Shinshu is kind of a rarity in the kokuto shochu world. But in 2017 Serena Nishihira was promoted to toji (master distiller), so Nishihira Shuzo decided to do something out of the ordinary and release about 100 bottles of Serena-san’s recent work on the distillery floor, the first under her direction. She drew the intricate label design by herself, and was incredibly generous in giving me a bottle to keep. It also happens to be “Sango” shinshu, one of my favorite kokuto shochu brands. Can’t wait for the first full release. Kanpai!