Namida Wasabi Botanical Spirit

Difford's Guide

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alc./vol: 40%

Proof: 80°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: No age statement

Product of: Product of South Africa South Africa

Named after the Japanese word for tears, Namida is flavoured with pure Wasabia japonica rhizome, not the coloured horseradish derived fake wasabi commonly found in the west. The bottles are screen printed with the profile of Wasabia japonica leaves and carry both the batch and bottle number.

Namida Wasabi is the result of a family's obsession with growing and marketing Wasabi first aroused by a Television documentary on wasabi screened in New Zealand in 1989. This inspired Michel Van Mellaerts and his wife Jenny to start growing wasabi and after a couple of years of experimentation they perfected their organic hydroponic growing system.

It is the opera singing son of this wasabi cultivating couple who we have to thank for creating this wasabi spirit in 1996. Namida is made in small batches of 6,000 litres by triple distilling grain neutral alcohol with wasabi rhizomes grown in New Zealand by Julien's parents. Distillation now takes place in South Africa, perhaps as a direct result of the mustard gas released by the wasabi blowing up the still of the first Kiwi distiller.

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Review and Tasting

Sampled on 23/01/2012


(batch 002, bot No. 1071) Clear, pale wasabi green.


Formidable, clean, wasabi, horseradish nose.


The promised wasabi flavoured palate also has the rhizome's heat, though not overpoweringly so.


Long, not entirely pleasant finish with lingering bitter, rooty flavours. One for mixing in Bloody Marys rather that sipping.

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Product Information

Closure: Natural cork stopper

More about Namida Wasabi Botanical Spirit

Produced by: Edward Snell & Co. Ltd

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