Posts Tagged ‘英君酒造’

Shizuoka Breweries 19: Eikun Brewery

August 14, 2008


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On Tuesday July 29th, another blistering hot day, my good friend Takahiro Nagashima, who is planning his own Shizuoka Breweries Homepage graciously drove me to Yui Cho to visit the small but renown Eikun Brewery.

It certainly was very kind of my friend to drive me there as it is well away from the beaten tracks and going there even by bus would be problematic. For once cycling was simply out of question!

The fifth generation owner, Mr. Yusuke Mochizuki was waiting for us. A solid affable gentleman of 44, whose hobby is running every morning at 5:30 rain, snow or shine, he is the father of two daughters and one son who hopefully will follow his steps one day. Mr. Mochizuki told us he lost his father only four years ago and found himself having to learn a lot all of a sudden about accounting, taxes and all the usual red tape hassle. Fortunately his mother is still here to give him a welcome hand. It is a small brewery as I said with only a toji and his two aides from Iwate Prefecture (Nanbu School) and one full-time employee. I can imagine the work and responsibilities even if the actual brewing takes only 4 months!

Eikun Brewery was founded in 1881 in the midst of a rural community. When you visit the place, you realize quickly how old and traditional it is.

Even so, some important details will reveal the constant search for perfection in this modern world. For example Eikun brewery have acquired their own rice-milling machine as they prefer to mill all their rice which includes Gohyakumagoku from Fukui and Toyama Prefectures, Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture and Bizen Ohmmachi from Okayama Prefecture.

They also show a lot of good sense and team work ethics as demonstrated by the water filtering tank (the local water contains a little unwanted iron) they have shared for the last ten years with two other unrelated companies using water collected three kilometres away up in the nearby mountains.

We went on a full tour of the brewery made easy by the fact no sake was being brewed.

For all its old age, the place is spotless clean and easy to move through.

A lot of money and effort are spent on proper storage. I can tell you it costs heaps to keep some storage rooms at a constant 5 degrees Celsius when it was more than 35 degrees outside!

We had a little peak at the “laboratory” where HD-101 (Shizuoka Prefecture) and M310 (No 1%) yeasts were stored. But we did not push our luck too far as we knew that some rooms could not be opened due to the excessive outside heat and humidity.

It was then down to the serious business of sake tasting!
The brewery has an annual output of 60,000 bootles (1.8l) including 2,600 l. of futsushu (the latter absolutely extaravagant, as it is made from rice milled down to 65%!).
Mr. Mochizuki confided us that he brews only sake he likes regardless of trends or orders. He is particularly keen on making brews fit for food, and his personal preference is honjozo style as opposed to junmai style. I have appreciated his sake for a long time as it has a lot of personality found in its refreshing green apples taste.

Visitors willing to come all the way to the brewery will be pleased to discover bottles there otherwise almost impossible to buy once out of Yui Cho!

Simply looking forward to my next visit!

Eikun Brewery
421-101 Ihara Gun, Yui Cho (soon to become Shizuoka Shi, Shimizu Ku, Yui Cho), Iriyama, 2152
TEl.: 054-375-2181
Fax: 054-375-4304

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26/6: Eikun Brewery

August 12, 2008


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This particular brew by Eikun Brewery in Yui Cho is a “limited edition” for the summer.
For a ginjo, it has a comparitively high alcohol amount.

Eikun Brewery: Natsu Ginjo (Summer Ginjo)

Rice: Gohyakumangoku (Fukui Prefecture)
Rice milled down to: 50% (milled on site)
Dryness: +7
Acidity: 1.2
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in July 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity: apples, almonds, melon.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Complex. Fruity: green apples, bitter chocolate, melon. Coffee beans appearing later.
In spite of its announced dryness, drinks smoothly, almost sweet, especially with salty food.
Will turn slightly drier with food with alcohol warming up the back of the palate.

Overall: An elegant sake designed for quality food.
Fruity and very complex.
A brew representative of Eikun Brewery.
Eminently enjoyable with any food.
Will reveal many facets according to food variety.
The kind of sake you want to boast about!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26/5: Eikun Brewery

August 7, 2008


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Eikun being a comparatively small brewery, a lot of its brands are mainly sold very locally.
I found this particular bottle in their own minuscule shop.

