Aka Kirishima Imo Shochu
The aroma immediately sets this shochu apart from others in the class as it smells faintly of red wine. This tannic nose follows with a similar acidity on the palate. It remains vaguely reminiscent of red wine, but only if you don’t think of it that way. The flavor mellows throughout the sip and finishes with a sweet finish, which is unexpected after the sharp start.
Brand: Aka Kirishima
Distillery: Kirishima Shuzo Co, Ltd.
Location: Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu Island, Japan
Grain: murasaki masari sweet potatoes (beni imo)
Koji: black (kuro)
Distillation: atmospheric (joatsu)
Alcohol: 24% (48 proof)
Aka Kirishima is a seasonal sweet potato shochu from Kirishima Shuzo, the producer of the best selling shochu in Japan, Kuro Kirishima. Much as iichiko put Oita on the map as a producer of barley shochu to rival Iki Island (more barley shochu is now produced in Oita than in the traditional home of barley shochu), Kirishima’s products put Miyazaki on the map as a rival to Kagoshima’s dominance as the home of sweet potato shochus.