Shochu is one of my favourite spirits and the amount of ingredients that can be used to make it is one of its main appeals. On my shochu journey I’ve tried sweet potato, rice, barley, kokuto (brown sugar) and a category that’s blown my mind recently is soba (buckwheat).
Specifically, Takara towari soba shochu blew my mind because of how good it tastes and here are my thoughts.
In terms of ingredients, shochu may well be the most diverse spirit on the planet. Japan’s best kept secret can be made from lots of unusual substances. I’ve gravitated to more niche varieties of shochu and Tantakatan shiso comfortably sits in that camp.
A shochu with a fishy tale behind it, there’s a lot to enjoy about this delightful drink.
They say some drinks are an acquired taste and with shochu that rings true. Because once you’ve developed a taste for Japan’s national spirit, you’ll fall down the rabbit hole and want to discover as many varietals as your hands and wallet will allow.
One of the latest drinks I’ve tasted on my shochu odyssey is Kaido blue from the Hamada Syuzou distillery, which is also responsible for the glorious Daiyame sweet potato shochu.
When it comes to predicting the next big spirit, I believe shochu has the potential to take the world by storm and introduce consumers to a whole new range of flavours. There’s still a lot of education to be shared about Japan’s national spirit in the west and writing about it is my way of contributing to the shochu revolution!
Shochu is one of the world’s most diverse spirits, thanks to the plethora of ingredients it can be made from and the range of styles it can be enjoyed in. Outside of Japan, shochu awareness is becoming more apparent and some western distilleries are looking at how to incorporate it into their portfolio.
UK-based drink mavericks BrewDog took the plunge by creating the UK’s first shochu Inugami. While I’m happy that shochu has been introduced through a western lens, it’s important to point out how Inugami differs from traditional shochu so consumers can make an informed buying decision.
If you’re looking to step outside your comfort zone with a unique kind of drink they you can’t go wrong with shochu. Japan’s national spirit is made with a smorgasbord of different ingredients, with one of the most interesting being sesame seeds.
Beniotome Red Maiden Black is the first sesame shochu I’ve tried and it’s one of the most multifaceted drinks I’ve come across on my shochu journey so far.
Since being bitten by the shochu bug, I’ve been on a mission to try as many different types of Japan’s national spirit as possible. From sweet potato to barley, the base ingredients of shochu are as diverse as the breweries that produce such a fine drink.
Shochu is one of the most unique spirits on the planet because of the variety of ingredients that it’s made from and distinctive flavour profiles. Whether it’s imo (sweet potato) or mugi (barley) shochu, you’re guaranteed a different drinking experience from each spirit that you try.