Harusame Kari Awamori Shōchū 720ml
It might look like a classic Japanese sake, but this is something very different…
Awamori shōchū is a speciality of Okinawa, the southernmost and westernmost Japanese prefecture comprising 150 tropical 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 and then often matured before release.
Harusame Kari Awamori was crafted at the tiny Miyazato Distillery and aged in clay pots for three years, creating a “kusu” style, meaning “old liquor”. Awarded 93 points at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2020, it’s a fabulous expression of shōchū and an intriguing spirit that seems to offer something different each time you go back to the glass. Scotch drinkers will enjoy the notes of hazelnuts, walnuts, creamy fudge and sweet spices like ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. There are funky touches of steamed asparagus, green herbs, damp forests, celery, sticky rice and mushrooms in cream for the Mezcal and Rhum Agricole fans. And for those who like herbal liqueurs and digestifs, there’s bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee bean, accompanied by something bitter and almost medicinal, reminiscent of menthol, aniseed, iodine and liquorice. Simply fascinating. We love it alongside rich food, sipped at the end of a meal, or slipped into a Bloody Mary instead of the vodka. And we can’t wait to start experimenting with it in other umami cocktails.
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.
£6.53 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3383330
Style No.: 860756
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