The Wife was doing some online window shopping on Shopee the other day and a bottle of yuzushu from Choya popped up on her mobile phone screen. Immediately, I noticed _that_ look in her eyes. The look that basically says:
“Hmm… yuzu. Take my money please.”
Window shopping quickly turned into actual shopping and the bottle arrived a few days later. In October last year, we happily went down the yuzu sake rabbit hole and since then we must have bought close to a dozen bottles, both for personal consumption and as gifts to our
The first bottle we tried was the Umenoyado Yuzu Shu, which we liked so much that we immediately bought another three bottles. We subsequently got bottles from two other producers — Kozaemon and Hakutsuru — so that we could sample a broader range of flavours and conduct a proper taste comparison.
After the Umenoyado won by a landslide, we bought three more bottles and then continued buying over the next few months to build up a strategic yuzu sake reserve. Because it’s always good to be prepared.
We were quite curious how the Choya Yuzu would stack up against the reigning champion and brought it over to The Old Folks, so that we could have it as a digestif after a heavy Chinese New Year reunion dinner.
The box that it came in was very pretty and the gold lettering and drawings fit in nicely with the CNY theme. The Old Folks were pleased with the packaging, because gold is an auspicious colour during the new year. It definitely made a good first impression.
As the containers of new year goodies like pineapple tarts, bak kwa etc were brought out, we opened the Choya and poured them into old school glasses fished out from their cupboard. We each had a glass on the rocks, and while The Wife and I sipped ours slowly, The Old Folks quickly finished their first and started on their seconds.
It was obvious that they were enjoying it very much. Despite being innocently sweet (with a tinge of pleasant bitterness), the alcohol content was a respectable 14.7% and soon they surrendered to both food and alcohol induced coma and took a nap-éritif.
We left the remainder of the bottle with them, which they promptly finished the next day and called to tell us that it was very good and that they really liked it. Which was basically code for: “Please bring us some more next time.” It looks like they’ve joined us down the rabbit hole.
So, how did the Choya stack up against the other three?
It came in a close second to the Umenoyado, and would easily have been our go-to choice if the Umenoyado didn’t exist.
While the Choya cane spirit base didn’t quite have the underlying warmth of the Umenoyado sake, its rich yuzu flavour tasted pleasantly natural. The sediments of yuzu peel floating in the bottle also added to its appeal.
For ease of comparison, I’ve reproduced the table from my earlier post in October 2020 and slotted in the Choya. I have a feeling that we’ll be adding a few bottles to our strategic reserve soon.
|Price||S$ 43.55||S$ 45.00||S$ 46.50||S$ 29.90|
|Taste||10 / 10||9 / 10||8 / 10||5 / 10|
The next time we visit The Old Folks, we’ll bring a bottle of the Umenoyado to see if they come to the same conclusion as us. On second thoughts, maybe we should hold off for a while, just so they don’t become too addicted.
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