Posts Tagged ‘Agricultural Products’

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Sayogoromo Koshu Roman 2003

March 5, 2012

Hidetoshi Morimoto, owner-masterbrewer at Morimoto Brewery In Kikugawa City, began making koshu/古酒, old sake back in 2002 shortly after the taxation law changed from dues being perceived upon making sake to being levied upon sales only.
But typically he used some of his best sakes to experiment in this new venture as demonstrated in this brew made in 2003 and released only this month: Junmai Ginjyo Genshu!

Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Brewed in 2003
Bottled in 2011
Limited to 300 bottles (720 ml)

Clarity: Very Clear
Color: Light amber color (normal for old sake)
Aroma: Dry, reminiscent of dry sherry
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry attack backed by junmai petillant. Very deep, complex snd fruity.
Coffee beans, dark chocolate, oranges, dark cherries.
Turns slightly sweetish and deeper inside the palate.
Disappears a bit slowly with a comforting feeling.
Taste and texture closer to wine than sake.
Extremely pleasant and intriguing.

Overall: One might feel he/she was drinking wine if he/she hadn’t been told beforehand.
Very reminiscent of a half dry sherry or even a Sauternes wine.
Extremely complex and intriguing.
This is the second time I sampled this sake, although of a different year and I must admit I was flabbergasted!
I drank it chilled, but I’m sure it would explode with more facets and faces if sampled lukewarm/nurukan!
As it is a very limited edition I might have to order a few bottles and keep them sitting inside the fridge!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sugii Brewery-Junmai, Bodai Moto No Suke, Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City with Takashima Brewery in Numazu City and Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City is a member of what I have dubbed their group the “Maverick Band”.
These three breweries have never been afraid of experimenting away from the more conservative breweries in our Prefecture.

This particular brew was made with locally grown Homare Fuji Sake rice.
As for the fermenting process it was done according to the ancient methods prevalent in the Edo Period when breweries left more responsibility to the environmental nature. The difference is that it was better controlled than in ancient times!

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 14.8 degrees
Dryness: 2.5
Acidity: 2.1
Brewed in 2010
Bottled in July 2011

Clarity: very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Slightly dry but fruity: banana, almonds, macadamia nuts, bitter chocolate
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong junmai petillant attack backed up with a lot of fruit: mandarines, almonds.
Disappears with more oranges, coffee beans, bitter chocolate and dark cherries.
Junmai petillant staying strong all the way.
Ends up on an even drier note with further sips.
Takes a bit of a step back with food with an even stronger dry and acid accent.
Very complex and revealing more facets with the next sip.

Overall: Although a sake very untypical of Shizuoka Prefecture, it is a typical brew of Sugii Brewery!
A complex, surprising and very pleasant sake, best appreciated on its own at room temperature or “nurukan/lukewarm”, although a long distance away from the beaten tracks.
Difficult to categorize but so intriguing.
A true experience on a new path!

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With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Junmai Dai-Ginjyou Yamada Nishiki

March 5, 2012

When one can combine work and pleasure… What more can you ask?
This is the third report of a three-article assignment on sake brewed by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to:40%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +3.0
Acidity: 1.6
Brewed in 2010 and bottled in 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Discreet, fleeting. Fruity: custard, dark chocolate, banana.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry and fruity attack backed by junmai petillant.
Strong start from bananas before perception of coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Disappears quickly on a drier note.
Dark chocolate and coffee beans make a comeback with almonds with further sips.
Eleagant but very assertive.

Overall: A sake to be enjoyed for its own sake!
Even chilled shows complex facets and elegance.
Keeps surprising you with new impressions lurking behind each sip.
To be enjoyed at leisure preferably in great comapany.
There is no need to accompany it with food although it is assertive enough to happily marry with light vegetable salads in particular.

