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View Full Version : Awamori / Koshu (Okinawan "whiskey") Q for Japanese SB members



Jono
10-05-2008, 22:02
Does anyone have experience with this liqour:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awamori

"Awamori (泡盛) is an alcoholic beverage indigenous to and unique to Okinawa, Japan. It is made from rice, and is not a direct product of brewing (like sake) but of distillation (like shōchū).

Awamori is typically 60 proof, although "export" brands (including brands shipped to mainland Japan) are increasingly 50 proof. Awamori is aged to improve its flavor and mellowness. Some brands of awamori (notably hanazake) are 120 proof and will catch fire.

The most popular way to drink awamori is with water and ice. When served in a restaurant in Okinawa, it will nearly always be accompanied by a container of ice and carafe of water. Awamori can also be drunk straight, on the rocks, and in cocktails."

http://www.okinawa.usmc.mil/public%20affairs%20Info/Archive%20News%20Pages/2006/060915-awamori.html

"Today the drink once exclusive to Okinawa is becoming known world wide. Awamori is exported from Okinawa and enjoys popularity in other parts of the world; mainly mainland Japan, Hawaii and the west coast of the U.S. Also, Zuisen exports some of its awamori to New York City and has plans to expand its distribution to Florida in the near future."

Attila
10-06-2008, 01:04
I always heard it referred to as "Okinawan vodka" or "Okinawan Shochu".

I have had it a couple of times. Its available all over the place in Tokyo.

I hear that rice from Thailand is almost exclusively used, thus accounting for the very different flavor of awamori from kome shochu which is almost always made with Japanese rice.

Isnt koshu just aged booze, whether it be sake, shochu or awamori?

Jono
10-06-2008, 09:04
Does it taste more like what you would expect a "rice vodka" taste like..(not having tried it before)? High alcohol, some background earthy notes and burn? I have seen it called "Okinawan Brandy" as well.....a misnomer.

http://www.sake-world.com/html/shochu-awamori.html

http://www.bunnyeats.com/2008/01/awamori.html
"Awamori 泡盛
Awamori is a liquor produced in Okinawa, Japan. It is distilled and similar to Shochu but much stronger in alcohol level (60+ proof)

It is made of Taiwanese rice and has a special aroma. It become smooth as it ages. Awamori aged over 3 years are called Kosyu 古酒."

This reference notes "millet" as the grain source....translation issue?
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/2007/55/i01/abs/jf062029d.html

IF millet was used...a millet vodka like drink ..since clay pots are used for aging...no wood influence....not whiskey like. Seems to be a translation error.

I have not found actual tasting notes / reviews.

Attila
10-08-2008, 03:36
Wow, I already replied to this but my post evaporated.


Does it taste more like what you would expect a "rice vodka" taste like..(not having tried it before)? High alcohol, some background earthy notes and burn?

Not so much earthy. Very fragrant and spicy.


I have seen it called "Okinawan Brandy" as well.....a misnomer.

Indeed. Sake is referred to as "rice wine" even though it is made with a grain not a fruit.


It is made of Taiwanese rice and has a special aroma. It become smooth as it ages.

Nope its Thai rice.


Awamori aged over 3 years are called Kosyu 古酒."

Well, all aged domestic alcohol is called koshu in Japan.


This reference notes "millet" as the grain source....translation issue?

I dont know if its a translation issue or if their facts are wrong. Awamori is very definately not made from millet. To do so would be illegal. Funny though, millet is pronounced "awa" in Japanese, but completely different character.