The freshly distilled unprocessed alcohol retains the unique smell such as burnt smell as it is.
In order to bring out the mellow taste and aroma of the shochu, it needed to be stored for a certain amount of time, which the brewers of the time knew.
There is a passage in a book dating back to the end of the Edo Period that states that 'the best time to drink shochu is at the end of spring, several months after a cold winter'.
Shochu is made from rice harvested that year, and is left to ferment in the cold season from fall to winter. Kuma Shochu, with its rich flavor, was born through this storage and maturation.
There are mainly three ways of aging Shochu
aged in Kame (cray pot)
aged in barrel
stored in tank