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MIZU 'SAGA BARLEY' SHOCHU


SINGLE DISTILLED FROM TWO-ROWED BARLEY (67%)

AND BLACK KOJI RICE (33%). HARVESTED LOCALLY

WITHIN SAGA PREFECTURE. 70 PROOF.

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MIZU 'SAGA BARLEY' SHOCHU


SINGLE DISTILLED FROM TWO-ROWED BARLEY (67%)

AND BLACK KOJI RICE (33%). HARVESTED LOCALLY

WITHIN SAGA PREFECTURE. 70 PROOF.

 

MIZU 'SAGA BARLEY' SHOCHU
本格麦焼酎『佐賀バーリー』

Handcrafted in the traditional way, this classic shochu is single distilled from tasty Japanese two-rowed barley, black koji rice, and the pure, famous waters of Black Hair Mountain (Kurokami-yama). At 70 proof it is more concentrated, like shochus of old, to enhance the subtle complexities, body and finish.

原料: 麦・米麹(黒) / 度数: 35度

TASTING NOTES: Delicate, earthy, lively, delicious. Floral, sake-like aroma with notes of banana bread and fresh grains. Buttery texture. Drinks like a young whisky with hints of ripe melon and vanilla custard.

DRINKING SUGGESTIONS: Enjoyed best on the rocks with a single large ice (you can try with a slice of cucumber). Or enjoy as a highball, topped with soda water and garnished cucumber slices. We also suggest mixing with fresh ruby red grapefruit juice and a splash of soda, or mixing with iced green teas.

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CAPTURING NATURE'S ESSENCE


CRAFTED BY TRADITIONAL METHODS

THAT PAY TRIBUTE TO THE PURITY AND

PERFECTION OF NATURE.

CAPTURING NATURE'S ESSENCE


CRAFTED BY TRADITIONAL METHODS

THAT PAY TRIBUTE TO THE PURITY AND

PERFECTION OF NATURE.

GENUINE HONKAKU SHOCHU

Mizu is a ‘honkaku’ shochu (本格焼酎), meaning genuine or authentic, as it is handcrafted and single distilled in the traditional Japanese way. Distilling the ‘moromi’ mash just one time captures the true essence of our Saga-grown two-rowed barley and black koji rice by preserving their naturally occurring flavors and aromas. The result is a smooth, pure, natural taste that is uncommon and exquisite.

Munemasa maintains a centuries-old tradition in that all of the ingredients are sourced from nearby farms to highlight the flavors of the local harvests and to “create harmony between farm, community and distillery”. It is truly a “farm to bottle” spirit.

 


Stirring the first moromi of black koji rice, water and yeast.

Stirring the first moromi of black koji rice, water and yeast.

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KOJI, THE MAGIC IN SHOCHU


RICE IS HARVESTED AND METICULOUSLY REFINED,

YET IT IS THE ADDITION OF THE KOJI MICROBE THAT

DISTINGUISHES SHOCHU FROM ALL OTHER SPIRITS.

KOJI, THE MAGIC IN SHOCHU


RICE IS HARVESTED AND METICULOUSLY REFINED,

YET IT IS THE ADDITION OF THE KOJI MICROBE THAT

DISTINGUISHES SHOCHU FROM ALL OTHER SPIRITS.

BLACK KOJI RICE & THE FIRST MOROMI

Production begins with the intricate preparation and then fermentation of the ‘black koji rice’. The rice is polished, steamed and coated with a microbe called black koji, which imparts unique flavors, distinctive aromas, and helps to break down starches into sugars. The black koji is given time to propagate over the steamed rice, and must be closely tended to by the ‘koji master’. After two days, it is ready to be mixed with soft spring water from nearby Black Hair Mountain, along with a touch of yeast, which helps to convert the sugars into alcohol. This initial fermenting mash of ingredients is known as the ‘first moromi’.

Koji is an essential ingredient in the production of shochu and helps to distinguish it from all other spirits. Black koji in particular - and in contrast to the more commonplace ‘white koji’ - creates the distinction of a deeper, more complex shochu.

 


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MUGI, THE SOUL OF SAGA


JAPANESE BARLEY (MUGI) IS THE

PRIMARY INGREDIENT. POLISHED FOR

PURITY, PRESSED FOR RICHNESS.

MUGI, THE SOUL OF SAGA


JAPANESE BARLEY (MUGI) IS THE

PRIMARY INGREDIENT. POLISHED FOR

PURITY, PRESSED FOR RICHNESS.

SAGA BARLEY & THE SECOND MOROMI

Raised in the spring and harvested in early summer, the ‘mugi’ (two-rowed barley) of Saga prefecture serves as the principle ingredient in Mizu Shochu (the ratio is 67% barley to 33% black koji rice). The mugi is first polished to remove the husk, which eliminates undesirable impurities found in the grain and makes for a far smoother, purer spirit. The polished barley is then pressed, steamed and added tothe initial mash containing the fermenting black koji rice, forming the ‘second moromi’.

The pressing or flattening of the barley grains is an additional task very rarely taken in the production of mugi shochus. This extra step, which further enhances the flavor, is made in the spirit of ‘kodawari’, a principle in which compromise is unthinkable.



Master distillers Wada (left) and Okoba (right) viewing the harvest.

Master distillers Wada (left) and Okoba (right) viewing the harvest.

Locally farmed, two-rowed barley ('kirameki' nijo mugi) of Saga Prefecture, harvested each May.

Locally farmed, two-rowed barley ('kirameki' nijo mugi) of Saga Prefecture, harvested each May.

Two-rowed barley is polished into pearls. Removing the husk makes for a purer, cleaner spirit.

Two-rowed barley is polished into pearls. Removing the husk makes for a purer, cleaner spirit.

Munemasa then presses the barley to enhance the flavor, an extra step that is rarely taken.

Munemasa then presses the barley to enhance the flavor, an extra step that is rarely taken.

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HIGHER proof, GREATER DEPTH


HIGHER ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION

THAN MOST MODERN-DAY SHOCHU IS

A TRIBUTE TO SHOCHU OF OLD.

HIGHER proof, GREATER DEPTH


HIGHER ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION

THAN MOST MODERN-DAY SHOCHU IS

A TRIBUTE TO SHOCHU OF OLD.

SINGLE DISTILLED, GENSHU STYLE

Upon completion of the second moromi, the mash is transferred to a stainless steel pot still for single distillation. It is here that the pure essence of barley and black koji rice is captured in an unusually smooth and naturally tasty distillate that is 88 proof (44% alc/vol). This undiluted heart of the spirit is called the ‘genshu’, which is then left to rest and mature for a minimum of 12 months.

Mizu is bottled in the boutique genshu style and is a tribute to the more concentrated shochus of old. Once our genshu has been fully mellowed it is slightly cut with soft mountain water to 70 proof (35% alc/vol) where the spirit finds true balance (contemporary shochus are typically diluted down to 50 proof). Produced only in small batches, the more concentrated genshu style delivers a spirit of greater depth and body.


Stainless steel pot still where our shochu is single distilled.

Stainless steel pot still where our shochu is single distilled.