Shuppinshu (出品酒)

Shuppinshu is an alcohol beverage brewed for the purpose of entering the shows or competition.

Although shuppinshu has many points which come under other alcoholic beverages, this article particularly refers to Japanese sake.

Shuppinshu is regarded as the antonym of ryutsushu which is distributed and sold on the open market.


Shuppinshu is different from ryutsushu in the following points.

Cost performance

As shuppinshu is made with the best choices in all process including materials and brewing method, the finished product is a high-class sake. There is no point if ryutsushu are not sold well because of the high retail price, however high its quality is. So it is common to find a point of compromise to sell the sake at given price, only concerned whether it will turn a profit. On the other hand, as for shuppinshu the purpose is to show the high technique level of the sakagura (sake brewer). As they took no account of the profit for the brewery's honor, the brewed sake can become as much high-class as it is.

Figuratively speaking, shuppinshu is equivalent to a Formula One car that draws the global attention and is made with the finest skills of the auto maker. On the other hand, ryutsushu is equivalent to a marchandise made by regarding the cost performance as important for daiy use, even though it is based on its slills.

How to brew the taste and fragrance

As for the quality, ryutsushu is brewed, bearing in mind that it is 'drunk' by consumers. But shuppinshu is brewed, bearing in mind that it is 'tasted' by the appraisers, tasters and critics.

The tasters to appraise the sake first taste the sake in their mouth, then spit it into the enamel vessels set beside them. It is because the taster gets drunk if he or she drinks it up. When the taster gets drunk, it blunts his or her sensibility to the taste and the ability of the appraiser gets weak. Then, it is unfair for the sake to be tasted afterwards. Because of these reasons, 'to be tasted' means that the taster holds the glass, smells the fragrance coming up from the sake, holds it in a mouth and appreciates it on every point of the tongue with smelling the sake. And the tasting does not mean the smooth sensation and kaeriga (fragrance after gulping down) that comes back to the mouth when you gulpe down. As a result, shuppinshu is brewed almost without considering the taste and fragrance after it is put into the mouth and gulped down. As for the ryutsushu, the taste and fragrance are, of course, considered. That is also the big difference between shuppinshu and ryutsushu.

[Original Japanese]