Stephen Lyman has written the Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks, which was published in October by Tuttle. Find out more abou the book, where to buy it, and most importantly, where to meet Stephen to get your own signed copy as he travels Japan and North America.
Oak barrel aging has become a popular process as shochu producers experiment with different aging techniques to give their shochus unique flavor profiles. Kannoko and Ginza no Suzume Kohaku have full flavored profiles thanks to this aging process and are popular mugi shochus, particularly among whiskey drinkers. Kakushigura uses this process as well, but with a slightly different approach.
Kannoko is a single distilled normal pressure mugi shochu aged in oak barrels for 3 years before bottling. The oak gives the shochu its rich golden color and its faintly whiskey flavor. This is one of those aged mugis that whiskey drinkers will find familiar.