November 2015 - Asian Spirits

This month's Spirits feature is Asian Spirits
Asian Spirits Reviews
Sơn Tinh
Nếp Cẩm Sticky Red Rice "Port" Liqueur
Bright dark amber color. Bright, interesting, fruity umami aromas of spicy baked goji berries, dried mushrooms, soy roasted nuts, and peppery spices with a satiny, racy, sourish medium-full body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long fresh cut wheatgrass, honeyed dried cherries, dusty beets, and peppered kale finish. A very interesting earthy, fruity, vegetal spirit; try as a vermouth in cocktails.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Kirishima Shuzo
Shiro Kirishima Honkaku Imo Shochu
Brilliant clear color. Bright, interesting, complex aromas of pickled cucumbers, garlic and radishes, sautéed almonds and exotic mushrooms, sherry flor, and sea water with a silky, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, delightful, medium-length ramps, minted melon, pepper, and delicate spices finish. A complex and nuanced shochu with intriguing savoriness.
93 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Kirishima Shuzo
Aka Kirishima Honkaku Imo Shochu
Pale clear color. Bright, inviting aromas of dried tropical fruits, cherry-mango relish, white chocolate mint, and pickled melon with a satiny, lively, dryish medium body and a warming, distinctive, medium-long honeyed cashew, rice milk, delicate peppery spices, and alpine herbs finish. A nicely crafted shochu with delicate minty spice and herb notes.
92 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Kirishima Shuzo
Kuro Kirishima Honkaku Imo Shochu
Minutely hazy clear color. Bright, nutty aromas of exotic mixed nuts, unbuttered popcorn, straw, and white peppercorn with a satiny, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, engaging, breezy cashew fruit, Asian pear custard, pepper, and tobacco finish. A dry, nicely layered and captivating shochu.
91 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Kirishima Shuzo
Akane Kirishima Honkaku Imo Shochu
Bright clear color. Delicate, sweet, fruity perfumed aromas of tropical fruit punch taffy, orange sherbet and blossoms, cherry gum, and nut brittle with a silky, soft, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, interesting, relaxed papayas in sweet cream, cream of wheat, peppery spice, and honeyed starfruit and kiwi finish. A delicious and lively shochu with lots of pleasure producing fruitiness for cocktails.
90 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Light brilliant clear color. Muted, citrusy, creamy fruity peppery aromas of gravel and powdered milk with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, carefree powdered sugar and stevia, vanilla milk, dried banana, and radish sprouts finish. A clean, neutral, lightly sweet soju that will sip and mix well.
89 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Kirishima Shuzo
"Ho" Green Label Honkaku Shochu
Medium slivery straw color. Rich, oaky, spicy aromas of brown spices, cedar bark, roasted nuts, and peppercorns with a silky, racy, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, subtle, long caramel milk, oak, peppery radishes, and ginseng mint gum finish. A nice oak aged, Canadian whisky-like shochu, that will be fun to mix with.
88 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab