Shima Senryo Imo (Sweet Potato) Shochu is produced by the Takasaki Distillery in Kagoshima prefecture. Though they have been around for 100 years, Takasaki Distillery seems to be a boutique Japanese shochu distllery that has a small following and a small footprint on the web. That said, this just makes the enjoyable experience that much more rewarding.
Shima Senryo Imo (sweet potato) shochu is made in a unique manner. First, it uses both white koji and black koji in the distilling process. Second, the end product is a blend that mixes shochu that has aged for 1 year with shochu that has aged for 5 years. The idea behind this approach is that the shochu that is aged 1 year brings interesting flavor to the product while the shochu that is aged 5 years brings a smoothness that makes it easy to drink. The result is an experience is unlike most other imo shochu. It’s initial flavor is reminiscent of an un-aged awamori, but then it has a smooth finish that is similar to a kome (rice) shochu. This makes Shima Senryo Imo shochu interesting yet quite easy to drink.