Shizuoka Sake Tasting 6/7: Oumuraya Brewery

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The Shizuoka Geeks tasted (I would say guzzled down) this extravagant sake (ishobin/1.8 l.) concocted by Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada City as we had a few reasons to celebrate. It is a “limited edition”, so I am religiously (I’m an agnostic hedonist) keeping the labels safe.
Its name is “Hanya”. People interested in Japanese culture will be interested, I’m sure!
It is also a “tobinkoi”, meaning it was filtered into one of those big glass vats for maturing.

Oomuraya Brewery/Hanya Junmai Daiginjo
Rice: Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture
Rice milled down to 50%
Yeast: Shizuoka HD-1
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees (high)

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: fruity and light, almost discreet. Elegant. Pineapple.

Body: velvety

Taste: sweetish at first. Junmai tingle. Fruity: pineapple.
Elegant with short tail. Calling for the next sip. So easy to drink. Coffee beans revealed later. Goes surprisingly well with food, keeping it character all along.

Overall: Definitely a bit too extravagant for our rough lot, but who complains? Some people are going to kill me for coming with so few notes for such a beauty!
What I found extraordinary is that such a high-class sake held its own so well, even as we were eating cheese and real curry cooked by our English Host, Mark (Talk about a rough lot! LOL)


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6 Responses to “Shizuoka Sake Tasting 6/7: Oumuraya Brewery”

  1. simaldeff Says:

    This label is so amazing … i think I’ll tattoo it on my back.
    I had a question for you : Saturday I went to the only restaurant in North-italy that import Sake from Japan … so basically it’s the only place I know I can drink decent sake (I love cold sake with food). What’s the price for a decent bottle? I mean for example for wines you can have good bourgogne starting at 15€, what’s the price for a “good” sake?

    Thanks bye.

    PS : Cher professeurs, avez-vous reçus mon mail?

  2. dragonlife Says:

    Amazing, isn’t?
    Probably the best label from Shizuoka in my collection!
    A decent sake, I mean a 720 ml bottle, would cost you about 1,500 yen at a local Japanese store.
    You have to count at least 3 times as much for a retail price in any shop in Europe. Which means that you will have to multiply again by at least 2 in a normal restaurant in Europe: at least 9,000 yen. A little more than 56€ at current rates. Let’s say 60€!
    Keep in mind that by decent sake, I mean “junmai” or “honjozo”.
    The bottle above is a “junmai dai ginjo” (1,8 l), the highest quality…

  3. simaldeff Says:

    The restaurant I went to is also a retail shop … in fact it’s their main activity for the Japanese community of Milan. They use their product to cook bentos and some “home-made” style sushi and some “every-day” food. It’s different from usual.
    I can’t remember the name of the sake but I’m pretty sure I read “junmai” on it (on the traduced-for-border label that is obligatory on food that comes from countries where you don’t use Latin alphabet) it was 22€ for 75cl.
    What’s the price for a jinmai daiginjo in Japan?

  4. dragonlife Says:

    22€ for 72 cl (not 75 cl) is a fair price for junmai.
    But it all depends on the rice millage. Shizuka junmai will never be superior to 60% (that is, 40% will be polished off) whereas in the rest of Japan it will be the standard 70% (30% polished off). a big difference when it comes to price. The variety of rice can also make a difference in price. If the sake is brewed by one of the big breweries (like Gekkeikan), the quality will be inferior as they are automated at almost all stages of brewing. They moreover use only yeasts developped by the Sake Association, whereas in Shizuoka they more than often use their own yeasts. Moreover Shizuoka has opted for the last 30 years to brew only the extravagant kind.
    Now could you possibly check the following parameters:
    1) Name of the Brewery
    2) Name of the Prefecture
    3) Rice name (if indicated)
    4) Rice millage
    5) Bottling date (if it’s over one full year, throw ir away or use it for cooking)
    6) Yeast (if indicated)
    I shall be able to give you a fair assessment.

    A 72 cl junmai dai ginjo in Japan will be tagged from 3,500 yen (22€) to no limit!

    The bottle above (1,8l. Cheaper than a 72cl cl for cl) cost 10,500 yen (66€) in Shizuoka.

  5. simaldeff Says:

    I only remember number 4. because some of the peopleI was with asked me about it and I had to ask the guy at the counter.
    Rice millage was 70%.
    I think I’ll go to that shop in the near future and make a report on the sakes you can find there.
    by the way the restaurant is :

  6. dragonlife Says:

    70% is a bit low as far as millage is concerned. It wouldn’t be enough to qualify as a junmai in Shizuoka where the minimum would be 60%.
    Hence the fairly cheap price. I suspect it comes from on of those big breweries!
    Looking forward to reading your report!

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