Zuisen Distillery

Common name: 
Zuisen Distillery
1-35 Shuri Sakiyama, Naha City
Zuisen Distillery
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Known for its rare awamori brand, Usaki, which revived the pre-war tradition of using black koji mold to ferment rice, this distiller keeps an abundant supply of kusu in earthenware pots.

'Zuisen' is the name of the freshwater spring at the second gate of the Shuri Castle ruins. Koei Kyan founded the distillery in 1887, taking its name from that spring water. It takes great pride in its history of more than 100 years, and specializes in kusu produced based on longstanding traditions. The distiller ships only 30 percent of the new awamori it produces. The rest is stored to mature into kusu. This distillery accounts for one fifth of the 20,000 kiloliters of awamori stored by all the awamori manufacturers in the prefecture.
It is great fun to taste the various types of awamori kept in the distillery. The distillery specializes in its Zuisen brand, which could be described as a mainstream awamori. The delicious flavor of awamori can also be tasted from the non-aged liquor. A favorite of fans is the Omoro series, with five different liquors raging from 23% to 43% proof. And the younger fans seem to prefer the brand Sho with its relatively low alcohol content of 25%.

This long-established distiller is proud to present its kusu, which is stored for at least seven years. The maturity achieved with the passage of time creates a deep taste and aroma, which captures the heart of fans. Zuisen Distillery also has a subsidiary in Tokyo, hoping that the feedback from distant fans can be reflected in production.
It was widely believed that the black koji mold kept at the old distilleries was lost during the war. But Zuisen learnt that some samples of the mold had been kept in a laboratory at Tokyo University. Zuisen cultured the mold, which had been left untouched for 60 years, to create its brand Usaki, which is now drawing a lot of attention as a kind of 'visionary awamori'. Fans truly look forward to the revival of kusu made from traditional black koji mold.