I've dabbled a little in Shochu for a while now, so I knew what to expect when Landmark Wine & Sake scheduled a Shochu tasting. For those that don't know Shochu is a distilled liquor similar to vodka. It can be made from many different grains and even vegetables.
Tonight's tasting was presented by Takara Sake USA. Takashi-san, who is a Senior Manager in their NY office was on hand to pour the Shochu's and to educate us with his knowledge of the product. As I mentioned earlier I was somewhat knowledgeable about Shochu before this tasting but after enjoying them with Takashi, I now have a new found interest in learning and enjoying more Shochu. Here are the four Shochu's that we sampled:
Gankutsuoh (Honkaku:Distilled from Rice)
Gankutsuoh is 100% made only from Kome (rice) Koji fermentation. It is distilled and poured into large porcelain pots which are hten stored in a natural cave. This unique process gives Gankutsuoh an exceptionally smooth taste and pleasant aroma.
Towari (Honkaku:Distilled from Buckwheat)
Towari is a unique product distilled only from Soba (buckwheat). This means you can savor real Soba Shochu without the influence of unwanted flavors derived from other materials.
Ikkomon (Honkaku:Distilled from Sweet Potatoes)
Ikkomon is made with Imo (sweet potatoes) Koji. This makes Ikkomon a very special item since other Imo Shochu are generally made with Kome (rice) Koji. Enjoy the authentic Imo flavor.
Korokame (Honkaku:Distilled from Sweet Potatoes)
Korokame is made according to a very traditional method in which Kuro Koji is used and the fermentation process takes place in Kame (a large porcelain pot). This process imparts in Kurokame a very rich and bold taste reminiscent of traditional Imo (sweet potato) Shochu.
Approximate # of Attendees: 6
Venue: Landmark Wine & Sake
Venue Rating: 5
Attendee Quality Rating: 5
Organizer Rating: 5