Coming August 2022, Vintegrity will be adding Jikuya Black Sweet Potato Shochu, Jikuya White Sweet Potato Shochu, and Yokka Koji RyuKyu Awamori to their portfolio.
All three of these new Japanese spirits coming to Vintegrity hold World Trade Organization geographical status in the same way Cognac and Champagne do. These native-to-Japan craft spirits showcase a harmonious balance of upholding centuries-old traditions with region-specific variations for a truly unique drinking experience.
The Jikuya Distillery is situated at the base of Mount Shibi in the old Satsuma Prefecture (now present-day western Kagoshima Prefecture), Japan, and makes traditional Satsuma Shochu from sweet potatoes. Jikuya is known for using the local spring water which has a rich mineral content and that gives their shochu a distinct dry essence. The distillery was established in 1910 and is now run by 4th generation Master Brewer-Distiller and Company President Maiko Jikuya.
Both the Jikuya Black and Jikuya White are crafted from local Kagoshima-harvest ingredients. The shochu is fermented in decades-old clay pots that are almost completely buried in the distillery floor, with only their necks exposed at the top. These clay pots are an important element of the fermentation process, as they infuse the shochu with deep earthy and vegetal notes. Once fermentation is over, the shochu is rested in unglazed pots for a year and a half. By using the unglazed pots, the shochu achieves a higher minerality and complexity.
The Jikuya Black Sweet Potato Shochu is a black koji shochu with notes of stewed fruits, cherry bonbons, and earthy undertones. The recommended way to enjoy Jikuya Black is with equal parts hot water.
The Jikuya White Sweet Potato Shochu is a white koji shochu with herbaceous and floral notes accented with hints of red berries and black tea. The recommended way to enjoy Jikuya White is with sparkling water on ice.
Yokka Koji Ryukyu Awamori
Awamori is made from water, rice, yeast, and a special black mold known as Kuro koji. To use the name Ryukyu means that the awamori is produced in Okinawa, Japan, where awamori has been made since the 15th century. Like sake, awamori is made from rice, but unlike sake, awamori is distilled not brewed. In fact, one unique feature of awamori is that it is only distilled one time in order to preserve more of its raw, natural flavors.
While most awamoris have a 2-day koji propagation period, Yokka Koji goes through a 4-day koji propagation period to further enhance its aroma and flavor profile. The single distillation phase takes place in a stainless steel pot and is then bottled at full proof.
Yokka Koji Ryukyu Awamori is made from long grain Thai rice and has a lush, rich texture with a memorable, persisting finish that is reminiscent of whisky. This full-bodied spirit carries a generous collection of complementing flavors and aromas, such as pear, green apple, caramel, grain, and rose.
If you are interested in learning more or stocking up on any of these new additions to Vintegrity’s portfolio, send them a message online today to connect with a representative!