Posts Tagged ‘沼津市’

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 10/7: Takashima Brewery

December 19, 2008


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

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Kazutaka Takashima is a maverick masterbrewer and owner in a maverick sake-brewering Prefecture. Aged only 31, he took over his father’s brewery 3 years ago, hired a new brewmaster from Iwate Prefecture (Nanbu School) and finally started brewing his own sake this year. Built like a barrel (he holds a fifth dan in judo!), he is nevertheless a very affable if passionate brewer.
When I interviewed him last year, he confided me he was planning to create sake exclusively from Shizuoka Prefecture ingredients. The fact that his brewery stands at the foot of Mount Fuji in Numazu City within convenient distance of Suntoh Gun will explain why he held his promise as you will discover in the following posting.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my new tasting friend, Jen from Boston, to the “World Sake Blogging Club” represented by Melinda, Etsuko and Tim!

Takashima Brewery: Hakuin Masamune Junmai (no alcohol added), Nama (unpasteurized) Genshu (unaltered), Sunto gun Yamadanishiki Rice

Rice: Shizuoka Yamada Nishiki strain grown in Suntoh Gun
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast NEW-5
Water: from own well dug at the foot of Mount Fuji
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Dryness: +5
Acidity: 1.7
Bottled: December 2008

Clarity: Very clear.
Colour: Light golden tinge.
Aroma: Pleasing and very fruity: bananas, vanilla.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Strong alcohol attack backed up by junmai tingle.
Shortish tail. Warms up back of the palate and throat.
Complex and fruity: bananas, vanilla, almonds. Coffee beans appearing with second sip.
Turns dry with food with bitter chocolate and almonds coming out.
Makes a somewhat sweet exit.

Overall: A surprisingly elegant for such a strong sake.
Sublime with food.
Always entices for another cup.
Another discovery!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 10/6: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune

October 2, 2008


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I had been impatiently waiting for a “hiyaoroshi” (sake pasteurized only once) from my my very special favorite Brewery, Takashima Brewery in Numazu City. Well, I had even greater luck this time as this also a “Yamahai”!

Takashima Brewery: Hakuin Masamune Yamahai junmai Hiyaoroshi 2008

Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees (genshu type)
Dryness: +1 (very low)
Acidity: 1.7
Bottled in September 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity: dry cherries, almonds, coffee beans, banana
Body: Velvety
Taste: Shortish tail. Welcome alcohol (high as this is a genshu/unaltered sake).
Dry cherries, coffee beans. Complex. Very soft and pleasant in spite of high alcohol. Plays hide and seek with taste buds.
Dry almonds appearing with food.
Turns drier with food.

Overall: A beauty!
Could be drunk at any time of a meal. Could definitely be drunk in place of a fine Port wine!
Definitely a session sake in spite of very low millage for Shizuoka (65%. Usually 60%)!

Shizuoka Tasting 28-4: Watanabe Brewery

March 8, 2008


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And the series with Watanabe Brewery in Numazu City continues!

Watanabe Brewery/Bokusui Honjozo Genshu
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 16~17%
Bottled in January 2008

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Flowers, green melon, rape blossoms

Body: fluid and velvety

Taste: Alcohol impression not as strong as expected despite the genshu character. Easy to drink. Green fruit. Green melon. Short tail. Calls for the second sip which reveals offee beans.
Shows different facets with food.

Overall: Easy to drink. A sake designed for food. Surprisingly mild in spite of its high alcohol content.
Becomes easier and easier to drink with food.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 28-3: Watanabe Brewery

March 4, 2008


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Watanabe Brewery must be the smallest one in Shizuka Prefecture tucked away from anywhere in Numazu City. I can tell you it is not easy to find their brews even near Numazu City. But I made good provision when I visited them and can appreciate them in all tranquility back home!

Watanabe Brewery/Izu no Umi Ginjo
Alcohol: 15~16%
Bottled in January 2008

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Body: velvety

Aroma: Fruity and sharpish: bananas, pineapple

Body: velvety

Taste: Fruity with good alcohol backup. Pineapple, vanilla, bananas. Short tail.
Alcohol impression stays strong with second sip.
Acidity revealed later with almonds, bitter chocolate and coffee beans.
Pleasant and esay to drink. Turns dry on palate.

Overall: Easy to drink sake fit for food. Does not vary much with food intake.
Fruity at first. Tends to turn dry quickly.

Shizuoka Tasting 28-2: Watanabe Brewery

January 30, 2008


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I’ve started tasting through the range of brews concocted by this very small brewery in Numazu City. And the best way is to drink with dinner at home (while my better half is drinking wine!). This bottle probably sports the most traditional Japanese label picture in this picture with Mount Fuji and pine trees.

It is a futsushu/”normal sake”, but absolutely extravagant for its kind.

Watanabe Brewery/Fuji no Tago
Rice milled down to 70% (!)

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light golden tinge

Aroma: Fleeting/dry fruit

Body: velvety

Taste: Dry fruit/dried persimmons/Almonds/Plums/dried apricots
Starts sweet to quickly tail off drier.
Shows different facets with food. Short tail.

Overall: As stated before, untypical sake for Shizuoka Prefecture.
Goes down very well with food.
Can be appreciated at all temperatures, although best at room temperature in my own view. Almonds taste increase with food.
Easy to drink.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 28-1: Watanabe Brewery

January 12, 2008


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Watanabe Brewery must be the smallest one in Shizuoka Prefecture. It a father-and-son brewery cum liquor shop business and practically serve their sake only locally. I had to travel all the way to Katahama, Numazu City to acquire three bootles. I was kindly offered the present bottle for my trouble so I made a point to taste it first!

Watanabe Brewery Kasei Bokusui Honnama
Bottled in December 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Ricey. Sharp and dry. Dry cherries.

Body: fluid

Taste: Unusual taste for a Shizuoka sake. Very dry/Crisp-sharpish/ Almonds/Cherries.
Both sweetness and acidity lingering in mouth

Overall: An old-fashioned sake. Very marked dry taste. Would probably go well with oily/heavy food. Not the usual Shizuoka type sake. Tends to acquire more dryness and acidity along.
Interestingly enough, my wife liked it and made the comment that it would be great with “surume/dried cuttlefish”!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 10-3: Takashima/Hakuin Masamune Brewery

January 6, 2008


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

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Takashima Brewery in Numazu City has decidedly become one of my favourites as it never ceases to surprise me with its marked individuality and intricacy.
This brew is no exception.

Takashima-Hakuin Masamune Tokubetsu Junmai Nama Genshu

Rice: Gohyakumangoku
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: +1
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 17~18%
Bottled in December 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Fruity, pleasant, melon, oranges.

Body: velvety

Taste: Complex. Fruity: citrus/melon. Backed later with oranges and a little bitter chocolate and dry cherries.
Dryness lingering in mouth. Takes a back seat with food and actually encourages it. Turns slightly sweet.

Overall: Complex, intriguing, classy.
Solid but gentle taste. Develops into oranges, lemons and citruses inside mouth.
A sake which shouild be drunk for itr sole enjoyment. Calls for another sip. Great with food.
Would compete with any wine!