【Story】Rokuchoshi Brewery

【Story】Rokuchoshi Brewery

The brewery is founded in 1923, located in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto prefecture, known for the production of Kuma Shochu for over 500 years. Traditional techniques using rice grown abundantly and groundwater from the limpid Kuma River system.

The brewery has spent nearly a century in the search for a stored and brew shochu. It takes a long time to produce a quality product that has the perfect balance of aromatic fragrance, and fullness of flavour.

Each of their shochu takes a long time to produce, which makes it very rare.

What is special about this brewery is the way how shochu is made.

Aged shochu is not just a matter of letting it sit. It also requires advanced techniques for storage. Above all, it is important to keep the temperature constant throughout the year.

Even in other countries, there is a traditional method of storing shochu underground or in caves.

The essence of Rokuchoshi Brewery's long-term aged shochu is in the blending.

At Rokuchoshi Syuzou, they created an environment similar to that of the highlands of Scotland, famous for its high quality Scotch whisky. To mimic the environment of Scotland highlands, air conditioning system is installed in the barrel storage room, which is insulated and the temperature is controlled around the clock.

In many cases, more than one type of shochu is blended together to create the flavour of aged shochu, but the products we carry are blended with a wide variety of barrels of shochu. 

The Feature of Sake Brewery at Rokuchoshi Syuzou 
Rokuchoshi brewery’s commitment to brewing is that long-term storage and aging is a prerequisite at every stage. 

"If you want to ship it immediately after production, you make it that way." 

"If you want it to have a ginjo aroma, you make it that way. "

That's how other breweries make their sake, but what Rokuchoshi Syuzou pursues is to make sake that has a deeper flavor and aroma the longer it sits.

  • The Brewing Mix 
  • The brewing mix is the blueprint for the moromi. It sets the ratio of koji and rice to be used and the amount of water to be added. In order to produce the complex flavor of atmospheric distillation, they use several brewing blends, and one of them is "soushi-jikomi," in which yellow rice malt, which is normally used for sake, is added to the main ingredient rice during the secondary brewing process. The "soushi-jikomi" technique that they have cultivated over the years gives a deep sweetness to long-term aged sake.

  • Yeast
  • The yeast Rokuchoshi Brewery uses, CAN-1, is a shochu yeast developed by the Kumamoto Prefectural Industrial Technology Center for use in atmospheric distillation.

    This yeast was requested by the Kumamoto Prefectural Industrial Technology Center because Rokuchoshi Syuzou mainly made shochu under atmospheric pressure during the heyday of decompression distillation, and Rokuchoshi Syuzou experimented with it on a production scale.

  • Raw Material Processing
  • In contrast to sake, which is made by polishing the rice to remove miscellaneous flavors and produce a good aroma, shochu, which is a distilled liquor, has flavorful ingredients on the outside of the rice, so the key to making a good shochu is how to preserve this part of the rice. 

    This is why they use an ultrasonic rice washer. Originally, it was not a brewing machine, but a custom-made one used to wash rice in Kyoto's high-class restaurants. When the rice is washed with this machine, the surface of the rice peels off in a thin layer along with the bran and dirt, while the nutrients on the outside remain.

  • Suppon Preparation
  • At Rokuchoshi Syuzou, they use the method called "Suppon jikomi," (Jikomi = Preparation) which means that the first and second preparations are made in the same container. 

    This prevents contamination due to transportation in the initial stage of the moromi, which is the most important stage.

    Advanced Storage Technology

    Storage and aging is not just a matter of letting things sit. Storage techniques are required. 

    Atmospheric distillates are very delicate because they contain oil derived from grains. 

    Exposure to high temperatures during the summer is not recommended, as the oil will oxidize and develop an "oily" smell. If the temperature is extremely low, the oil will separate and become lees, which will disrupt the balance of maturation. 

    All of their storage tanks are located on the first floor of the brewery, where it is cool in the summer and not extremely cold in the winter due to geothermal heat. 

    The use of enamel tanks eliminates the influence of metal ions, and also allows the shochu to age purely on its own without the influence of the storage container like oak barrels or jars.

    Enjoy Shochu from Rokushochi Brewery
    Rokuchoshi Tokugin (720ml) - 11 years Aged Rice Shochu / 六調子 特吟 11年熟成
    Kodai Ikko (720ml) - Premium Aged Rice Shochu / 古代一壷
    Rokuchoshi Red Label (720ml) - 13 years Aged Rice Shochu / ろくちょうし赤
    Daikoshu Toroshikaya (720ml) - Premium Aged Rice & Barley Shochu/ 大古酒とろしかや

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