So I was delighted to be a part of the taste testing event when the Japan Sake & Shōchū Makers Association had 11 of it's members to be a part of this event and introduce their beverage to us.
The 11 participants are:
- Genkai Shuzo Co. Ltd.
- Ikinokura Distilery Co. Ltd.
- Sangetsu Shuzo Co. Ltd.
- Tsutsumi Shuzo Co. Ltd.
- Yachiyoden Shuzou Co. Ltd.
- Satsuma Shuzo Co. Ltd.
- Komasa Jyozo Co. Ltd.
- Yamamoto Shuzo Co. Ltd.
- Ogatama Shuzo Co. Ltd.
- Himeizumi & Co. Ltd.
- Kyoya Distiller & Brewer Co. Ltd.
Upon getting to my seat, in front of me were neatly placed taste cups of different Shōchū made with different ingredients.
15 minutes into the stipulated time (due to heavy rain), the session started and soon after an introduction of the various makers of Shōchū present, the seminar went on with the introduction of Shōchū followed by how and what it's usually made with (the base) and later on described to us on what characteristics we would get as we sip away on the taste test cups in front of us.
The Shōchū made with Rice has a rosy smell to it when you nose it and the alcohol in it is quite apparent.
Barley contains a light barley taste and it's smooth and light while the Traditional Barley has a really strong roasted barley taste to it and the taste lingers on even after you've finished sipping it.
As for Awamori, it's slightly sweet and it's the smoothest of all in it's taste. When you smell it, it has a hint of vanilla aroma to it. Awamori by the way, is Okinawa Shōchū made from black koji.
This ingredient aids in the fermentation of the typical ingredients that branches Shōchū like rice and barley and etc which is the bane of Shōchū's taste.
Now that I've gotten a taste of Shōchū, I would certainly hope I'll be able to purchase one here in Malaysia to consume at my own pleasure and time.