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...
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...
IMG_8635 (2)
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...

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