life free from the complexities of modern society. Their customs are passed down to the younger generation through dance, song, and storytelling. It’s this slower pace of life that Lookout is trying to convey in their rum. 

Kuna is a blend of “superb matured rums from Panama’s best reserves.” From whom Lookout Group is getting their rum from is not disclosed. The blend is aged six to eight years in small American white oak bourbon barrels, less than 52 gallons, then an additional six months in Grand Cru de Bordeaux barrels. The type of still is not disclosed nor whether it is bottled using a solera method or from a single cask.

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He Said 

The nose definitely has a bourbon note with undertones of oak. There is also fruit floral that sits under the bourbon. On the palate, I continue to get a bourbon feel. While I find there are slight hints of dates, and raisins, the overall note is a smooth-aged bourbon. There is very little sweetness and nothing much to explore. The finish is long and satisfying, inviting me back for more. This is not your typical rum.

She Said

The very light honey liquid hugs the glass with tiny lacing which eventually gives way to fat droplets. The rum has a strong nose with notes of crisp, sweet apples picked right off the tree. The taste surprised me because I was ready for the alcohol burn but there was none. For a minute I get a hint of cinnamon but that quickly gives way to boot leather. I agree with Clint, there is very little sweetness to this rum and the finish is long and satisfying.

Overall Rum Review of Kuna 8 Year Old

Based on the age and color, we were completely prepared to not like Kuna. But to our surprise, the uniqueness of the rum is quite enjoyable, although Terry wanted a little more sweetness. It’s well worth the $35/bottle price point.

4.5 of 5

About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.

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