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HONOLULU, HI (March 30, 2017) – Taking top honors, iichiko BLŪ won the coveted Chairman’s Trophy in shochu, at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2017, one of the world's leading spirits competitions. iichiko BLŪ, a premium shochu drink produced in Japan exclusively for Hawaii, also received the Tried & True Award, scored 96 points (the highest of all the shochus), and earned an “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation” at the competition.

For iichiko BLŪ, Ultimate Spirits Challenge noted: “Sweet fruity aromas of lychee, ripe yellow apples, and a hint of cherry blossom give way to creamy lemon custard and a good dose of spice in this unctuous, silky spirit. Off-dry but not at all cloying.”

Produced by Sanwa Shurui Co., Ltd., Japan’s leading shochu manufacturer, iichiko BLŪ made its debut in Hawaii last year. Since then, iichiko BLŪ has become a favorite of local mixologists and satisfied guests in Hawaii restaurants and clubs. This premium shochu is distilled and made from barley, carefully developed to create both a rich and delicate flavor.

In addition to being served in Hawaii’s leading nightlife destinations, iichiko BLŪ recently became available at local retail outlets, so consumers can enjoy its award-winning flavor at home. iichiko BLŪ is sold at locations including ABC Stores (various locations); Beverage Mart; Big Save Koloa; Don Quijote (various locations); Fujioka's Wine Times; Kadota Liquor; Kakaako Wine Loft & Sake Collection; Kohnotori Ala Moana; Marukai Corporation; Marukai Market Place; Monstera, LLC; NK Wine Shop, Inc.; Nijiya Market; Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquor; Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera; The Sake Shop; Times (various locations) and Waianae Store.

The Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2017 was recently held at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Evaluation Center in Hawthorne, New York. The complete results can be viewed at



About iichiko 
Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit produced from either barley, sweet potato, rice or buckwheat depending on the region of origin. iichiko’s shochu is 100% barley and the #1 barley shochu in Japan. Each of iichiko’s shochu begins with only the highest quality barley and water drawn from natural springs deep beneath the earth. The flavors of iichiko’s shochu are refreshing and boast a crystal clear taste, truly embodying the essence of Japanese refinement. 
The lush greenery, pure water and cool breezes of Oita Prefecture, famously known for their hot springs, provide the perfect setting to house the distillery where iichiko shochu is produced. It all begins with carefully selecting the finest natural ingredients and water. Advanced distilling technologies are then applied to produce the highest quality shochu. Since 1979, iichiko has prided itself on putting quality first, the way it’s always been done and will always continue to be done. 

About iichiko BLŪ 
iichiko BLŪ is a premium shochu drink produced in Japan, created exclusively for Hawaii. BLŪ is made from 100% barley (barley and barley koji) and each grain is polished down 70% to use only the core of the barley. Iichiko BLŪ is produced using a single distillation process combining techniques of low-pressure and atmospheric distillation and blended to create a distinctive shochu with bright koji flavors.
Bright and clear in color, BLŪ is bursting with aromas of ripe melon and fresh lychee. It presents a lush yet light feel with fleshy fruit flavors continuing on the palate. The finish is subtle, marked by a hint of candied ginger.


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