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With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Junmai Ginjyou Yamada Nishiki

March 5, 2012

When one can combine work and pleasure… What more can you ask?
This is the second report of a three-article assignment on sake brewed by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to: 50
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +1
Acidity: 1.3
Brewed in 2010 and bottled in 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Dry and fruity. Fleeting. Banana, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Smooth attack. Fruity: banana, custard.
Just dry enough to allow for an easy appreciation.
Disappears quickly with lots of custard and almonds on a warm note.
Coffee beans and dark chocolate appear with further sips

Overall: An elegant, complex and fruity sake whose facets tend to surprise as they strike your tongue and palate.
A sake to be savored on its own as an aperitif if chilled on a hot evening, or if at room temperature as a great digestif on a winter evening.
Naturally marries well with any food but would gain more by being enjoyed on its own in special company!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Sayogoromo Tokubetsu Junmai

March 5, 2012

When one can combine work and pleasure… What more can you ask?
This is the first report of a three-article assignment on sake brewed by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Homare Fuji (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Dryness: +3.5
Acidity: 1.4
Brewed in 2010 and bottled in 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity. Complex. Banana, vanilla.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry attack. Fruity: banana, coffee beans.
Disappears quickly on an even drier note.
Very little junmai petillant.
Dark chocolate and almonds appear with second sip before vanishing on a very dry note.

Overall: Very dry but smooth sake typical of Morimoto Brewery, which has always entertained the image of a “maverick” brewer in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Eminently drinkable on its own although it would make for the perfect accompaniment to heavy izakaya-style food.
Would also marry well to desserts, especially chocolate.
A brew for the dry sake lovers!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Akihiro Matsushita: Organic Sake Rice Grower in Fujieda City!

March 5, 2012

Akihiro Matsushita/松下明弘, Yuuji Miyata/宮田祐二 and Densaburou Aoshima/青島傳三郎!

Akihiro Matsushita is a true pioneer!
No less than 17 years ago he decided to grow all his rice organically, a revolution at the time that did not please many people in the very closed world of Japanese farming!
Fortunately things have changed since then…

15 years ago Akihiro contacted Densaburou (Sake Brewmaster’s name) Aoshima of Aoshima Sake Brewery in Fujieda City to aks him if he would be interested in creating sake with truly organic rice. Densaburou is also a true pioneer in his own closed Japanese sake world who gladly accepted the challenge.
And it certainly was a challenge!

Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City! Kikuyoi/喜久酔 is their main brand name!

I’ve known Densaburou for quite some time now, and the fact he speaks fluent English does help when I introduce him to foreign fans of his nectars!

Yuuji Miyata/宮田祐二, Ryohei Miyake/三宅良平 and Densaburou Aoshima/青島傳三郎
Whatever the occasion, this is Japan, and nothing will start before business cards have been exchanged!

The fact I know quite a lot of people in the Japanese sake world in Shizuoka Prefecture even helps with my Japanese friends and colleagues.
Before meeting Akihiro Matsushita in his farm, Yuuji Miyamata, the man in charge of the development of Homare Fuji Sake Rice in Yaizu City and Ryohei Miyake, an official from the Shida Haibara Agriculture and Forestry Bureau joined me to visit Densaburou at his brewery as we were all going together to Akihiro’s place. Densaburou does not use the Homare Fuji Sake Rice in his brews but he entertains warm relations with all people concerned with the sake business in his region.

Akihiro is a shy gentleman who will nonetheless quickly open and talk passionately about his trade.
And you certainly need to be passionate and extremely knowledgeable to convince people in one of the most conservative regions of Japan!

Keeping his own fields separated from non-organic growers is no longer a problem, but it was open conflict when he started his venture. He does not remember how many times he had to clean his own fields of mountains of rubbish thrown into them during the night…
But since then Akihiro has been recognized and accepted as a true grower as amply proved by his JAS Organic Grower Recognition and his Shida EM Organic Agriculture Association Chairmanship!

Not only his fields, but surrounding areas have to be kept clean of any chemicals and unwanted materials.
Even so, rice growing within a few meters of the perimeter of his fields will not be sold or used!

Yamada Nishiki, the most famous sake rice variety in Japan! The grains will appear end of August!
The soil being part of the Ooigawa River bed is sandy. The same sand is river sand formed by the constant rubbing of stones.

A single look at the water and soil will tell you this is organic environment with all these bugs and snails!
Akihiro and Densaburou had once thought of ducks to keep their fields clean of bugs. Unfortunately the local stray cats put an end to the trials!

Although Mr. Miyata’s field is not concerned with Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice, his expertise is always welcome!

