In Search of the Real Ryukyuan Awamori

Awamori Kan
Awamori Kan

From the dreams of the golden age of the Kingdom of the Ryukyus, through time and through the ages, the classic flavor and aroma of Awamori have been and are still prized as the "waters of life". Awamori Kan proudly offers only 100% pure aged Kusu Awamori, upholding the heritage of generations of distillers.

  1. The Tenet:
     For centuries, Ryukyuan distillers have known Awamori improves with age.


  2. Today:
     What is sold as Kusu today, however, is usually younger Awamori blended with Kusu aged three years or more. The National Tax Authority permits any blend containing 50% or more Kusu to bear the label, "Kusu".


  3. The Problem:
     For Kusu, newly distilled Awamori must be stored for extended periods of time. Because overhead costs cannot be recovered during the aging process, it is extremely difficult for Okinawan distillers to offer 100% Kusu.


  4. The Solution:
     By setting retail prices to cover the costs of the long aging process, we can offer you 100% pure Kusu aged for 10 to 20 years.


  5. Our Achievement:
    Awamori-Kan stored large quantities of Awamori distilled in 1977-1982, now matured into fine 15 - 20 year old Kusu. Today, precious few besides Awamori Kan can offer Awamori of this vintage.


  6. The Product Today:
    Awamori-Kan provides vintage 1977 Kusu in Ryukyuan lacquerware containers (1.8 liter) covered with Shuri silk weave for 350,000Yen~450,000Yen. However, the same Kusu is available without the packaging in 1.8 liter bottles for 25,000Yen~50,000Yen


  7. The Product Tomorrow
    Our business practice today is to return unsold 10-year old Kusu Awamori to storage for another 10 years of aging. Then, prices of the 20 year old Kusu will be set in accord with any changes in the social environment and public income levels at that time.


    aged Awamori
    Aged Awamori
  8. Ripple Effect:
    As the value of well aged Kusu Awamori becomes more widely recognized in the liquor markets, we can expect the entire Awamori industry to reap the benefits of higher demand and prices, and more distillers to become involved in producing 100% Kusu. The early stages of this process are already evident.


  9. Summary:
    Throughout history, we have known that Ryukyuan Awamori mellows and is enriched by age. The distinctive palate is comparable to fine brandy. However, until now, financial problems have prevented distillers from aging Awamori for 10 or 20 years and consequently, most distillers have produced Kusu blended with recently distilled Awamori. This has kept prices low.

    In resolving these problems, Awamori-Kan secured quantities of dated Awamori from distillers and has kept it stored under closely watched conditions. These earlier purchases are now in their 15th to 20th year of maturity. Now is the time to take advantage of the availability of pure, aged Awamori.