In my view, there are three types of Barley shochu. One is very crispy brand like Kanehachi which you can enjoy very rich flavor of roasted barley, one is with very clear & transparent taste which fits to every kind of cuisines. And the last one is in the middle. “Kuro Enma” a shochu from Oita prefecture can be categorized in this group.
The brewer “Oimatsu Shuzou” is from city of Hita in Oita prefecture. Hita is known with a remarkable natural mineral water. They started brewing liquor in 1789 using clear water from a well of Oimatsu shrine.
- Band Name :Kuro Enma
- Alcohol Degree : 25°
- Brewer : Oimatsu Shuzou, Oita pref.
- Main Ingredient : Barley
- Price : JPY1200/ 720ml (Amazon)
How Does it Taste?
You can feel solid aroma of roasted barley but not so strong. Its taste has the same characteristics. Barley crispness is weaker than Kanehachi, but instead it’s sweet.
This time I tried this shochu with Udon noodle from Goto Islands with “Jigoku daki” style. Literal meaning of this cooking style is “boiling like hell”. As Enma is a judge of afterlife who decides if each person passed away has to go to hell or heaven, I believe this marriage is one of the best for this shochu.
From the perspective of taste, it was a nice marriage. As you may imagine udon noodles has very simple and mild taste, and if the liquor taste is too strong, we cannot fully enjoy udon. Enma had not too strong, but not too weak taste of barley and it indeed best matched the Goto udon noodle.
Thank you for reading the article. For more about Shochu please check “How to Enjoy Shochu. Distilled Spirits Made in Japan.“, and my recommendation list of shochu and sake.