Akihiro’s fields of organic sake rice and those or normal edible organic rice occupy a lot of land here and there. I asked him if he would be interested in exporting some. He replied that he wouldn’t have enough land to do so! An unequivocal proof of his peers’ and customers’ recognition!

Everyone soon forgot me so passionate their discussions had become!

For all his extremely busy life, Akihiro still finds enough time for constant research: organic black rice!

This passion and thirst for new solutions just proves that Japan and its people, for all the cataclysms that regularly visit them, might bend now and again but will never break like the stalks of their rice!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Homare Fuji Sake Rice Fields Visit with Mr. Yuuji Miyata

March 5, 2012

Mr. Yuuji Miyata!

13 years ago, some enlightened individuals realized that Shizuoka Prefecture would have to produce its own sake rice, at least a part of it, for many reasons even if some of them are pointedly ignored by many…
First, the culture of sake rice (as opposite to that of edible rice) is a risky venture financially and a steady supply is fraught with unseen complications. Moreover, most of brewers outside the main sake rice producing areas have to “import” their rice from Hyogo, Hiroshima, Iwate, Niigata and other faraway Prefectures.
Moreover, whatever some brewers might tell you when questioned in front of witnesses, the quality of such imported rice cannot be fully insured.

Mr. Muramatsu’s Homare Fuji paddies (30 acres) in Naka Shinden, Yaizu City.

The only solution is to try and grow your own sake rice locally!
In 1998, under the auspices of the JA research was initiated on the culture of the Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice strain, considered as the best by many, in the Iwata Agricultural Research Center.
7 years later, 1n 2005, the cultivation was started in earnest in privately-owned fields under the guidance of such specialists such Mr. Miyata.

The rice stalks grow a lot thicker and nearer to each other than normal rice.

The Yaizu Sake Rice Research Association grouping 15 farmers grows more than 60% of this Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice under the name of Homare Fuji Sake Rice. Actually the same Association grows Homare Fuji Rice on 10.3 ha, Yamada Nishiki Rice on 5.6ha and Gohyakumangoku Rice on on 4.7 ha.
Homare Fuji Rice is presently grown by 31 farmers in 7 distinct areas across the whole Prefecture.
Moreover, 20 out 28 breweries presently produce some of their sake with Homare Fuji Sake Rice up to Junmai Ginjyou level.

Mr. Yuuji Miyata with Mr. Hiromi Ikegaya of the JA Ooigawa

It has become serious business as from this year the Yaizu JA Agricultural Association (governmental) will assume the responsibility for the sales of Homare Fuji Sake Rice grown in the Yaizu City area!

The personal help of Mr. Ryohei Miyake of the Shizuoka Prefecture Shida Haibara Agriculture & Forestry Bureau was certainly welcome to deal with all these farmers and JA representatives!
Messrs. Miyake and Miyata were kind enough to pick me up at Fujieda Station and take care of me for the whole day!
They took me to 3 different paddies including that of Mr. Muramatsu mentioned above and introduced me to the JA Ooigawa Representative and other personalities of the business!

In every paddy Mr. Miyata took out a rice stalk to painstakingly open it with his nails to show me the grains already developed inside and to tell me thus exactly when the rice would appear and would be harvested by the day!

The second paddy was that of Mr. Matsumura (20 acres), Higashi Mashizu, Yaizu City, where planting and harvesting events are regularly held!

Homare Fuji Sake Rice has two big qualities:
its stalks are shorter and harder and will not break under heavy winds, even those of typhoons. Moreover, their rice contains a lot less proteins than others, which allows for an exceptional maturing of sake!

Yaizu soil is of two types whether the fields are on the former bed of Ooigawa River with a high concentration of sand like the above-mentioned two paddies or of a clay type if closer to the mountains. Naturally the soil quality has to be taken in account for each paddy!

The Homare Fuji Rice stalks are comparatively short (25 cm shorter that those of Yamada Nishiki) , but the proportion of the leaves and bottom stalks (“saya”) are longer and the very foot (“fushi”) shorter and thicker.

The third paddy I was taken to is the “heart of the Homare Fuji Sake Rice” as Mr. Toshirhiro Umehara has taken charge of growing the rice for the grains only to be re-planted elsewhere for the last 3 years!

This 30-acre paddy is located in Hirajima in Fujieda City!

