Drink Shochu

Hamada Kakushigura Mugi Shochu Review

  • Written by: Ben Bell
  • On Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020

Drink this however you want, it’s going to be a good experience. It plays like a soft cognac; fruity, nosy, woody. Since the alcohol content is low, the burn is low too.

This is our first aged shōchu. It comes from the Kagoshima prefecture (birthplace of sweet potato shōchu) but is made of barley. Since it’s an Otsu-Rui (Honkaku Shochu/Single Distilled), we get many of the enjoyable barley flavors and notes with an added bouquet thanks to their one-year-or-more aging in oak barrels.

We had a blast sniffing it and tasting it neat. Add a clear ice cube and orange twist and it immediately plays on the nose and on the palate like an old fashioned. Want a highball with less smokiness? This is your spirit. You can taste the 140 years of distillation skills and craft put into each of these bottles.

Our cocktail of choice is actually a modification of an old fashioned. Named after the Japanese era that started on the date Hamada distillery was founded, the Old Meiji Fashioned uses fruit bitters to bring out the cherry notes. Don’t be stingy on the cherries, and since its only 24% ABV, go ahead and make it a double if you are feeling saucy.


Name: Old Meiji Fashioned

Combine sugar, and bitters in a glass and stir to dissolve. Splash with soda water and stir until sugar is fully disolved, add fruit and muddle. Add Kakushigura and stir with ice. Strain into a fresh lowball. Add ice to liking. Garnish with orange twist.

  • 2 ounce Kakushigura
  • 1 dashes of peach bitters
  • 1 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 dash Peuchauds bitters
  • Spoonful of sugar
  • Splash of Soda water
  • Fruit (Luxardo Cherries and tangerines recommended)


Kakushigura Mugi

Distiller: Kakushigura Mugi

Type: Honkaku Shochu

ABV: 24%

Ingredient: Mugi

Categories: Mugi
Honkaku Shochu

Where To Buy mmsake


  • Smokiness

  • Botanicals

  • Citrus

  • Alcohol Kick

  • Sweet

  • Bitter

  • Sour

  • Umami

How to drink:
  • Seafood Dishes
  • Pizza
  • Chinese Food

Tasting Notes: You can taste an oak barrel immediately here. Almost no smokiness, some vanilla, and cherry.

Distiller Notes: Founded in Kagoshima prefecture (the birthplace of Imo Shochu) Hamada Brewery has passed down and preserved their traditions and skills for over 140 years. By combining this with research and innovation, they hope to help the world understand the appeal of Shochu.