Kagemusha
Kagemusha means "shadow warrior" ... and was the title of a 1980 Akira Kurosawa film. The shochu gets its name from the black koji and robust imo flavor. The sexy black bottle & black label with gold and red trim add to the mystique. Read More...
yokaichi mugi
If iichiko silhouette was not your introduction to Japanese shochu, then it was likelyYokaichi Mugi. This is another ubiquitous barley shochu, mass produced, though still in the honkaku (single distillation) style. The lovely parchment label belies the low, low price, undercutting even iichiko. Read More...
Private Shochu Tasting #1
Good friends of ours were kind enough to make Cioppino for us on our last night in LA. We repaid them with an impromptu shochu tasting from the bottles we had to leave behind.     Far left is Kagura Tensho, which we just reviewed. A nice, smooth soba, barley, and rice shochu. Far right is an Awamori we reviewed last week, Shimauta. Next to the Shimauta is my new favorie imo, Kurokame, our first 90+ point shochu. But what’s that 4th bottle? It’s a mystery. Anyone know? We’ll reveal it soon. What was the consensus? For… Read More...
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Kagura Tensho is the first 3 grain shochu we’ve reviewed. Barley and rice shochus tend to rely on the single grain while imo (sweet potato) shochus combine with rice or more rarely with barley to balance the robust earthiness of the sweet potatoes. However, this is the first shochu we’ve found that uses three different grains. The usual suspects, rice and barley, are joined with soba, or buckwheat, a heartier grain used in making soba noodles. Read More...
Yakitori Charcoal
If you’ve had yakitori, you know what a treat it can be. Grilled (yaki) skewers of chicken (tori) basted in a savory-sweet sauce or salted (shio) just so. Most yakitori places, at least in the New York City area, are drinking houses first and eateries second. Places like Kenka or Yakitori Taisho (and sister Oh! Taisho) or Village Yokocho. It’s telling that all 4 of those places are within a one block radius and all are within a few minutes walk from most of the NYU dorms. These are places to share pitchers of beer and simple food on the… Read More...
kurokame
Kurokame is a surprising imo shochu. Given the relatively modest price and the consistent imo shochu style, we expected another earthy, herbal imo. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – we enjoy imos of all types. This imo is made with “purple” Satsuma sweet potatoes. These potatoes have a robust reddish purple skin, but are a pale yellow inside. Read More...

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