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66 Gilead White Dragon Shochu, $38.95 at 66 Gilead Distillery (www.66gileaddistillery.com) and select liquor stores in Alberta. Has notes of fresh artisanal bread, with a robust overtone of single-malt whisky. Punchy and complex.

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Shochu Yokaichi Mugi, $30 for 750 ml at LCBO stores (www.lcbo.com). Fresh, floral and fruity, with an oily texture and touch of sweetness. Balanced and clean. Shochu Yokaichi Mugi, $30 for 750 ml at LCBO stores (www.lcbo.com). Fresh, floral and fruity, with an oily texture and touch of sweetness. Balanced and clean.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Charm Soju, $5.55 for 360 ml at LCBO stores (www.lcbo.com). Decidedly sweet (thanks to added sugar and fructose) and almost as neutral as big-brand vodka, except for the subtle lemony tingle from added citric acid.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Hakata-No-Hana Shochu, $27.95 for 720 ml at LCBO stores (www.lcbo.com). Like a double-strength, good-quality cold sake, initially sweet, then crisp with breakfast-cereal-like barley rising on the finish. Elegant.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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