Shimauta
As with most Awamori, Shimauta is a rich, flavorful, herbal spirit. An earthy nose hints at the flavor you expect from an Awamori. The warm mouthfeel promises a richness that does not disappoint. The herbal flavor is never overpowering, but also does not hide. There is the slightest hint of sweetness, but it is just promised, not delivered. The herbal (again) finish lingers into a buttery end. Read More...
Jinkoo Imo
Jinkoo, which means “perfect sky”, is a rich, lush imo shochu that has long been available on Japan Airlines (JAL) flights, at least for business class travelers. Which came first? The name or the JAL contract? This imo is distilled from Satsuma sweet potatoes from the Kagoshima Prefecture at the south end of Kyushu Island (Fukuoka is in the north of the island). Read More...
Tokinokokuin
Toki No Kokuin is an award winning shochu, reciving a Gold Medal at the 2009 World Wine Championships. This reflects, no doubt, the extremely neutral and easy-drinking nature of the spirit. This pure rice shochu is very easy drinking despite aging for 3 years in oak barrels. While there is very little English language information avialable, my guess is that these are virgin oak barrels as there is no hint of any other oak-aged spirit in the flavor. Read More...
shochudiet
The Shochu Diet started on a lark. I’d seen some photos of myself from a friend’s wedding and realized I’d gained more weight than I had imagined. It wasn’t so much that my weight had climbed, but that my fitness had declined. I’m normally very active with cycling, soccer, and tennis, but a broken fib lead to a torn meniscus in my right knee, which slowed my summer down considerably. I looked back at my Wii Fit history and found that on September 1, 2010 I had weighed 169 lbs. Exactly one year later I weighed 177 lbs. That’s not… Read More...
Ikkomon Imo Shochu
Somehow Hide Chan Ramen on 52nd Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues in Manhattan only gets 3 Yelp stars. Yet this sister to Totto Ramen has the single best bowl of ramen I’ve ever had in my life … scallion ramen with buta kakuni (marinated pork belly). And even better, they have 4 different shochus available. I had the Ikkomon honkaku imo shochu. This Earthy imo went very well with scallion ramen. The oyuwari shochu in the stone glass (pictured) was a very relaxing finish to a very long work-day.… Read More...
Ryukyu Label
This Awamori is a fine example of the spirit. It has a strong herbal nose that is very rich on the palate. The strong herbal flavor subsides into a moderate licorice or anise flavor before settling into a smooth neutral finish. It has a warm, earthy mouthfeel that’s not at all unexpected from the herbal scent. It’s hard to place the taste beyond herbal, except that it tastes quite a bit like a lighter version of the Taiwanese & Chinese spirit, Kaoliang, a sorghum spirit that’s a much higher alcohol content than most Awamori. Read More...

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