Shizuoka Prefecture produces not only 80% of all wasabi grown in Japan, it is also the home of the only true wasabi shochu!
True to say, one cannot make shochu out of wasabi only as it does not contain starch to help the fermentation and distillation, but Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula, concocted it with 75% of top-class rice shochu made from the sake lees of their own sake and 25% of pure essence of wasabi grown in Izu Peninsula!
More precisely, the wasabi is grown on the Amagi Plateau/Amagi Kougen/天城高原 in the northern part of the Peninsula.
At the same time Bandai Brewerry uses pure source water gushing from the Plateau to brew its sake and shochu!
Although it is a true shochu in concept mixed with wasabi essence, Bandai Brewery advertizes it as a sake or liqueur!
It might explain the choice of bottle, a bit unusual for shochu, but easy to handle and store!
Bandai Brewery-Wasabi Sake/Wasabi Shochu
Rice shochu: 75%
Wasabi essence: 25%
Water: Natural source water from Amagi Plateau
Alcohol: 20 degrees
Clarity: Very clear
Aroma: Sweetish. Rice, wasabi, faint notes of banana
Taste: Softer attack than expected.
Very sophisticated, as complex as a sake!
Pleasant and soft wasabi flavor. Almost a liqueur without the sugar and the cloy aftertaste!
No piquancy at all.
Faint notes of bananas appearing later as it disappears quickly warming up the back of the palate.
Overall: A discovery!
A shochu? Yes!
The fact it is made in the simplest manner possible, that is a high quality rice shochu blended with pure wasabi essence makes it both sophisticated and extravagant.
Its comparatively low alcohol content, 20 degrees, makes it eminently drinkable as it is without any ice, water or whatever!
Most appreciated straight at room temperature.
Could definitely be served as a heady and mysterious aperitif!
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery