Hombo Shuzo is a prestigious distiller founded in 1872 in Kagoshima Prefecture, the birthplace of one of Japan’s most beloved drinks: shochu. The company had won several medals at last year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition including a gold medal for their exquisitely smooth one-year-old Arawaza Sakurajima.

And to celebrate, this distinguished group has released perhaps their classiest drink to date. It’s an imo shochu (sweet potato shochu) with a thick bouquet of one of the world’s spiciest peppers, the habanero, and it’s name is Satsuma No Haoh RAAA.

The name comes from the Satsuma region of Kagoshima where the sweet potatoes come from that help make up this shochu. An imo shochu has an earthy flavor to it that’s almost savory to the point of being spicy, but remains gentle to the tongue and throat.

This time, however, Hombo said to hell with all that and soaked some habanero peppers in there too. Habanero peppers originated from the Amazon and possess a spiciness of up to 300,000 Scoville units which Hombo says equates to about 10 times the spiciness of Tabasco sauce.

About 20mL of RAAA was taste-tested by a writer for Japanese food website Entabe who described the taste as “pungent” which is open to interpretation. However, it is probably the best word to describe a 34 percent alcohol content shochu that had habanero peppers marinating in it for one month.

In the end, I think everyone can agree the name “RAAA” really says it all. RAAA can be bought online for 1,500 yen (US$14) per 500mL bottle.

Source: Hombo: RAAA via Entabe (Japanese)

Hombo also recommends RAAA for making cocktails such as:

Fireball: 30mL RAAA, 20mL Cinzano Rosso, 10mL Tabasco

KARAAA: 30mL RAAA, 30mL Calpis, 1 leaf Oba Shiso, 1 chili pepper, some boiling water

Apocalypse Now: 20mL RAAA, 20mL Vodka, 20mL Tequila

RARARA Ra-chunyu: 40mL RAAA, 30mL Lime Juice, 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, 2mL Grenadine Syrup

Tropi-Kara Night: 30mL RAAA, 10mL Campari, 10mL Lemon Juice, some Soda

Fukai Tree 5: 30mL RAAA, 30mL Blue Curaçao, 30mL Calpis, 10mL Campari, some Vodka