The grains will appear in about 10 days and the rice will be harvested in October!

This is rural Japan!

The men behind our regional sake, Mr. Yuuji Miyata and Mr. Toshihiro Umehara!

This is what is going to grow into full-fledged rice thanks to these farmers and later become the nectar of Japan (and Shizuoka Prefecture) thanks to our brewers!

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Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamume Tokubetsu Honjozo Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Takashima Brewery in Numazu City has been extending its range of brews made with the Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Sake Rice into the Honjozo variety, that is sake which has been blended with pure rice alcohol.

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamume Tokubetsu Honjozo Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in April 2011

Clarity: Very clear.
Color: Transparent.
Aroma: Light, discreet, fleeting.
Dry. Custard, banana.
Body: Fluid.
Taste: Dry attack. Complex. Fruity: custard, pears, almonds.
Disappears quickly with a dry pear note.
More dry pears tend to linger with further sips.
Turns even fleeting with food.
Faint notes of coffee beans and plums appear later.

Overall: A dry sake evidently conceived to balance heavy food such as of an izakaya.
Easy to drink but very dry.
Probably best appreciated with food although quite pleasurable on its own.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Takashima Brewery: Hakuin ZEN Limited Yamahai Junmai Suntoh Yamada Nishiki

March 5, 2012

This is the second limited brew under the same generic name, “Hakuin Zen” that Takashima Brewery has produced this year to encourage local sake rice production.
Once again it was a limited edition, to no more than 300 bottles (720 ml)

Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice is probably the most famous of them all, and although it didn’t originate in Shizuoka Prefecture it can be grown here with very good results as proven by this Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice grown in Suntoh Gun near Numazu City.
The full name of this brew makes for another long staory!
Takashima Brewery-Hakuin “ZEN”, Special limmited Yamahai Junmai. Yamada Nishiki Sake Rice 100% grown in Suntoh!

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (100% Shizuoka Prefecture grown)
Rice milled down to 65%
Dryness: + 1.0
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Production: 300 bottles (720 ml)
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Discreet, fleeting. Dry. Fruity: banana, dark cherries
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack but soft on tongue and palate.
Fruity and complex. Dry oranges, apricots with faint hints of coffee beans, dark chocolate, macadamia nuts and banana.
Disappears fairly quickly with more dry almonds and nuts.
Turns even drier with food.

Overall: An unusual sake but typical of Takashima Brewery.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed it on its own, does exceptionally marry well with food.
Very complex and fleeting.
Turns drier with food but doesn’t interfere with the latter.
The fact it is limited will make a few cry with envy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sanwa Brewery: Garyubai Ginjyou Hamare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Although Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, has never used and probably never will use the Shizuoka-made yeasts, they nonetheless use many home-grown varieties of rice, especially Homare Fuji with which they come up with brews as high as junmai ginjyo!

The “Homare Fuji” banner.

This brew being a junmai (no alcohol blended in) genshu (no water added), it gives a fair indication of what to expect!

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Dryness:+3
Acidity: 1.4
Bottled in July 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity, very dry: pineapple, banana. Alcohol and junmai characteristics
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong junmai attack backed with strong and pleasant alcohol.
Complex and fruity. Custard, Macadamia nuts, almonds, oranges, dry plums.
Lingers for a while with very dry lychees and plums.
Apricots appear with the second and third sips.
Junmai petillant coming back strongly with food.
Marries welll with any food.

Overall: Brewers in Shizuoka Prefecture seem to have mastered the still new brand of Homare Fuji sake rice. They easily porduce as high as a level as Junmai Ginjyou with happy results.
This very brew, in spite of its strength, is particularly suited to food.
A sake for lovers of strong sake with a character!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake tasting: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Zen Junmai

March 5, 2012

I just had the opportunity to obtain a limited edition (only 180 bottles) of a Junmai sake brewed by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City!

At +8 it is certainly very dry and furthermore it was made with sake rice exclusively grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

To cap it all (not the sake! LOL) it was adorned with those great words of hope!

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin -Zen Junmai

Rice: all grown in Shizuoka Prefecture
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +8
Production: 180 Bottles (1.8 l)
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Very discreet, fleeting. Fruity. Pineapple. Hints of coffee beans.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Softer attack than expected. Elegant and fleeting.
Fruity. Very complex. Custard, oranges, pineapple.
Lingers for a while with very dry notes of oranges and coffee beans.
Ends with long dry coffee beans notes backed by Junmai petillant.
Marries perfectly with food with little change.

