Well I don't know if I should really mention this in case such gifts were not broadly distributed to other friends but I feel I have to mention this as I am currently quite enjoying a glass. My wife and I have a friend who just came back from a three month visit to Japan and who most likely all my readers know. Well I found something just for myself in the goody bag she so graciously gave my wife this morning... a little bottle of something clear. My first guess was sake (the label was entirely in Japanese except for the numbered bar code) but her husband corrected me and said it was called Shochu and it was a rice liquor specifically from her home town. I've only had sake once and this tastes quite a bit different from what I recall of sake. It is more akin to vodka but to me this is far better than any vodka I've ever had (not that I have had a lot , mind you.) First of all it is not at all overwhelmingly strong being from what I've read online about 25% alcohol by volume. There's practically no burn to speak of and it goes down very smooth. The taste which is distinctly present but also very subtle is almost sweet and though this may sound odd it actually reminds me right at the point it goes down the throat of distilled water which has an almost sweetish aftertaste. Now there was more to it than that obviously but that was just an impression that occurred to me as I was trying to see what I could discern being a noob when it comes to discerning subtle tastes. There is also a definite odor (not as strong but almost something like scotch though I have only had scotch once) and the odor is far stronger than the taste but the two combine into something very pleasant.
Anyway cheers Kayo! My glass is empty and its time to go to sleep. **There will be no insinuation tolerated in the comments section as to the relationship between the two given facts of the previous statement... it just so happens to be after 11PM** :-P