tominohozan
Like so many imo shochus, this one has that earthy nose. Fresh dirt. But there’s an added element here. A hint of wild flowers. What makes it unique from other imo shochus is the yellow koji, which gives it much more floral aroma and palate. Tomi No Hozan is even drinkable neat. A buttery mouth feel accompanies the pleasantly sweet floral taste. Oyuwari (hot water) really opens up the flavor, tasting almost like a tea rather than a liquor, though the burn gives away its true nature. Read More...
Soba Ale
  Despite not serving shochu, Rairaiken is one of our favorite ramen shops in New York City’s East Village where ramen shops are as popular as dry cleaners in other neighborhoods. On our last visit they’d added a beer to their menu. At first blush it appears to be a Japanese soba ale direct from Japan. Upon closer inspection, it is Rogue Brewery’s entry into the Japanese Craft Beer craze. It looks to be clearly developed for the Japanese market with Japanese character prominent both on the front label and the back description. Hope that works out for them. So… Read More...
nishi
Nishinomiyako, a kuro koji imo shochu at Rakurakuan in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Mild flavor (for an imo) & went well with a mainly seafood meal. Look for a full review in the future. Of both the shochu and the izakaya!  … Read More...
enma set
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… Read More...
Shochu Diet Week 13
  A funny thing happened on my Shochu DietThanksgiving happened. As of week 11 I was at my lowest weight on the diet, down 12.2 lbs. The Week 12 milestone was Thanksgiving Day. My Mom: brined a turkey made stuffing made mashed potatoes with lots of butter baked 3 pies plied us with chocolate martinis and red wine I finished 3 servings of turkey and various side dishes. Despite the hiking for exercise and pretty strict adherence to shochu, Week 12 saw a +1.1 lb increase. Week 13 saw another +1.1 lb increase, because it included the leftover… Read More...
Maou
It is important to have singleness of purpose. One clear goal. An achievable, yet worthy objective.  But for our upcoming trip to Japan, I’ve felt more than a little overwhelmed with potential avenues to explore: neighborhoods, cuisines, izakayas, shochus, craft beers. Really, so much to explore in a relatively short visit that the prospect is almost overwhelming. Now, thanks to a tip from @AussieinJapan, we will have one primary aim. To find and drink Maou (魔王 焼酎), which he describes as “the King of Shochus.”   It’s not available in the U.S.  Maybe we can change that.  If it… Read More...

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