Here is something that you do not see every day: a rum from Japan!
The Helios distillery actually has a surprisingly long history. The company was first formed by Tadashi Matsuda in 1961, when Japan was distillery experiencing economic hardship after World War II. The distillery was built in the Okinawa region of Japan (a collection of islands found a fair way to the south of the Japanese mainland).
Here it is warm enough to grow sugarcane, and sugar was readily available during the 60s (as opposed to rice, used to make the more locally popular spirit of sake, which was reserved as a food source). The decision to make rum was also precipitated by the presence of American soldiers, who represented a ready market for the sweet spirit.
The rum is actually made with fermented sugar cane juice, giving it a certain similarity with the Agricole style. The Kiyomi White Rum bottling is fermented 30 days, producing a fruity quality, and distilled in a double column still. It is rested for six months in steel tanks, to ensure purity and batch consistency.
This is an excellent white rum featuring notes of sweet cornbread, herbs, salt, white syrup, a little cucumber, a touch of wood ash, pineapple, banana and ripe strawberries.
A perfect base for all manner of rum cocktails, this makes a mean Daiquiri.