Episode-109: Kusu Day: Tasting Awamori

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This week, we ask that you indulge us just a bit as we…indulge.

During Justin’s super-secret (and all-too-brief) return to Japan we had the opportunity to conduct a single recording. That date just happened to coincide with Kusu Day (September 4th) and the magnificent tasting set available at the JSS Information Center. Since Awamori doesn’t get nearly enough love, both on this show and in general, your hosts Marie Nagata, Chris Hughes, and Justin Potts decided to go ahead and dive straight into an impromptu tasting flight of ten (!) Kusu ranging in age, style, and maturation time. Long story short, the journey was as divine as the discoveries.

What is Kusu, you ask? For that, we recommend you take a moment to listen to our Awamori 101 episode with Christopher Pellegrini, as well as our interview with Maurice Dudley. If you want a (literal) view into a fantastic distillery in Okinawa and a glimpse of how the gorgeous kame earthenware aging pots are crafted, take a moment to check out the interview and tour with Chuko Awamori Distillery we did for the Sake Future Summit.

This week, it’s the Sake On Air crew sipping Awamori. Nothing more, nothing less. You can find the list of everything we sampled below, so if any of our descriptions (or reactions) pique your interest, we recommend you bookmark the matching beverage for your next Japan visit.

Each Awamori comes in its own cup

Label: Tatsu Awarded Kusu (ABV: 43%)
Maker: Kin Shuzo

Label: Tatsu 1988 (ABV: 43%)
Maker: Kin Shuzo

Label: Seifuku 2019 (ABV: 43%)
Maker: Seifuku Shuzo

Label: Uminokuni KOHAKU 12 Years (ABV: 43%)
Maker: Okinawa Brewers Co-op

Label: Sennen no Hibiki Kusu (ABV: 43%)
Maker: Nakajin Shuzo

Label: UFU Yanbaru (ABV: 44%)
Maker: Yanbaru Shuzo

Label: Zuisen 3 Years (ABV: 30%)
Maker: Zuisen Shuzo

Label: Gyokuyu Awarded Edition (ABV: 40%)
Maker: Ishikawa Shuzojo

Label: Gyokuyu Limited Kusu (ABV: 30%)
Maker: Ishikawa Shuzojo

Label: Nanko K 10 Years (ABV: 40%)
Maker: Kamiya Shuzosho

Thanks for tuning in with us again this week. Please do follow along (and follow) us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and don’t hesitate to also reach out to us with other sake and shochu-related thoughts or questions at questions@sakeonair.com and rate us on the podcast service of your choice while you’re at it.

We’ll be back very soon with plenty more Sake on Air in just a couple of weeks. Until then, kampai!

Sake on Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew.