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Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

  • (a) Characteristics of liquor
     “Iki”, which is a Pot distillation shochu, retains the fresh bouquet of barley from which it is made and the sweet and deep flavor of rice koji. Furthermore, it has a sharp taste originating from the water used as an ingredient.
  • (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Natural factor
       Iki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, is an archipelago centering on Ikinoshima island which is in the Genkainada Sea north of Kyushu, and the region has a rich supply of underground water which has been refined by the basaltic layer over a long period of time.
       Iki’s underground water, which is rich in minerals and pure, is one of the important ingredients in Iki, and is used in many ways from ingredient preparation to mixing the distilled unprocessed shochu (“Genshu”) with water. In the production process, the underground water of Iki maintains good fermentation and gives Iki its deep flavor, as well as eliciting a sharp taste due to the use of the underground water for mixing with the Genshu.
    • (2) Human factor
       It is said that the production of “Iki” began as local farmers produced it for their own consumption due to the wealth of groundwater in Iki and the abundance of rice and barley harvests.
        The roots of Pot distillation shochu lie in the production of distilled liquor on the Chinese continent and in south-east Asia which was subsequently introduced in Japan. According to the “Korean Peninsula Route theory” which is one of the influential theories espousing this route, Japan and Korea were actively engaged in trade in the 15th century, at which time Korea was already manufacturing distilled liquor. This technology was introduced to Japan via Tsushima and Iki, and it is presumed that the origins of production of shochu lie in this era.
       Furthermore, historical records show that Iki, Nagasaki was the earliest region in Japan to introduce production of shochu made from barley and it is assumed to be the “birthplace of barley shochu”.
       Barley shochu produced in other regions is produced from barley koji and barley, however, “Iki” is traditionally produced from rice koji and barley, using a ratio of 1:2, and this traditional method is one of the factors in establishing the characteristics of “Iki”.

Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor

 It is necessary to satisfy the following criteria to use the geographical indication “Iki”.

  • (a) Ingredients
    • (1) Grains use only barley.
    • (2) Only rice koji produced from rice is used.
    • (3) The weight ratio of rice koji and grains for the moromi must be approximately 1:2.
    • (4) Water collected in Iki city, Nagasaki prefecture.
  • (b) Production method
    • (1) Fermenting and distillation of the ingredients is performed in Iki city, Nagasaki prefecture.
    • (2) The product is made by fermenting rice koji and water to make the primary moromi, to which is added steamed grains and water before fermenting further to make the secondary moromi, which is distilled in a pot still.
    • (3) If the product is stored in the production process, it is stored in Iki city, Nagasaki prefecture.
    • (4) The product is bottled in Iki city Nagasaki prefecture in the containers that will be used to deliver the product to consumers.

 Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor

 In order to use the geographical indication “Iki”, it is necessary to receive confirmation from the following organization (hereinafter “Control Body”) in accordance with the Work Implementation Guidelines prepared by such Control Body, regarding whether or not the liquor for which such geographical indication will be used satisfies the “Matters Relating to Ingredients and Production Method of Liquor”.

Name of Control Body: Iki Shochu Management Committee
Address: Iki Shochu Cooperative, 639-3 Higashifure,
Gonoura-cho, Iki city, Nagasaki prefecture,
Phone number: 0920-47-0423
E-mail: ikisyuzou@future.ocn.ne.jp

 Matters relating liquor classes

 Pot distillation shochu (Article 3, Item10 of the Liquor Tax Act)