Brand: Kuro Isanishiki
Distillery: Okuchi Shuzo Co, Ltd.
Location: Isa, Kagoshima, Kyushu Island, Japan
Grain: 83% sweet potato (imo) & 17% rice (kome)
Koji: black (kuro)
Alcohol: 24% (48 proof)
Kuro Isanishki has the unmistakable earthy nose of an imo shochu. This yields to a buttery soft mouthfeel. Surprisingly supple given what’s in store otherwise. An extremely light sweetness yields to a very dry, tight finish. The dryness would overwhelm except the soft mouth provides enough mellowness to create an interesting contrast.
The Verdict: Recommended
Kuro Isanishiki is one of the driest imos around, yet provides such a nice drinking experience it’s tough to do anything other than order it again and again. Perhaps not as meat friendly as some other imos, it still goes very well with oshinko (Japanese pickles) and other tart or salty tsumami (drinking snacks). This probably explains why it’s a favorite among seasoned imo drinkers in New York City. This is one imo shochu I definitely prefer on the rocks to mellow out the dryness.