This is the longest aged imo (sweet potato) shochu we have ever carried on our shelves. While we've had our share of sweet potato shochu that's been mellowed and rounded out with the aid of time (see Kiroku and Tenshi no Yuwaku for example), Mahoko is truly a different beast. With clay-pot fermented Thai rice koji, fat Kagoshima Koganesengan potatoes, screaming-hot atmospheric pot distillation, and the help of local Miyazaki yeasts, this shochu bears all the stamps of a robust, terroir-driven spirit before it even hit the maturation tanks where it would rest for not three, not five or ten, but sixteen long years. We wonder what was playing on their iPod when this was distilled? Maybe they were using a dock for it.
Mahoko's flavors are mellow, refined, and distinct. We get aromas of lime and caramel, with a touch of florals. The palate is thick and chewy in texture, with notes of black pepper, maple, and condensed milk. The years spent aging this shochu have gone a long way to sophisticate and incorporate the flavors, and the 35% ABV (just three points down from cask-strength) sets the stage for this palate-ride and gives it backbone.
Don't be so imo. This shochu has got you covered.
Furusawa Distillery in Miyazaki perfectly encapsulates the Female Frontrunners, with Motoko becoming the first woman master distiller in Miyazaki in 1945 when she joined as the 3rd generation Toji of the distillery. She was replaced by her daughter, Masako, who is currently the 5th generation master distiller, and so goes it down the line. Mahoko is Motoko's granddaughter, and is currently training for the role.
- Distilled in Miyazaki, Japan by Furusawa Jyozo
- Distilled from Koganesengan imo (sweet potato) and taimai (rice)
- ABV 35% / Koji: white (thai rice) / Distillation: Atmospheric
- Yeast: Miyazaki yeast
- Aged: 16 years
- Vessels: Ceramic and enamel tanks
- 25.3 fl oz (750ml)