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Japan’s Takamine Koji Whiskey is made utilizing a particular mildew that helps convert barley into sugars for fermentation. The mildew, koji, is Japan’s nationwide mildew and is utilized extensively in such Japanese staples as soy sauce and miso. Their web site explains how it’s used to make whiskey:
Takamine Koji Whiskey is made with the patented Takamine Course of, which makes use of an historic Japanese mildew, koji, to transform starches to sugars in a course of much like malting barley. In contrast to malt whiskey the place sugars are extracted in a heat water mash earlier than yeast is launched to begin the fermentation, each the koji and yeast are lively on the identical time in a a number of parallel fermentation. This 100% barley ferment is then double distilled and aged in virgin oak and ex-Bourbon casks.
The barreling breakdown is 90% virgin American oak and 10% ex-bourbon. As a result of Takamine course of, Honkaku Spirits spells their “whiskey” with an e, whereas different distillers observe strict nationwide tips for producing “Japanese whisky” and spell it with out an e.
The nostril of Takamine Koji Whiskey is vivid however mild, providing orange citrus, coconut, and contemporary cherries, adopted by wooden notes. The palate is way greater and bolder than the nostril suggests, introducing a variety of flavors together with calmly candy vanilla, caramel, ginger, orange zest, earthy umami, and lightweight oak. The end is medium-long as caramel, ginger, and umami notes disappear into mild wooden tannins. That is an thrilling and weird whiskey, and it will not be for everybody, however I prefer it.