Blind Tasting by the Tokyo Geeks!

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!



For more information please visit Etsukp Nakamura’s excellent blog, Tokyo Foodcast

The best way to promote Shizuoka Sake is to send samples to real sake connoisseurs up in Tokyo and have them analyze them in blind tasting sessions!
Although I describe myself as a Shizuoka Sake Lover, I will never reach the proficiency of these ladies and gentlemen who have made it an integral part of their living!.
Here are the results of the latest Quizz sent to Etsuko Nakamura, Melinda Joe and their Jolly Good Friends:
The first bottle (“white one”) was brewed by Kumpai Brewery in Shizuoka City in March 2007:

What did we think it was?
2 – Honjozo, 4 – Junmai including 1 Nama, 1 – Ginjyo


Fragrance: Light, fruity, candy, hint of alcohol, ethyl caproate aroma, yeasty, floral, banana, unfiltered muroka aroma?
Taste: Good balance, nama green, sweet attack, robust, rustic, bubbly at the beginning with light ending
Aftertaste: Sharper aftertaste/good, dry, slightly metallic/burnt? lingering, wood/organic?
Overall: Slightly sweet that goes well with scallop sashimi, sensitive, begins to get heavier with higher temperature, doesn’t leave an impression, “Quick chat with a friend on the way to catch a train.”

Good results as this is:
“Kumpai Sakura”
Junmai Ginjo, Nama genshu (Shinshu), Yamada Nishiki Rice 100%, Rice milled down to 55%
My compliments!
The second bottle (“blue one”) was brewed by Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City in March 2007:

What did we think it was?
2 – Junmai or Jungin, 1 – Jungin Nama, 1 – Junmai or Honjozo with a hint of nama muroka, 1 – Junmai, 1 – Honjozo


Fragrance: More nama than 1, melon, delicate, pear, light, new sake fragrance
Taste: Sweet with a hint of bitterness, stronger taste with more flavors than 1, well rounded compared to 1, taste banana type sweetness at the beginning with a light finish, melon/round, not nama muroka
Aftertaste: Pop!, higher acidity, more bitterness, alcohol aftertaste, very sweet in finish, long and finishes well
More balanced than 3, fresh/full/blooms, “I started out disliking #2 slightly, but it really came together with some air and time, temperature”. More weight, more extreme, w/r/t sweetness & bitterness “Dinner with work mates after a hard day’s work”

Also excellent results as it was:

“Kaiun Hana No Ka”
A very difficult proposal as it was brewed in March 2007 in the old way for the first time in a hundred years!
Junmai, Genshu Nama Sake, Takatenjin Koshihikari rice: 23%, Fuji Homare Rice: 77%, rice milled down to 55%

My hat off again!

There was a third bottle, but it was a present, not a quiz. They got it right, though!

We are all going to have a virtual tasting in 3 weeks. make sure to read our comments!

6 Responses to “Blind Tasting by the Tokyo Geeks!”

  1. simaldeff Says:

    what’s a virtual tasting? You do as if you are tastig a good sake while it’s really water?

  2. dragonlife Says:

    A virtual tasting means you taste the same sake on the same date (f possible) in different places and post your report on the same day.
    In this case friends in Tokyo, Shizuoka and New York will post their findings on May 21st on two sake brewed by Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Ken!

  3. Etsuko Says:

    Thanks again for these wonderful bottles. I am not sure if we are sake connoisseurs or just bunch of drinkers, but we sure enjoyed Shizuoka sake. So, that was Kaiun Hana no ka. Interesting one with lots of flavors. When I heard about Hana no ka, I thought I have to try it. Now I have. Kunpai was very nice, too.

  4. Mystery Sake from Shizuoka at Tokyofoodcast Says:

    […] Shizuoka sake guru, Robert-Gilles at Shizuoka Sake, kindly sent us, the Tokyo sake geeks (me and Melinda), these three bottles without the labels. So, […]

  5. Melinda Says:

    Indeed we did enjoy the sake. Mata arigato, Robert-Gilles-san!

    The Hana no Ka really grew on me. It was a little strong at first (but, being a genshu, I guess it would be), but it had a really subtle appeal after a while. Nice.

    But what you didn’t know is how drunk we all got…In addition to your 3 (gracious) bottles, Etsuko brought out 4 from Naruman. You might have noticed some of the weird boo-boos on my tasting sheet. I’ll just say that I made my guesses at the end of the evening.

  6. dragonlife Says:

    Holy Macaroni!
    I should have posted the second picture!

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