Thoughts on the Displayed Products
Tokuchu Amakusa - Rice
Tokuchu Amakusa - Barley
In front of Amakusa Syuzo is the Yatsushiro Sea. Shishi-jima Island and Nagashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture are within easy reach. Our Amakusa distillery is located in a place where the phrase ‘scenic beauty’ is very appropriate.
President Yutaka Hirashita says that the 'Tokuchu Amakusa' series on display at this year's exhibition "was created to help the distillery survive." Originally Amakusa Syuzo was a distillery of just sweet potato shochu. At that time the potato shochu was distilled under normal pressure and had a strong flavor, and was "almost smelly and thick" so to speak. Sales of sweet potato shochu began declining in the 1970s, with reduced-pressure distilled rice shochu being consumed in Amakusa.
"So our previous president introduced a decompression distiller and the company began producing rice shochu and barley shochu. The ‘Amakusa’ brand gradually became well known on the island," added President Hirashita. "About the same time, a barley shochu boom occurred in Tokyo - and our ‘Tokuchu Amakusa’ barley shochu became very popular in Tokyo!" President Hirashita praises the achievements of his predecessors, by saying "I think our production method, which preserves the original flavor of the barley, perfectly matched the demand in Tokyo. And with the development of ‘Tokuchu Amakusa’, our ‘Ike-no-tsuyu’ has now been revived. Both ‘Tokuchu Amakusa’ rice and barley shochu supported the distillery during the difficult period."
President Hirashita conveys the appeal of the rice and barley shochu, saying to "Drink them with hot water to get a better sense of the flavor of the ingredients. These products are aged shochu - at least six years for rice, and three years for barley, shochu. These are limited products, normally only available at specially contracted sake/shochu stores, so we hope you will try ours at this year's exhibition."