Kokusen Awamori Corporation

Common name: 
Kokusen Distillery
142 Yonaguni, Yonaguni Town, Yaeyama-gun
Kokusen Awamori Corporation
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Famous for its 60% proof 'hanazaki', which is stunning and mild at the same time.

Yonaguni Island used to be called 'Donan' in the local dialect, which means 'hard to reach'. The island does indeed have high cliffs and the weather is fickle, so it was not easy to reach its shores. The island's nickname has now become the name of the island's liquor produced by Kokusen Awamori. The distillery was founded in 1958 when three distillers-Mr. Ganaha, Mr. Kinjyo and Mr. Otake-joined forces. The distillery still produces awamori by hand today, steaming the rice and distilling the liquor using traditional iron pots.

Donan has an alcohol content of 25, 30, 43 or 60%. The liquor with the highest alcohol content is called 'hanazaki'. It is made from the first drops of distillate. It can only be made on the island because of its high alcohol content, which is not permitted elsewhere.
The bottles bear the description 'spirits' or 'alcohol used as a raw ingredient'. It is a very strong liquor, just like the island's untamed natural landscape, and is incredibly 'hot' when first tasted-the flavor of the southern islands. But when you take a second sip, you notice other elements-the richness of the flavor and the aroma, so typical of awamori. 'Hanazaki' means 'flower wine', and certainly, when drunk with water, the white liquid dissolves into the water like a flower.

Hanazaki was only tasted by nobles during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Many people today take a taste out of curiosity, only to become hooked by its rich taste and aroma.