I am happy to have received a bottle of this product and would like to thank my good friend Sebastian Mawien for providing me this experience! He and I worked together and have developed an appreciation for each other and a great friendship. On one of his trips to Africa he was gracious enough to bring back a bottle of Kane Extra which, he explained, as one of the local whiskeys and something that makes the local population do “crazy things!” In my research of this product I have come up with next to nothing for information about it. I have gone to the distributor’s website and they do not even list it as one of their products. With what little data I could find, some refer to it as a rum product while others claim it to be similar to “white lightning” from in the United States but nothing on the label or in my research indicates what it really is. In my sampling of the spirit, I found it more to be like white lighting than rum and will treat it as such until proven otherwise.
Whiskey- Kane Extra from Kenya (by standards, this can not be considered whisk(e)y)
Type- White Lighting, no age statement no statement about grain used, no statement of ABV but tastes like the 40-45% range, distributed by East African Breweries Limited from Nairobi, Kenya
Appearance- a soft Fino Sherry with quick-moving tears and no apparent impurities.
Aroma- a very, very young sweet aroma brushed with Maraschino cherries strike the nose but are lost quickly to turpentine and alcohol pads. The depth of this spirit stops there and one would be very taxed to find anything more.
Taste- the cherries come through again but not as strong as on the nose. Crisp and bright with a slight cola taste, the untamed youth comes through as there does not seem to be any balance or complexity. As it dies on the palate a hint towards spice takes momentary shape but quickly fades. The mouth feel is drying and slightly oily.
With Water- the water seems to help calm the unruliness but not enough. I am surprised to find a hint of cereal with water and the sweet flavor is brought out just a bit more.
Finish- a hint of spearmint, alcohol, and a bit warming. Simple and to the point, then it is over.
Would I ever buy Kane Extra again, no, but let me ask you, how often do we get to try a spirit from a country you have never seen in your own? I could not and would not pass up this opportunity. True it does not offer me much in complexity, and to be honest it really was not pleasurable to drink, but it offers me insight to spirits made in Africa, and while they do receive Scotch and other whiskys this, according to Sebastian, is popular among the locals. In a way, I am seeing and experiencing what a group of people thousands of miles away are, and to boot, unless I go to Kenya or the Sudan I may never have the opportunity to try it again. So I am thankful to have been able to try it, but do not recommend it.