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 for Asian Spirits

Kirishima Shuzo Akane Kirishima Shochu
93 points
Clear color. Floral aromas and flavors of lilac, violet, dried apricot, candied citrus, and sweet ginger with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length finish manifesting suggestions of rice milk and spiced cherries. A pisco-like Shochu with extroverted perfumed floral character; a great choice for cocktails and pairing with spicy foods.
Kirishima Shuzo Kuro Kirishima EX Delicious Pentagon
93 points
Clear color. Savory aromas of roasted sweet potato, toasted garlic, blackened carrot, earthy green tea, and mushroom broth with a round, vibrant, dryish medium body and a smooth, elegant, medium-long roasted bacon wrapped dates, quark, fried noodles, and soy finish. A mouthwatering, savory Shochu to complement a wide variety of meals; try in craft cocktails too.
Kirishima Shuzo Akane Kirishima Shochu
93 points
Clear color. Floral aromas of violet, tea rose, pear blossom, mixed melon, and cherry with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, complex, long floral waters, pink peppercorn, and fresh sweet potato noodles finish. Swap this Asian spirit for pisco or gin in craft cocktails or just sip the vividly floral tipple on its own to experience an avant garde approach to shochu.
Awards: 2018 Best Shochu
Kirishima Shuzo Kuro Kirishima EX Shochu
92 points
Clear color. Savory, smoky aromas and flavors of baked sweet potato, preserved lime, black snake, alliums, and marinated mushrooms with a satiny, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and a graceful, complex, medium-length finish that exhibits overtones of roasted carrot, pickled ginger, and mint finish. A chewy, savory Shochu that will make a great dinner pairing; lots of nuance to explore.
Kirishima Shuzo Kuro Kirishima Shochu
91 points
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of gunpowder, black lime, marinated mushrooms, miso-caramel, water chestnut, and charcoal with a satiny, soft, dry light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish that presents notes of mixed melon salad, kabocha squash, and toasted sesame. A rock-solid Shochu with classic, food-friendly flavors.
Kirishima Shuzo Kuro Kirishima Shochu
91 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Savory aromas and flavors of marinated mushrooms, soy-glazed seaweed snack, salted pretzels, and bell pepper with a satiny, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-long finish that presents accents of fresh bread and caramelized shallots finish. A food-enhancing shochu with lots of umami notes to explore.
91 points $19.99 Best Buy
Takahashi Brewery Ginrei Shiro Shochu
90 points
$22
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of rice candy and watermelon cooler with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a medium-long bubblegum, agave nectar, white pepper, and aniseed finish. A silky, fruity shochu with a friendly personality; a nice transition for sake drinkers.
90 points $22 Best Buy
Kirishima Shuzo Kuro Kirishima Melt Shochu
89 points
Slivery straw color. Toasty aromas of cinnamon-raisin bread, lime leaf, milk toast, toasted coconut, maple creme with walnuts, and black tea with cream with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, charming, medium-length peach pie, rocky road ice cream, and rice pudding finish. A creamy oaked Shochu that could be a very appealing after-dinner pour; try in stirred cocktails too.
Kirishima Shuzo Shiro Kirishima Shochu
89 points
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of sweet potato noodles, taro custard, jerky, kimchi, and roasted squash with a satiny, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a seamless, medium-length finish. A delicate, starchy and food-friendly Shochu for the table.
Kirishima Shuzo Aka Kirishima Shochu
89 points
Clear color. Fruity aromas and flavors of candied lime and tangerine, cherry-sesame nougat bar, ripe melon, sweet rice, and banana confection with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, breezy finish with notes of sweet yogurt. A fruity Shochu with wide appeal; try in effervescent cocktails.