G.E.M. 10 Year Old Oak-aged Awamori Shōchū
Awamori shōchū is a speciality of Okinawa, the southernmost and westernmost Japanese prefecture comprising 150 islands in the East China Sea. It’s made from long-grain Thai rice (not the traditional short-grain Japanese rice) inoculated with a black koji mould. Although that sounds a little scary, it’s worth remembering that there would be no mirin, soy sauce, miso, rice vinegar or sake without the magical mould known as koji. The mould kickstarts the fermentation, following which it is distilled.
Kumesen is one of the most famous producers of Awamori shōchū, and G.E.M. (Genuine Extra Matured) is probably their most ambitious project. This incredible spirit takes two shōchūs, one distilled in 1997 and one distilled in 2001, blends them and pops them into Kentucky Bourbon barrels for ten years. What emerges has been called the Japanese Pappy, comparing it to the legendary Pappy Van Winkle. A big, rich and powerful spirit, it positively throbs with caramelised banana, wood varnish, creamy vanilla, woodsmoke, beeswax, orange peel, cinnamon, burnt butter, raisin, prune, leather and sweet tobacco. As compelling as any whisky, we recommend gifting this to any adventurous Bourbon drinker, sipping it neat from a tumbler, or mixing it into an Old Fashioned.
Shōchū, translating roughly as “fiery spirit”, is one Japan’s most exciting beverages, but also one of the most overlooked. It can be produced from all sorts of base ingredients, for example rice, sake lees, sweet potato, various grains, chestnuts, sesame seeds, brown sugar and even carrots, which makes it a bartender’s dream. Not bound by all the rules and regulations that sake and whisky must conform to, shōchū is breaking free of its reputation as simply a fire water or hooch, giving rise to a new breed of craft producer. Following in the footsteps of mezcal, poitín and baijiu, shōchū is a complicated, versatile and fascinating spirit that’s now garnering a cult following in the UK.
£14.57 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3383343
Style No.: 860758
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