The Secret Story of the Maker
A story about Tsutsumi shuzo
you will want to tell your friend about
Although Tsutsumi Shuzo distillery could not participate in this year's Kumamoto Sake Kanpai Exhibition, it has a treasured shochu liqueur it wants to tell customers about Gokujo (extra-fine) Tsutsumi. This decompression-distilled shochu, aged for more than 10 years in sherry casks, has a dark color similar to that of brandy.
In fact, the liquor tax law prohibits shochu from being excessively colored. This is to differentiate it from whiskey and other Western liquors. However, as a sake shochu product, it is not our intention to dilute a product that has been aged for many years. So after much trial and error, Tsutsumi Shuzo developed a technique for adding dextrin (a dietary fiber) to minimize changes in taste and aroma. Since it cannot be classified as authentic shochu, it's considered a liqueur. But you will still enjoy the same taste as an authentic shochu.
Each Gokujo (extra-fine) Tsutsumi is bottled from a single sherry cask, which means you can taste subtle differences in flavor depending on the cask used for maturation. If you want to enjoy the fusion of the sweetness of rice shochu and sherry, drinking it straight is recommended. Tsutsumi Shuzo holds a patent for the production of this dextrin process, and Vice President Tsutsumi says, "We'd be happy if other Kuma shochu distilleries can utilize this technology as long as the charm of Kuma shochu is spread around the world. Several distilleries offer dark-colored barrel shochu, so why don't you compare all and enjoy the differences?"