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Chuko Awamori Distillery Company
The multi-award winning Chuko Awamori Distillery Company is located in Tomigusuku, in the southern part of the main island of Okinawa.
About awamori:
About 600 years ago, a distilled drink was introduced into Okinawa from Thailand. Through refining of the original product, the introduction of various techniques, and the use of native black koji mold, Awamori was born. It is the oldest distilled liquor in Japan and unique and indigenous to Okinawa.

Unlike sake, or barrel drinks such as brandy and whisky, awamori is stored in chinaware pots to age. It is colorless and quite transparent, and the flavor of the Thai rice used is alive.
Aged liquor
Awamori is referred to as "kusu" (Okinawan) or "koshu" (rest of Japan) meaning "old liquor". Aging needs to be at least 3 years. This is a major feature of awamori as, by allowing long aging, the quality of the liquor is further improved, bringing out a deeper flavor. Within Japanese distilling, historically, only awamori was aged.
Development of Chuou Nanban Arayachi - Ryukyu awamori is a "pot culture".
With the spread of awamori, there have been numerous studies of awamori itself but very little research was performed on the pots that store it. The present Chairman of Chuko Awamori Distillers, Shigeru Oshiro, had a great interest in the pots and wanted to produce, not only the best awamori but the pots for storing it. He felt they played a big part in the in aging process. And so, in 1989, Shigeru built a kiln to realize his ambitions and today, every step, from soil preparation to firing is done in-house.

Resurrection of the "Shi-Jiru" immersion method (traditional awamori method)
Until the late 1950s , a manufacturing method called the Shi-jiru immersion method (Shi=Sour, Jiru=Soup or Juice) was performed routinely in awamori distilleries. . It died out with the introduction of modern distilling equipment. Chuko, in joint research with the Tokyo University of Agriculture, revived this biological distilling method. As a result, Chuko awamori differs from modern awamori, which has become a little uniform. It has a rich aroma and sweet taste like no other.

As a result of creating this new page in the history of awamori, the first manufacturer’s PhD in the distilling of awamori, and the Brewing Society of Japan’s Technology Award were received.
The development of a mango yeast
Another first was the development of a yeast from the Okinawan mango, in cooperation with academia and the government. This new yeast, depending on the maturing, provides an aged sweetness, with a vanilla aroma. The awamori produced contains more than ten times the amount of 4-VG (4-vinyl guaiaco) normally found (Chuko ratios during distillation) .