Shochu Reviews...

akikiri
Aka Kirishima is a seasonal sweet potato shochu from Kirishima Shuzo, the producer of the best selling shochu in Japan, Kuro Kirishima. Much as iichiko put Oita on the map as a producer of barley shochu to rival Iki Island (more barley shochu is now produced in Oita than in the traditional home of barley shochu), Kirishima's products put Miyazaki on the map as a rival to Kagoshima's dominance as the home of sweet potato shochus. Read More...

kawabe
If you're lucky enough to find a bottle of Kawabe in New York, grab it and enjoy. It's been consistently out of stock at every liquor store and izakaya that carries it due to unexpected demand thanks to capturing the attention of several prominent izakaya bartenders and their customers. Some bar have resorted to shipping cases from California to assure uninterrupted supply. Read More...

heenotori
Hee no Tori, the "Firebird", has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year. This bottle is likely the only bottle I'll ever have since it's not imported to the US and was made as an experiment by a sake brewery from a non-shochu making region of Japan. As a testament to how popular shochu has become, many sake breweries have been doing this. Read More...

kuratake
Kuratake surprised me as soon as I opened the bottle. The rich sweet potato aroma and flavor I expect from imo shochus is largely absent from this spirit until you pay attention. It's got a subtle presence, but not the overwhelming sensation you'll get from a traditional Kagoshima style black koji imo shochu like Shiranami Kuro. This shochu takes the experience in a completely different direction. Read More...

satsuma hozan
Satsuma Hozan is the white koji sweet potato shochu from Nishi Shuzo, which also makes such premium products as Tomi No Hozan, Kiccho Hozan, and the ultra-premium Tenshi No Yuwaku. Besides these year round products, Nishi Shuzo also produces a line of seasonal limited edition sweet potato shochus including Ayamurasaki, Beniazuma, and Shiroyukata. Read More...

unkai
Buckwheat, or soba shochu, is not particularly common in Japan and even less so in the US with only three available currently. Unkai is the most affordable of these and at just around $15 a bottle retail in New York City it is one of the most affordable honkaku (authentic) shochus available anywhere. Don't let the low price tag fool you. Unkai is an interesting, flavorful, and enjoyable shochu. Read More...

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