Kamimura Distillery, Inc.

Common name: 
Kamimura Distillery
301 Matsugawa, Naha City
Kamimura Distillery, Inc.
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Danryu was one of the first brands of awamori to be matured in oak barrels, and it had a huge impact on other distillers. The distillery continues to take up innovative challenges.

This distillery was one of the five public distilleries run by the government after the war. But the distillery itself dates back to 1882. It continues to preserve the traditional distillation skills while bravely incorporating new technologies.
Maturing awamori in oak barrels has now become commonplace, but Kamimura Distillery began looking into the possibility in 1958. It came out with the kusu Danryu-matured in oak barrels for seven years-in 1968. Awamori produced using traditional methods has the distinct smell particular to awamori, but the distillery eradicated this problem by employing oak barrels. The idea came when the distillery began sharing technology with the Nikka Whisky Company. The amber colored Danryu brand, unlike awamori matured in earthenware pots, has a sweet and rich aroma, and both the color and the texture intensify with age. The brand has opened up new possibilities in the world of awamori-making.

The distillery has actively been shipping its products outside the prefecture, and it directly operates its own shops. Concerts are also performed on the factory site. The distillery also keeps kusu on behalf of its customers. These features all reflect suggestions made by the younger employees.
At the same time, the master distiller, Seiko Kamimura, has long dreamed of reproducing traditional liquor cellars. Distilleries used to produce their own earthenware pots, keep pigs to dispose of the mash lees, and heat the bathwater with heat generated from the distillation process. People who came to buy awamori would have a dip in the bath, and would also be served food. The distillery has kept up these traditions and uses very little machinery to produce its awamori. At the same time, it has never stopped undertaking new endeavors. This is because the distillery wholeheartedly hopes that as many people as possible will develop an understanding of awamori and fall in love with the liquor.