Popular Shochu Mori Izo in Japan

Popular Shochu Mori Izo in Japan Japan

Have you ever heard of the “3M” shochu?

The 3M shochu is a premium shochu made in Kagoshima, named after the first letters of Maou, Murao, and Moriizo, and is famous not only for its taste, but also for its high retail price.

In this article, we will introduce one of the legendary “3M” shochus, Moriizo. Many of you may have heard of the brand name Moriizo at least once. This article will surely help you learn more about Moriizo.

What is Moriizo?

Moriizo is a sweet potato shochu sold by the Moriizo Shuzo brewery.

It is made from organically grown sweet potatoes from Kagoshima and produced using the traditional, time-consuming “kamembo brewing” method. This brand has gained popularity for its mild flavor without the distinctive smell of sweetpotato shochu.

Origin of the name

The Moriizo Shuzo Brewery was prosperous when it was founded, but for a time the business slumped and the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.The fifth head of the family incorporated the Moriizo Brewery as a limited liability company and restored the business. The fifth generation head of the brewery named the shochu after his predecessor, the fourth generation Moriizo, out of respect for the skills that had been passed down from generation to generation. This is the origin of the current name “Moriizo.

The Moriizo Brewery

Established in 1885, the Moriizo Sake Brewery has a brewery in Tarumi City, Kagoshima Prefecture.

The brewery has been using the “kamebotsubo (pot) brewing” method, which was rare at the time, since it’s establish.

The Moriizo Sake Brewery has maintained its 120-year-old wooden warehouse to the present day.
In addition, to prevent the quality of the shochu from deteriorating due to ultraviolet rays, tea bottles are used for shochu, and other efforts are made to produce “delicious shochu.

The Morizo Brewery is a small and cozy brewery of about 150 tsubo, which is not large for a sake brewery, where traditional production is carried out.

Reason for becoming a premier sake brewery

When the Moriizo Brewery was undergoing a restructuring, the fourth generation of Moriizo Sake Brewery was engaged in the production of high-quality shochu in small quantities with the belief that “the only things left were traditional techniques and the yeast that had taken up residence in the brewery. The fifth head of the Moriizo Shuzo Brewery, who inherited this belief, did not expand production, but rather preserved the taste and quality of the shochu.

Even after the taste and quality of the shochu became popular and well-known, the Moriizo Shuzo Brewery did not increase its production. As a result, “Moriizo” became a hard-to-find shochu, and was given the reputation of being premier sake.

This is the background behind Moriizo becoming what is commonly referred to as premier sake. Because of the small amount of Moriizo in circulation, the price of the shochu sold in online cautions  has jumped, but the regular price is about 2,000~3,000 yen. The distribution price is going up in the market.

There are three ways to get Moriizo at a fixed price

Apply for the Moriizo Sake Brewery’s lottery sales

Moriizo Sake Brewery accepts applications for lottery sales by phone between the 14th and 25th of every month. However, due to the popularity of Moriizo, the line is busy with many applicants, and it seems to be difficult to register. There is an estimate that the ratio of winning the lottery is 0.2%, so many people seem to be applying to purchase Moriizo.

Apply for Takashimaya’s lottery sales

Besides the Moriizo Sake Brewery’s direct sales, you can also purchase Moriizo at Takashimaya’s liquor sales. However, since this is also a lottery, you must apply by postcard at Takashimaya stores.

Fill out the application form available in the Japanese and Western liquor department of Takashimaya. Place the entry form in the box and participate in the drawing. Entries are accepted from the 1st to the 10th of each month, and one entry per person is allowed.

Purchase on JAL international flights

You can buy Moriizo at JAL’s international in-flight sales. However, in-flight sales of Moriizo are limited to first class and business class on international flights. If you fly internationally on business or on vacation, you may be missing out if you do not purchase Moriizo.

JMB Diamond and JGC Premier Members can purchase Moriizo through JAL’s in-flight sales advance reservation service.