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Mizu Sakura Cask Shochu: 本格麦焼酎『サクラカスク』

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Sale price$53.99
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Our signature ‘saga barley’ shochu finished for 9 months in wild mountain cherry casks.

For a thousand years, the sakura or ‘cherry blossom’ has stood as the national symbol of Japan – a cultural centerpiece of poetry, philosophy, artistry, and even revelry. Inspired by these iconic blooms and our centuries-old tradition of celebrating merrily beneath the cherry trees, we introduce our first barrel-finished expression, aged exclusively in native yamazakura ‘wild mountain cherry’ casks.

Handcrafted in the traditional way, Mizu ‘Sakura Cask’ Shochu is singled distilled from locally farmed Saga barley and black koji rice, then finished for at least 9 months in medium-char, yamazakura casks produced by famed cooperage, Ariake Sangyo. The resulting kiss of the sakura is a pale-golden color, presenting a harmony of spring blossoms, orchard fruits, and a touch of smoke.

TASTING NOTES

Deep, fragrant, mellow and delicious. Bright floral aromas of spring blossoms open up into vanilla, banana, rain and fresh-sawn lumber. Velvety mouthfeel with notes of baked cherries, burnt sugar, a touch of smoke and gingersnap finish.

DRINKING SUGGESTIONS: To appreciate the complexity of ‘Sakura Cask’ we suggest the traditional methods of shochu drinking; neat in a small snifter; mizuwari (with a splash of cold water); oyuwari (with hot water), first added to a ceramic cup, followed by the shochu in a 1:1 ratio; or sodawari (with soda water) in a highball glass over ice. It can also be enjoyed in classic stirred cocktails; you can try this barrel-finished shochu in a Sakura Old Fashioned.

METHODS OF MATURATION

There are a number of ways to mature Japanese shochu: the use of traditional kame ‘clay pots’ is an ancient method still used by some producers, while most distilleries today employ stainless steel vessels to rest their spirits after distillation. Both techniques allow the distillate to mellow without alteration or compromise of the original, natural shochu flavors and aromatics. Barrel-aged shochus are more of a rarity, and must follow strict regulations intended to maintain the integrity and purpose of a honkaku ‘authentic’ shochu – capturing the essence of the harvest, and the nuances of koji. The guidelines aim to ensure that the character of shochu is never overpowered by the flavors imparted by the wood, but since taste is subjective, the regulations stipulate on color, disallowing the shochu to become too dark. In order to maintain designation as a honkaku shochu, the spirit must not exceed 0.08 optic density – a precise measurement on the opacity of the liquid – thus true shochu maintains a pale gold or straw color. The lighter appearance also distinguishes shochu, Japan’s national spirit, from whisky. Mizu ‘Sakura Cask’ has been aged for 9 months until reaching maximum optic density of 0.08 and a pale golden hue.

70 Proof

Mizu Sakura Cask Shochu
Mizu Sakura Cask Shochu: 本格麦焼酎『サクラカスク』 Sale price$53.99