Kura No Shikon

Brand: Kura No Shikon

Distillery: Komasa Shuzo Co, Ltd.

Location: Kagoshima, Kyushu Island, Japan

Grain: 84% kogane sengan sweet potatoes (imo) & 16% koshihikari rice (kome)

Koji: black (kuro)

Distillation: atmospheric

Alcohol: 24% (48 proof)

Price: $$$

 

Tasting Notes

Komasa distillery has been making imo shochu in Kagoshima since 1883, but their outstanding products only reached the U.S. in 2012. We first were able to sample these at the Shochu Night Out in February. Above all of their very nice products, this is the one we were most excited about. A black koji sweet potato shochu aged in unglazed clay pots for a minimum of 3 years, this promises to be a full bodied, richly flavored, absolutely decadent imo shochu. And does it ever deliver.

Taking full advantage of the black koji, sweet potatoes, and traditional atmospheric distillation, Kuro No Shikon greets the drinker with a rich earthy nose. The sweet pungency permeates the glass and promises a world of flavor. While many imo shochus have this aromatic profile, this is a rounder, richer scent than most deliver. It’s simply luscious.

The first sip provides a dirty roasted sweetness with a buttery mellow mouthfeel. This slides into an a fresh vegetal middle before sharpening into a minted finish. A splash of water mellows much of this out, but makes for a less interesting experience, if more drinkable.

The Verdict: Highly Recommended

This is a shochu best had straight (neat) to enjoy the full flavor characteristics. Perhaps a dash of water to open it up a little, but it’s delicious as it is. It’s not often a shochu comes along that surprises even with high expectations, but Kura No Shikon is one of those. Our only wish is that it was available more places. This is hard to find!

Kampai!

 

 

 

Comments
5 Responses to “Kura No Shikon”
  1. To date I have had 43 different shochu 焼酎. This is one of my favorites.
    Kura no Shikon 芋 has a rich, full-bodied mouth feel. I find it to be earthy with a subtle sweetness.
    I am a sake drinker and relatively new to shochu and awamori. At first I preferred
    mugi 麦 or kome 米 shochu, however, their is a pleasant, comfort once
    I developed a taste for sweet potato shochu. Low in calories, big on flavor, and with just the right
    amount of アルコール (alcohol), typically between 24-38%, shochu is a wonderful addition to this drinker’s palate. I prefer my honkaku (distilled only once) 本格焼酎 shochu straight or “on the rocks.”
    I give this beveridge an enthusiast 2 thumbs up ??.
    LaMonte Heflick, ASP Sake Education Council, 新橋Feb 2014.

  2. Sorry “there” instead of “their” in my review of Kura no Shikon.

  3. Kevin says:

    I must be very new to Shochu, because I bought a bottle and this tastes like mezcal to me (albeit earthier).

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  1. […] which I visited this summer. They also offer a clay pot aged imo shochu in the U.S. known as Kura No Shikon, which is actually made in a different facility and with a different distillation process […]

  2. […] enjoyed a few dishes before Komasa-san showed up. Maker of the delicious Kura No Shikon, I’d not seen him since last summer and we had a good hug and catch-up before Manzen-kun, […]



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