Posts tagged with "mugi"

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...

Shochu Aisle at Mitsuwa
  Vast shochu selection at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ. Easily the largest shochu selection I’ve seen outside of Japan. Really impressive selection. What to choose?! I came home with: Gyokuro – a green tea shochu ($28.99) Jinkoo – a mugi (barley) shochu from the same distiller ($28.99) Kagemusha – an imo (sweet potato) shochu ($19.99) Akanone Ninjin – a carrot shochu ($34.99) Toki No Kokuin – a rice shochu ($24.99) Enma – a mugi shochu ($29.99) Akamaoh – an imo shochu ($24.99) This represents just a small portion of their selection. I see many, many trips back to Mitsuwa… Read More...

Ginza No Suzume Kohaku
Ginza no Suzume Kohaku may be the first shochu I tried that showed just how diverse and complex this style of spirit can be. Ginza is a barley shochu, much like iichiko, which I consider a super easy drinking, mild, tasty starter-shochu, yet the two couldn’t be more different. Ginza is aged in repurposed American white oak bourbon barrels. This gives the shochu its yellowish tint and oaky, smokey nose and taste. On the pallette it starts with the strangely oaken, earthy flavor that transforms into a sweet caramel. Read More...

2_juhyo_suntory_shochu
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the iconic line from Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, “It’s Suntory Time” as the disenchanted movie star tries to sell Japanese whisky. For many Westerners this was our first exposure to Suntory as a brand. They sell everything from bottled water to iced tea to whiskey to vitamins to shochu. I’ve tried several of their whiskys and enjoyed all of them so I was excited when I saw their shochu available in the U.S. Read More...

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