What is the alcohol content of Awamori?

Do you know what the strength of Awamori is? The general image is that it's a high alcohol, but as it turns out, "the strength of Awamori varies depending on the type.

There are many different types of Awamori, and each type of Awamori has its own unique taste and way of enjoying it!


In this article, I would like to explain about "Awamori's strength" and recommend some Awamori by strength, which I can tell you because I am an Awamori brewer.

What is the alcohol content of Awamori?

Mainly around 30 degrees alcohol by volume.

In general, the alcohol content of Awamori that can be drunk or bought at pubs or mass merchandisers is around 30 degrees.

Awamori is classified as a "distilled liquor" under the Liquor Tax Law, and is in the same category as Japanese shochu and foreign liquors such as whiskey, tequila, and vodka.

However, the alcohol content of Awamori varies depending on the product, ranging from 20 degrees to more than 40 or 50 degrees depending on the product.

If you look at the strength alone, it may seem a bit high, and those who are not familiar with it may be a bit hesitant to try it, but the fact that it comes in a variety of strengths means that there are different ways to enjoy it.

How to enjoy Awamori in different degrees and recommended Awamori will be introduced in the latter half of this article!

Awamori can now be described as Awamori even if the alcohol content is 46 degrees or higher.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some Awamori products with a strength of over 50 degrees, but it was only recently that they were allowed to be labeled as "Awamori" under the Liquor Tax Law.

According to the Liquor Tax Law, Awamori is classified as shochu, and among these, it is positioned as a single distilled shochu.

Until now, the Liquor Tax Law defined shochu as follows: anything below 45 degrees can be described as awamori.

Among alcoholic beverages distilled from alcohol-containing materials, "Awamori" is defined as: A. distilled in a continuous distillation machine with an alcohol content of less than 36 degrees; B. distilled in a single distillation machine with an alcohol content of 45 degrees or less, and not falling under the category of whiskey, brandy, vodka, rum, or gin.

Those that fall under A are classified as continuous distillation shochu, while those that fall under B are classified as single distillation shochu.

(Source: National Tax Agency website)

However, in March 2020, the Liquor Tax Law was revised to allow products with a content of 46 degrees or higher to be labeled as Awamori.

How high is the alcohol content of Awamori?

Compare the alcohol content of Awamori and other alcoholic beverages

Now that I have explained about the strength of Awamori, how does it compare to the strength of other alcoholic beverages?

As with Awamori, there are some products and types of alcohol that have a strength other than those listed below, but these are the general product strengths, so please compare them to the alcohol you usually drink.

Brewed liquor

・Beer 4.5~5.5 %

・Makgeolli 6~7 %.

・Champagne 12 %

・Wine 13.5 - 14 %

・Japanese sake 15-17%

・Shaoxing wine 1617%


Distilled liquor

・Shochu 20-25% 

・Awamori 30 %

・Brandy 40%

・Tequila 40%

・Whiskey 40%

・Gin 40%

・Rum 40%

・Vodka 40%

Brewed liquors are basically enjoyed as is because they are not high in alcohol content, while distilled liquors are high in alcohol content and can be enjoyed as is, but most are enjoyed as cocktails or mixed with water or soda water.

How to enjoy Awamori by alcohol content

Alcohol content: 20-30%

Enjoy with meals

The best way to enjoy Awamori with its low alcohol content (20-30 degrees) is to enjoy it with a meal.

It is also recommended to drink it on the rocks and savor it little by little. Why don't you start by enjoying it as an introduction to Awamori?

Alcohol content: 30-40%

Taste the original flavor of Awamori.

This is the type of Awamori that breweries recommend the most, where you can simply "taste the original flavor of Awamori.

Although the strength is a little high, try to enjoy it straight or on the rocks to enjoy the original aroma and flavor of Awamori.

Alcohol content: 50%-

You don't feel the high alcohol content... the aroma and flavor are similar to that of undiluted sake.

Awamori that has an alcohol content of over 50 degrees will give you a different taste and flavor.

It is characterized by an aroma that makes you not feel the high alcohol content, and a flavor that makes you not feel any miscellaneous tastes.

Liquor over 50 degrees will not freeze completely even if you put it in the freezer, so it is recommended to drink it with partial shots that can be chilled in the freezer to make it thicker.