Kodama Distillery’s shochu
Spirits packed with spirit
While I was speaking to Kazuo Kanemaru, Kodama Distillery’s representative, he said something that left a deep impression. “The English word ‘spirit” (singular) means ‘mind’ or ‘heart’, but distilled alcohol is called ‘spirits’ (plural). I believe that it’s called this because the spirits (alcohol) are packed with the spirits (hearts) of their makers.”
At this small distillery—which emphasizes “quality” over “volume”—shochu production effectively fuses modern machinery with traditional techniques that fully utilize the five senses, from selecting the sweet potatoes to hand-making the koji to stirring the mash. Adding the spirit of “making-by-hand” produces shochu that achieves balance among “delicacy”, “consistency”, and “trailing notes”.
First shochu using Kogane Masari, a new sweet potato variety
The main ingredient of TOJI JUNPEI shochu is a sweet potato variety called Miyazaki Beni. With its high sugar content, Miyazaki Beni is cultivated mainly for eating.
Sold for a limited time only, NATSU NO JUNPEI is a shochu for enjoying in summer. It is the first shochu to be made from a new sweet potato variety called Kogane Masari, which was experimentally cultivated as a Miyazaki Prefecture variety on par with the Kogane Sengan variety. Made using Heisei Miyazaki Yeast and developed by the Miyazaki Prefecture Food R&D Center, this shochu has a gentle, coolly refreshing taste.
Focus on production
Traditional techniques/handmade koji (rice malt)
While many distilleries nowadays use koji-making machines to make koji (rice malt), Kodama Distillery makes their koji by hand. Rice and barley steamed in large baskets called “koshiki” are cooled and wrapped in linen cloth, then taken to the first mash room (muro).
In the first koji-making room, the rice/barley is seeded with koji mold then kneaded and mixed thoroughly while the temperature is monitored. The mixture is then piled up and spread out repeatedly to promote propagation of the koji. After a day, the mixture is transferred to the second koji-making room where it is divided among boxes then left overnight for the koji mold to attach firmly to the surface of the rice/barley. The koji made using this method is mixed with yeast and water in the primary pot and fermented to create primary moromi (yeast mash).
|Company Name||Kodama Distillery LLC.（小玉醸造合同会社）|
|Address||8-1-8, Obi, Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan|
|Tour of a Warehouse||Brewery/distillery tours are not available.|