Posts tagged with "shochu"

satsuma shiranami
It is difficult to differentiate the experience of drinking sweet potato shochu from drinking Satsuma Shiranami. This may be the definitive flavor profile for an authentic Kagoshima imo shochu. While white koji is used to mellow out the flavor, normal pressure distillation brings out everything it can from the kogane sengan sweet potatoes. Read More...

IMG_9095
95% of Nishi Yoshida's production is barley shochu. They also make small runs of some niche products such as chestnut and carrot, but barley predominates. In the past they made sweet potato and rice shochu, but switched to barley in the 1980s, distilling for their own labels and for other shochu makers. Their production facility is also substantially smaller than Kitaya, producing approximately 1,200 kilo-liters per year. Read More...

tensonkurin
Tenson Kourin is one of the more affordable sweet potato shochus available in the U.S. At less than $20 per bottle, it's a true bargin. While many of the lower priced shochus have less flavor or complexity, Tenson Kourin does not suffer this fate. This was a product developed in 2001 specifically for the export market, though it is also sold within Japan. Read More...

Kitaya Shuzo
Kitaya Shuzo is a nihonshu (sake) and shochu producer in Fukuoka Prefecture and the first stop on our shochu distillery tour. Seikai Ishizuka and I traveled nearly an hour south of Hakata (main station in Fukouka City) on a commuter train to reach Yame, a city of less than 40,000 people in southern Fukuoka Prefecture. There we were met by a Kitaya representative who drove us to the distillery. Read More...

Ishizue
My trip has been much more packed with activities than I imagined and I've meet some remarkable people who I'd like to spend more time with. I'll write about my great experiences in Fukuoka soon, but I wanted to start with Kagoshima. Seikai Ishizuka, the shochu tasting contest champion, has been an amazing friend and translator to me on this trip. Yesterday we moved from Fukuoka to Kagoshima, the home of imo (sweet potato) shochu. Read More...

JAL 005 JFK to NRT
I've decided to take a pilgrimage. This isn't easy for me since I don't speak much Japanese outside of restaurants and my “real” career is busier than ever, but I booked a trip to Japan this summer. In fact, I'm on Japan Airlines (JAL) flight #5 from JFK to Tokyo Narita as I write this. Planning this trip has been so daunting, I've only been able to tweet about it. I realized on my way to the airport that many of my friends didn't even realize I was going. A text from our graphic designer read, “Hey man, plans today?” I replied, “Heading to Japan.” He replied, “Hot damn. When you back?” Read More...

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