At Osuzuyama Distillery, we use our hands for all processes that require care and attention, such as growing koji and malt. Our master craftsmen spread koji inside the cellars and ferment them at the most suitable temperature. While we use some of the latest technologies to help the process, we continue to pursue handmade flavor and quality in our craft.
Distillation is the process of heating the moromi mash to a boiling point and then cooling the steam to extract liquid. As the alcohol content becomes more concentrated, the rich flavors are captured in the liquor. Distillation is a mystical and scientific process that has been part of the liquor- making craft since early human history.
Legend of the Osuzu Sacred Horse
The name of Osuzu Mountain is said to originate from a local legend of the sacred horse. The story begins with a white horse that appeared on a farm at the foot of the mountain. This horse was known to be used by the mountain god on his visits to the shrine. One day, a young villager saw the mountain god riding across the sky on his horse. As the white horse galloped, the golden bell on its neck made a clear ringing sound, and with the horse’s neigh, it echoed across the sky in all directions. When the people of the village learned of this news, they started calling the mountain “Osuzu”(bell) and revered it as the sacred mountain where the god had returned with the white horse.
At the foot of Osuzu Mountain, there is a village called “Atarashiki-mura” (New Village) on the right bank of the Omaru river. This village was founded in 1918 by the author Saneatsu Mushanokoji and his companions as a utopia that promotes humanism and individualism. Saneatsu Mushanokoji lived for six years in the rich natural environment at the foot of Osuzu mountain, composing his literary works while leading an agricultural lifestyle.
The New Distilled Liquor
Our goal is to create a distilled liquor that is uniquely ours, that can only be achieved on this land. Looking back at the history of Osuzuyama Distillery, we realize that we had faced many challenges while we worked in pursuit of our goal. Shochu first came about when the fermentation culture of the Kyushu region chanced upon the distillation process that was introduced to Japan from abroad. Ingredients that are commonly used today, such as potato, barley, and rice, can also be traced back to their foreign origins. Despite its popularity and recognition today, shochu has a long history of evolution, and we believe that we still have a long way to go to realize its fullest potential. We will achieve the true essence of our liquor by continuously challenging ourselves to evolve in the rich, fertile lands of Miyazaki and Osuzu Mountain. Similarly, we want to nurture and embrace aged whisky made of germinated grains and spirits imbued with various botanical aromas as new types of distilled liquor that have come from this land. As a shochu distiller, our spirit lies in our devotion to this land and our fortitude to pursue new possibilities.