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    The more I explore shochu, the more interesting facets I discover. I wish I could share all of them in real time, but as you’ve probably noticed I’m not able to spend as much time on updating Kampai.US as I have been in the past. Life and work intrude and I spend far more of my time talking with people about shochu than writing about it. That said, I’ll keep it up and I’ve invited a few guest writers who hopefully will start to contribute additional content. But this post wasn’t meant to be an apology. Rather, this… Read More...
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Tsukushi Kuro is one of four barley shochus available in the U.S. from Nishi Yoshida Shuzo, a premium barley shochu maker from Fukuoka. All of their U.S. products are made with barley koji, resulting in a 100% barley shcohu. Typically, barley shochus such as iichiko or Yufuin, take a light, clean approach to their shochus usually using white rice koji and low pressure distillation. Read More...
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In 2013 I wrote an entry for every day of my 3 week adventure in Kyushu. This year I didn't write a single post while spending 3.5 weeks in Japan. I'll blame a wonky laptop that was in the Fukuoka Apple Store until the day I left Japan, but mostly I wanted to immerse myself in the moment without the distraction of "What am I going to write about today?" Read More...
i10
As of this writing, Izakaya Ten, has closed its doors. The place where I discovered shochu and where I spent more nights than anywhere else over a 4 year span is no more. According to their website, "We would like to inform you that we are closing down our restaurant on Saturday, October 11th 2014. We want to thank you for sharing good times and tell you how much we have enjoyed serving you. Good Bye." Read More...
shigure
Shigure deserves far more love than its getting. It's rarely busy and always delicious. The staff is cordial, even friendly, which isn't always the case in NYC restaurants. It's out of the way for most people, because izakaya lovers are almost conditioned to spend their time in Midtown or the Village. Shigure is a bit out of the way, but it's worth the trip - over and over again. Read More...
sodo still
Using all Washington state local ingredients save koji imported from Japan and ginger from warmer climes, Mr. and Mrs. Sheehan have begun making small batch, hand-crafted barley shochu in a beautiful copper still. To save on man power and elbow grease the still is elevated on a platform above the distillery floor to make cleaning easier, letting gravity do much of the work. Read More...

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