Enma Gift Pack
We found a surprise in a Narita International Airport (NRT) Duty Free shop – an Enma gift pack from Oimatsu Shuzo Co Ltd. Three 300 ml bottles of mugi shochu in three different varieties. The 900 ml is almost ideal for maximizing your 1 litre limit for U.S. duty free, unlike the usual 720 ml bottles. It also gives you a chance to try three very special shochus (explained below).
Enma (閻魔). Enma is the Buddhist King of the Underworld, so naturally Enma comes in a red bottle with black characters. “The Devil” is made with mugi (barley) and white koji and then aged 3 years in whiskey barrels, giving it a golden color. The full 720 ml bottle is available in the U.S. In fact, we recently picked one up at Mitsuwa. We haven’t seen either of the others so we’re really looking forward to trying them and reporting back.
Kuro Enma (黒 閻魔). “The Black Devil” is also a mugi shochu made with black koji using low pressure (vacuum) distillation. This distillation method results in a smoother, sweeter shochu than that used in the green bottle. It’s a 2010 Monde Award Winner.
Joatsu Enma (常圧閻魔). “The Real Devil” is a mugi shochu made with black koji using normal pressure (atmospheric) distillation. This method requires a higher boiling temperature and results in a much richer, more flavorful (some might say harsh) shochu. Thus the “real” description – this is a mugi shochu made using traditional methods and is not for the faint of heart.
Reviews coming soon. Perhaps a blind taste test as well.