Honkaku Shochu and Awamori
What are Honkaku Shochu and Awamori?
Introducing Japanese Honkaku Shochu and Awamori
According to the Japanese Liquor Tax Act, at present “Shochu” is divided into 2 categories.
Honkaku Shochu and Awamori bottles always display the words 本格焼酎 or 泡盛on the label, signalling that the contents have been produced using the traditional distillation methods that have been developed in Japan over many centuries.
These liquors are produced in distilleries known as “SHOCHU KURA”, which still utilise the fermenting agent known as koji, pot stills and traditional practices.
The simple structure of the distinctive single distillation pot still allows the aroma of the ingredients to integrate smoothly into the distilled liquid.
Thus the liquor's unique aroma and taste are sealed in.
Japan's Honkaku Shochu and Awamori have more than 500 years of history and all Shochu distilleries have handed down their own traditional techniques through the generations.
- Modem “Shochu Kura”
However, there is another Shochu in Japan which is called “KO-CLASS SHOCHU” or “Continuous Distillation Shochu”.
This somewhat bland and innocuous White Liquor is produced in the patent stills that were first introduced into Japan in the 19th century.
Ko-Class Shochu is a mass-produced industrial product. Currently, most is produced from cheap imported alcohol produced from the fermentation of molasses. This is distilled in huge plants in Japan into pure alcohol without flavour or taste. Then, water is added to dilute and Ko-Class Shochu is produced.