Happy Shochu'sday! We made it.
As we are featuring groovy, rich, and exciting awamoris all month, it was my pleasure to get to sit down with Sakura Yamakawa, an exquisite and very limited offering from Yamakawa Shuzo in Okinawa.
This delicacy of an awamori is a blend of kusu (an awamori-specific term for long-aged spirit) ranging from 5-15 years in aged. The distillates are aged in stainless steel tanks until they reach their requisite old ages and are then combined together and finished in an antique Shambu Nanban pot. There's only one of this thing at the distillery, and sitting inside it is a privilege enjoyed solely by the awamoris found in the Sakura Yamakawa expression.
I poured this into a baby wine glass cause I wanted the aromas to have lots of room to whiff around; I also let it sit out for a few minutes because this 43% ABV genshu (cask strength drink) needs a little time to mellow out. Aromas of walnut and persimmon give way to a long palate-ride with notes of fudge brownie, vanilla, and a surprisingly crisp hint of pear at the end. I enjoyed this while listening to "Echoes" from Pink Floyd's Meddle, letting the rich soundscape complement the flavorscape of this wild spirit.
Thanks so much as always for reading, and let yourself enjoy some luxurious awamori this Shochu'sday.