Overall: A sake for all seasons!
Definitely at its best on its own, but marries so well with food.
I brought it to a BBQ and Japanese and expats kept coming back to it in spite of all the beer and wine available!
Even ladies appreciated it!
Another discovery!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Suruga Brewery-Tenko Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Tenko/天虹 in English means “Heaven Rainbow” and is the name of the main brand produced by Suruga Brewery in Shizuoka City!
Incidentally Suruga Brewery is the “youngest” brewery in Shizuoka City and Prefecture!

They are refreshingly eclectic in their approach as they both promote old brands they acquired when they bought the rights from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery last year, and also Shizuoka-grown sake rice, namely Homare Fuji/誉富士/”Proud Mount Fuji”!

Suruga Brewery-Tenko Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong and pleasant. Fruity: banana with hints of coffee beans and dark chocolate. Complex
Body: Fluid
Taste: Junmai petillant-dominated attack.
Very fruity and complex.
Starts liquorish in spite of its +4 dry status.
Lots of custard and almonds with notes of coffee beans, white chocolate and dark cherries.
Tends to turn drier with further sips.
Turns slightly drier with almonds and custard with food.
Smooth on the palate and easy to drink.

Overall: Unusual sake that, although dry, almost feels sirupy on the tongue.
Very complex and fruity.
Probably best drunk on its own at room temperature, but marries well with food.
Another sake you could drink as an “ice cram” if properly chilled!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sugii Brewery-Suginishiki Yamahai Junmai Homare Fuji Genshu

March 5, 2012

The name of this brew just made by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City seems indeed a long story!
Yamahai is the old traditional natural way of making sake shunned by many breweries but not so much here where this brand of sake is increasingly becoming popular!

It has two great nerits: it is made with Homare Fuji sake rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and it is a junmai (no alcohol added) genshu (no water added). Practically untouched!

Rice : Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees
Dryness: -1.0 (sweet by Shizuoka standards)
Acidity: 2.2
Yeast: Association No 7
Pasteurised only once
Brewed in 2010
Bottled in July 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: banana,, custard, pears.
Body: fluid
Taste: Dryish attack with a lot of pears and junmai petillant.
Complex. Fruity: Pears, oranges, custard.
Pears lingering in the back of the mouth for a while.
Very pleasant and easy to drink.
High alcohol contents affect taste very little.
Turns quickly dry after a sweetish start in spite of its -1.0 status (sweet).
Oranges, pears, black cherries and even almonds keep coming back with further sips.
Changes little with food.

Overall: Very pleasant sake in spite of its Yamahai genshu status which just shows how great skills can help make such a supposedly strong sake easy to drink.
Complex and surprising.
Although obviously designed to accompany food it is best enjoyed on its own slightly chilled. It could reveal other facets if served lukewarm/nurukan.
Certainly one of the best sake made with Homare Fuji rice I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-Junmai Chyo Kara Kuchi

March 5, 2012

Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City usually make their sake with their own sakamai/sake rice.
They are known to produce comparatively soft sakes in the Prefecture, but they do have a few brews for fans who like their sakes with more character.

This junmai (no pure alcohol added) has the particularity to be very dry/Chyo kara kuchi/超辛口 and is advertized as such!

Hana No Mai Brewery: Junmai Chyo Kara Kuchi/花の舞酒造・従並み超辛口

Rice: Shizuoka Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled on May 30th, 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: banana, pineapple
Body: Fluid
Taste: Lighter attack than expected. Very dry.
Complex and fruity; Oranges, pineapple, custard.
Lingers for a while with dry almonds and hints of coffee beans.
Junmai petillant coming late.
Turns slightly sweeter with food.
Makes a very dry comeback as soon as away from food with a lot of oranges and coffee beans.
Alcohol seems to be more noticeable in spite of usual content.

