About Asian Spirits

The Asian spirits category includes baijiu, shochu, soju and other spirits indigenous to the Asia Pacific region. Wildly popular in China, Japan and South Korea, these spirits have not gained much market share out of these regions, with only a few international brands currently exported outside of the Asia Pacific region.

Top Picks and Reviews for Asian Spirits

212715
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
212091
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
212093
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
203050
Miyazaki Honten
Honkaku Mugi-Shochu "Kusu"
Clear color. Earthy aromas of kidd leather, flax, yeasty fruit pastry dough, and bison grass with a soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a soft, waxy rice paper and radish finish. Very clean and precisely etched flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212092
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
202833
Vinn
Baijiu
Clear. Bold grainy aromas of raisin bran cereal, red licorice, and toasted nuts are reminiscent of white whisky with a silky dryish light-to-medium body and a nut oil, cayenne pepper, sweet cream, and birch bark accented finish with lingering warmth. A very clean, subtle, and highly mixable baijiu.
91 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212094
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
208025
Satsuma Shuzo
Honkaku Shochu "Makurazaki"
Clear color. Interesting aromas of white balsamic vinegar, roasted chestnuts, and marinated mushrooms with a silky, soft, dry light body and a tingling, interesting, easy bamboo and faint spice finish. An interesting savory shochu with a nice streak of umami.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202813
byejoe
red
Clear. Interesting aromas of marinated olives, cabbage and melon with a whiff of vanilla and pepper. Flavors follow suit on a lightly tannic, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a roasted pineapple, plum custard, bamboo and talc accented finish. Captures the wild and woolliness of baijiu with a savory, fruit-forward twist. This will be fun to mix with and creative adventurous cocktails.
90 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212464
Charm
Soju
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