Distillery: KYOYA SHUZO
Type: Imo (Sweet Potato)
Available in USA: No
Kameshizuku is the second Japanese shochu we’ve come across from the Kyoya distillery, the first being Kappa No Sasoimizu. One of the most amazing things about Kyoka distillery is the fact that they have been existence for more than 180 years, despite having a market capitalization of $50,000. Yes, that’s right, they’ve been making alcohol for generations with a capitalization that is less than the price of a luxury car, truly amazing.
What sets Kameshizuku apart is the fact that they use Beni Kotobuki sweet potato. Beni Kotobuki is native to Miyazaki prefecture and it is what gives Kameshizuku its mellow earthy flavor. As you can tell from the photo, it is served in a ceramic pot. Kyoya recommends that you drink the entire pot in a timely manner once open, and if it must sit, it should neither be in direct sunlight or refrigerated.
Though Kyoka several times uses the term “fruity” to describe this shochu, the closest thing to fruit I could pick up was a citrus nose. Other flavors that were present were hints of smokey bacon, as well as subtle notes of oak and leather. In our review of Kappa No Sasoimizu we picked up a bit of anise flavor. For those of us who do not like licorice in our drink, this was noticeably absent in Kameshizuku shochu.
Kameshizuku is not available in the United States. Though Kyoya Distillery does sell another shochu here, the flavor is different enough that it is not really a substitute. Additionally, given the clay pot, I’m not sure how confident I would be bringing this back from Japan in my suitcase. Potentially this is a shochu best left to be enjoyed while out at an izakaya in Japan. If presented with such a situation, definitely make sure at least one round is Kameshizuku imo shochu.
If you can tolerate the 80’s anime techno music, the video below shows a lot of interesting images of Kyoya’s shochu creation process. If it’s not tolerable, the video probably is just as good on mute, given the amount of English subtitles. Enjoy!