Eikun Brewery: “Oninama” (Goblin Unpasteurized) Honjozo

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Light. Complex and fruity: apples, vanilla
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Fruity: green apples, bitter chocolate. Smooth on palate. Complex.
Very soft in spite of its “nama”/unpasteurized nature.
Pleasant and elegant.
Almonds making an entry when drunk away from food.

Overall: Surprisingly smooth for a “nama”/unpasteurized sake. Light and feminine in character.
Complex and gentle.
Perfect with food, especially sashimi and vegetables.
A sake for all seasons.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26/4: Eikun Brewery

August 4, 2008


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I just had the opportunity to visit Eikun Brewery perched in the mountains away from any main thoroughfare in Yui Cho (soon to be part of Shizuoka City). Although it has already made itself a name outside the Prefecture this is a small brewery, so I make it a rule to grab whatever interesting stuff I happen to take sight of!
Melinda and Etsuko will learn that once again I found another great “futsushu” of ridiculously high value!

Eikun Brewery: Suruga no Bishu, Futsushu

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Rice milled down to 65% on site (absolutely extravagant)
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Light. Fruity: Apples, almonds.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail (especially for futsushu). Light alcohol. Apples, almonds, vanilla, licorice. Very smooth on tongue and palate. Turns drier after a few sips.

Overall: A sake fit for food.
I tasted it at room temperature, but should be interesting lukewarm.
Drinks so easily. Deep and pleasant taste.
Simply extravagant for futsushu!
Can be drunk at all times of a meal.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26/3: Eikun Brewery

July 14, 2008


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Since I will shortly travel to Yui Cho to visit and interview Eikun Brewery, I thought some tasting was in order!

Eikun Brewery: Tokubetsu Junmai (2008)

Rice: Yakumangoku
Rice milled down to 55%
Yeast: Shizuoka HD-101
Alcohol: 16.5 degrees
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.4
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Fruity. Complex. Vanilla, bananas, pineapple.
Body: Velvety to fluid.
Taste: Short tail. Dry at first but soft. Slight junmai tingle.
Complex. Fruity: pineapple, almonds.
Pleasant and fleeting. Almonds making a strong comeback with junmai tingle on second sip. Turns dry with food.

Overall: In spite of its elevated rank, holds itself very well with food.
Elegant, fleeting. A sake for all season!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26-2: Eikun Brewery-Kohaku

February 20, 2008


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酒ブログ(日本語)
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kohaku-old1.jpg

Not many breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture are venturing into manufacturing koshu/old sake, and it is a pity. But things are fortunately slowly changing. Eikun Brewery in Yui has come up for some time with quite an extraordinary brew matured for 10 full years from a batch originally conceived in 1963! It certainly does not look like a sake!

Kohaku/”Ten Maturity”
Alcohol: 26 degrees (!!!!)
Bottled in December 2006

Clarity: Very clear

kohaku-old2.jpg
Colour: Rich dark amber (name of the sake!)

Aroma: Pleasant. A bit pungent. Similar to a Chinese old chum. Almonds

Body: Full, easy on the palate.

Taste: Solid. Tastes like an old sherry. Welcome alcohol.
Persimmon, caramel.
Acidity revealed later on the palate as the dry impresion gains emphasis.

Overall: maybe an acquired taste for some, but very pleasant. Should be drunk like an old sherry or even like a good port.
Goes down well with food.
Heated to about 40 degrees celsius, it becomes very pleasant with hot dishes, especillay “nabe”. Do not forget the high alcohol content. Drink sparingly, or it will hit you!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26-1: Eikun Brewery

December 22, 2007

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

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酒ブログ(日本語)
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eikun-tokuhon.jpg

Slowly but steadily (although in a very disorganized way), I am progressing through all the breweries of Shizuoka. Incidentally the tasting order does not reflect my preferences, although those also vary along time…
I did not have to go far this time, as Eikun Brewery stands in the mountains near Yui, which will be part of Shimizu Ku next year.

Eikun Tokubetsu Junmai
Rice: Gohyakumangoku (Fukui Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.2
Bottled in February 2006

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light gold

Aroma: Fruits: pineapple/banana

Body: velvety

Taste: Junmai tingle. Complex. Fruity: pinepapple, banana, bitter chocolate.
Fruits linger long in mouth.
Calling for another sip.
Welcome faint acidity appears later with sweet oak and bitter chocolate.

Overall: Elegant. Easy to drink. Very fruity.
Calls for another sip. Complexity grows as more is drunk.
Turns surprisingly very dry when eating fresh fruit or dessert.