A bottle of St George California Shochu No Background 1000

St. George California Shochu

Sometimes sharing a meal is sharing your heart. When our friends invited us to family meal at their restaurant, we wanted to bring something to the table. St. George California Shochu was inspired by our deep desire to express love in the way we know best—distilling. With notes of cashew, mushroom and cocoa, it’s a uniquely Californian shochu that was made to share.

Format: 750ml
ABV: 40%
Availability: Available in many markets

A crisp, vegetal, super malty, and slightly sweet Cali shochu.

- Liquor.com

Explodes on the tongue with earthy notes and a sweet vanilla finish.

- Robb Report

Earthy and vegetal, with touches of walnut and roasted pistachio alongside. Subtle sweetness of brown sugar and creamy vanilla.

- Master of Malt

Enjoy in a Highball or in a Japanese whisky cocktail.

- Whisky Advocate

The Spirit

St. George California Shochu was born when our friends who own the Ramen Shop in Oakland invited us to share a meal at their table. Spirits are our form of self-expression, and California Shochu is proof that they are our love language as well.

What’s in it?

There are just two ingredients in our shochu—locally grown Calrose rice and koji, which converts rice starch into sugars that can be fermented into alcohol. But don’t let the seemingly simple ingredient list fool you. St. George California Shochu is complex and dynamic, with layer upon layer of intricate flavor.

The Process

Fermenting Calrose with koji reveals a panoply of dynamic aromas you might not believe could come from rice. You’ll find all sorts of earthy, floral notes here. If you’ve ever had sake, there are some similarities to the flavor profile. Careful distillation on our custom Arnold Holstein pot stills enhances these nutty, funky aromas while developing a lovely mouthfeel.

Master distiller Lance Winters did the art direction for the label in conjunction with illustrator Lauren Asta. The design is a mashup of the California state flag and the national flag of Japan. If you translate the kanji (Japanese characters), the bear is saying “angry bear sound.”

The Experience

On the nose, St. George California Shochu features cashew, pistachio, sweet mushrooms, and dried cocoa. On the palate, rich umami leads to tropical top notes over a base of bittersweet chocolate. The finish is earthy vanilla.

California Shochu works beautifully in a highball, where the sparkling water makes it easy to appreciate its nuanced aromas. It’s also refreshing in sour cocktails like the Grass Cutter or the Grizzly Pear, where it brings unexpected nuance. While some shochus are lower in alcohol, ours clocks in at 40% ABV, making it easy to substitute for vodka, gin, or even light rum in your favorite recipes.

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