Anniversary Sale

With the purchase of this pack, customers get free entry to the event Sake + Shochu: Why Make Both? on September 29th. RSVP to sake@umamimart.com and we will send you Zoom info!

Save $4 with this pack!

Is it common for a sake brewery to also make shochu? 

That’s a good question – given that there are far more sake breweries than shochu distilleries (1410 vs. 273 respectively, reported in 2020 by the Japan Sake + Shochu Makers Association), it is not that common. But given the popularity of shochu in Japan over the last 50 years, more breweries are making both. Cause why not? It would be an investment in new equipment and technical training, but most makers already have access to, and a deep knowledge of the ingredients, especially rice.

What is the difference between sake and shochu?

Most simply put, sake is brewed (like beer) and shochu is distilled (like tequila). Both use the mighty koji mold to turn starch into sugar. Sake predates shochu by about 500 years, and it is said that shochu was discovered when someone tried distilling sake in the 1500s. 

In this pack, you will get a sake and shochu made by the same shuzo (alcohol maker), Akita Seishu. Each of these bottles were featured in September 2021's Sake Gumi and Shochu Gumi selections. Join our Zoom event Sake + Shochu: Why Make Both? with Akita Seishu Brewery on September 29th where we will explore both sake and shochu making with the president and toji (head brewer), followed by a tasting of both bottles.

Seiden Yamadanishiki 50 Junmai Daiginjo Sake
A beautifully fragrant expression of a junmai daiginjo made with Yamada Nishiki rice, this sake boasts a bouquet of peach, nectarines, and cream. The brewery uses an innovative grain scanner that checks for cracks and stunted rice, automatically removing them for maximum quality. We loved this sake cold in a pre-chilled glass paired with tomato and cucumber sunomono (vinegared salad). Kuromasa-san of the brewery also recommends having this with seafood carpaccio. 

Namahage "Devil's Mask" Rice Shochu
This shochu was created in 1983; the toji (master brewer) at the time wanted to make something using the sake kasu (lees). After sake is pressed, breweries are left with kasu – sediment in cake-like blocks that have about 8% of alcohol left in them. They are able to distill this to make kasutori shochu.

Aged in enamel tanks, this shochu is a combination of kasu made of dierent sakes at Akita Seishu. Mr. Sasaki describes the flavors of Namahage as “wild and dry” which pairs well with summery dishes like bualo mozzarella caprese with heirloom tomatoes and avocado, seafood like nizakana, and even richer meals like mabo tofu. I get Asian pear and coconut on the nose and licorice on the palate. Enjoy cold with soda.

    Akita Seishu Pack Features: