This is a Shochu Gumi selection! It was featured in September 2020.
Kokuto (黒糖) is black sugar cane, which is indigenous to Amami Oshima, south of Kyushu. Shochu made with kokuto can legally only be made in Amami. The sugar cane itself goes through minimal processing, which explains the rich depth of these shochus. Also interesting to note that because sugarcane is a fermentation kickstarter itself, it technically doesn’t need koji to help the saccharification process along. However, it is law that for a shochu to be considered honkaku, it must contain koji. So all honkaku kokuto shochus use kome (rice) koji during the primary fermentation to solve this issue.
This shochu is succulent and lush – the epitome of the tropics. I am overwhelmed by the scent of a juicy, overripe pineapple, with notes of custard and port. Yoko says it smells like fresh baked cookies. It is viney, fermenty, and rum-like, which may be because it is aged for at least a year, or because of the use of kome koji.
- Distilled from 65% Kokuto (sugar cane) and 35% kome (rice)
- ABV 25% / Koji: White (rice) / Distillation: Atmospheric
- Distilled on Amami Island by Amami Shurui
- 25.3 fl oz (750ml)