Posts tagged with "shochu"

There are not many junmai kuma-shochus available in the U.S. market. These are shochus made with polished Japanese rice, the same polishing process used in sake (nihon-shu) production. "Junmai" refers to rice that's been polished at least 70% (30% of the outer grain removed). Hakutake Shiro is made with rice polished to 60%. Only kome shochus produced in the Kuma River Valley can be designated as "kuma-shochu". Read More...

This bar is sandwiched between a coffee stand and a soba shop. The cluster of tables in front of the bar are meant to be shared by customers from all three establishments. When we arrived, about 11:30 or noon on a weekday, we were quickly left as the only customers in the Shinkansen waiting area - most travelers, of course, leave the station upon arrival. Not us. We stood in awe of the 250 brands of Kagoshima-made shochu that awaited us at the unexpected Satsuma Bar. Read More...

This classicly distilled sweet potato shochu is made with sweet potato koji, a claim that very few other shochus can make. Rather than growing the koji (rice mold) on steamed rice, Ikkomon's koji was grown on steamed sweet potatoes. This not only make the product 100% sweet potato, but also gives a unique scent and flavor profile uncommon among other imo shochus. Read More...

Like most "kuro koji" versions of white (shiro) koji shochus, the black koji really opens up the flavor profile. While Ginza No Suzume, which we haven't yet profiled, has a nice light neutral mugi flavor, this Ginza Kuro is much bigger. A dirty, earthy, fatty nose opens up the promise of a large taste and unexpectedly for a non-barrel aged mugi shochu it delivers. Read More...

This is the first in a series of shochu reviews that will review products that we tried or obtained while in Japan in July on our Shochu Tour 2012. This particular bottle was a gift from my guide and translator's partner, who is from Kumamoto Prefecture and is justifiably proud of this local shochu. Read More...

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...

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