Fuhito Sake Shochu: Fusion of Sake Fermentation and Shochu Distillation26 Apr 2021
Jojima is One of the Famous Sake Districts in Japan
Along with Hyogo Prefecture’s Nada District and Kyoto’s Fushimi District, Fukuoka’s Jojima is an area well known for its sake. It boasts some of Japan’s most well-known sake breweries, and it is described as one of Japan’s major sake-producing regions. Blessed with the rich waters of the Chikugo River, large grain Chikugo rice, aromatic Hita (Oita Prefecture) cedar, and the convenience of a water transportation system, Jojima has long thrived as a sake producing region.
As sake that has been brewed with meticulous care over the winter months starts to release rich aromas, in February to March, the season of the new brews, the sake breweries open up to the public and every February a festival is held in Jojima where you can visit various breweries and sample their sake for free (or at minimal price). Jojima Sake Festival is Kyushu’s largest Japanese sake event, attracting some 100,000 visitors.
Hiyokutsuru Shuzo is one of the breweries located in the famous sake district of Jojima. The flying crane symbol is the family crest used by the Kamachi clan of Yanagawa, the ancestors of the brewery. The Kamachi clan was a clan in Chikugo Province (current Fukuoka prefecture) that was active in Yanagawa from the Kamakura period to the Warring States period. Having such a rich history, Hiyokutsuru Shuzo certainly excels in the quality department as well. As a brewery with more than 120 years of sake brewing experience, they are experts at making a truly local sake, using only local ingredients such as water from the Chikugo River and locally grown rice.
The Unique Sake Shochu
It is an authentic shochu unique to sake breweries in Japan, made with sake koji (yellow rice malt) and sake yeast, and brewed in three stages just like sake. It is a unique liqour made by fusing the fermentation technology of sake and the distillation technology of shochu. This rice shochu has a refreshing aroma similar to that of Japanese sake, while its taste is a good balance of mildness and sweetness. It is best served on the rocks.
The craftsmanship that has been cultivated over the years shines through in the taste of this shochu. If you like sake, but have not tried shochu yet, this will be a good first shochu!