Barley Shochu, 'Nakanaka - Pretty', Kuroki Honten Distillery
Since 1885, Kuroki Honten has devoted itself to the art of shochu-making, which comes from a genuine passion to make refined shochu and a dedication to protect and pass down the local tradition and culture of shochu to the next generation. Kuroki Honten’s shochu-making starts with farming. They cultivate the land, sow the seeds, grow and harvest the crop, and even recycle the waste from shochu production as organic fertilizers. The base materials for the Kuroki Honten shochu are sweet potato, barley, and rice made with koji and the pure water of Kyushu Island.
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Nakanaka is the main brand of barley shochu from the well respected Kuroki Honten distillery. It is the same barley shochu used in distillery’s well known oak barrel aged barley shochu Hyakunen no Kodoku. Nakanaka is aged for a much shorter period of time in kame, traditional clay pots similar to amphorae used for aging shochu.
100% barley mash, with koji grown on barley replacing malting and distilled at low pressure on a vacuum still to preserve aromatics resulting in a full bodied shochu with distinct notes of chocolate and a rich sweetness on the palate.
While excellent served with chilled water or on ice, to truly appreciate the complex aromas and flavors of Nakanaka we recommend to drink it oyuwari (cut with hot water) which unlocks a lot of the subtleties and allow the chocolate notes to linger on the tongue.