Tag Archives: Wasabi Shochu

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting: Wasabi Shu by Bandai Brewery

It has been quite some time since I enjoyed the only true shochu made with wasabi in Japan, namely Wasabi Shu (can also be pronounced “Wasabi sake”)!

it is made by the only sake brewery/shochu distillery in Izu Peninsula in Shuzenji, Izu City!

Although made with rice shochu and wasabi essence it is sold as a liqueur for various lawful reasons!

Classified as liqueur in Japan
Rice white lees shochu, wasabi essence (20%)
Single distilling method
Alcohol: 20 degrees

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: dry and fruity. mild wasabi
Body: very fluid
Taste: dry and fruity attack.
Soft and mild wasabi
Lingers for quite a while on the palate with more soft wasabi and rice spreading over the palate.
Changes little with food if for a drier turn.

Overall: A rare, elegant and intriguing shochu!
The rare kind that even ladies would drink straight at any time of an evening or of a celebration.
Thoroughly enjoyable at any temperature or on the rocks, although best on its own.
Probably best enjoyed on its own as a nightcap but will go with any Japanese food, especially sashimi and light vegetables dishes.
Will do very with asparaguses and oysters in Western gastronomy!
A splendid gift to offer anywhere in Japan and overseas!


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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting: Bandai Brewery-Wasabi Shochu!

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
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Sweetish. Rice, wasabi, faint notes of banana
Body: fluid
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!


With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
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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