Overall: As its name indicates, a very dry sake!
Made headier for it if drunk slightly chilled but could be interesting drunk as nurukan/lukewarm as noticed in many local izakayas. It is no wonder to find it in the same izakaya as it has obviously been designed to marry with heavy food!
For dry sake lovers!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Negami Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai

March 5, 2012

When I visited Mr. Negami in his brewery in Gotemba City 550 metres up Mount Fuji, I asked him, “Why do you make only Junmai Sake (Sake to which no pure alcohol is added)? After all, you are none among only thirteen in the whole of Japan!”
Before giving me the answer, the brewmaster explained he visited my France, my home country, where he loved the wines so much and then finally replied, “Do you add alcohol to wines? Why should I?”
Although technically incorrect (Port wines for example), I tend to agree with him!

Negami Brewery-Kinmei Tokubetsu Junmai

Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Alcohol: 15%
Water: Mount Fuji Source Water
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: very clear
Color: Light golden hue
Aroma: Fruity and powerful
Custard, banana.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Fruity attack backed by Junmai petillant
Complex. Oranges, custard, caramel, almonds.
Pleasantly lingers for a while warming up the back of the palate.
Starts liquorish to quickly turn dry.
Dry oranges make a comeback with a faint note of white chocolate, macadamia nuts and coffee beans.
Marries so well with food!

Overall: Very pleasant sake fit for any time of the day or night, chilled or at room temperature!
Drinks so easily.
Personally I prefer to drink it as it is at room temperature on its own for the sheer pleasure of a straightforward sake combining the tastes of old and new!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake tasting: Doi Brewery-Kaiun Hana no Ka Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama Nigori Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

When looking for unusual brews you do have to keep your eyes wide open!
To think that Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City put out only 100 bottles of this particular sake by I consider myself lucky to have noticed it in the small supermarket inside the JR Station of the same city!

You do also have to keep your eyes open (that is, if you can read Japanese!) for the comments written on various parts of the bottle:
“霞か雲かにごり酒/kasumi ka kumo ka nigori sake” meaning, “A haze or a cloud? A troubled (like in troubled waters) sake”.
Nothing negative about it as the Japanese call “nigori/impure-troubled” a sake which was not separated from the white lees.
In this case they left just enough of the white lees to create a “haze”!

The name alone of this brew certainly makes for a long sory!

Doi Brewery-Kaiun Hana no Ka Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama Nigori Homare Fuji
Doi Brewery: name of the Brewery located in Kakegawa City
Hana no Ka: The Flower Perfume, name of a special series of sake
Junmai Ginjo: the level of the sake. Junmai also denotes the fact that no pure alcohol was added
Genshu: unaltered sake to which no pure water has been added
Nama: unpasteurized
Nigori: in this cas more or less unfiltered
Homare Fuji: name of the rice. Homare Fuji rice is exclusively grown inside Shizuoka Prefecture

Doi Brewery-Kaiun Hana no Ka Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama Nigori Homare Fuji/土井酒造・花の香純米吟醸原酒生にごり誉富士

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 17 degrees
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Limited to 100 bottles
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very clear if unshaken. Smoky if shaken (white lees)
-Color: Transparent if unshaken, whitish, cloudy if shaken
Aroma: Strong fruity alcohol. Banana, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Not as strong as expected. Pleasant and easy to drink.
Fruity, almost liquorish. White lees do not influence taste as much as expected.
Fruity: oranges, banana, hints of coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Varies little with food.
Disappears quickly and pleasantly with oranges, lemon, and notes of almonds.
Great balance between acidity and slight sweetness.

Overall: For all the fact it is a nigori, it revealed itself as softer and more pleasant than expected.
The higher alcohol is barely noticeable.
Marries so well with any food, especially heavy izakaya fare.
If chilled could be drunk as a dessert wine or liqueur!
A discovery!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Negami Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Nama

March 5, 2012

Negami Brewery has the particularity of being the highest located brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Some time ago they had to move from their original place near Gotemba Station to a spot 550 meters high on the slopes of Mount Fuji to dig a well into Mount Fuji to use its Water!

Negami Brewery also has this particularity to produce only junmai style sake, that is, no pure alcohol is ever added!
This brew is a nama, meaning it wasn’t sterilized!

Negami Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Nama

Rice: Yamanishiki 100%
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Water: Mount Fuji water
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: discreet. Sweetish. Fruity: banana
Body: Fluid
Taste: Junmai petillant attack backed by pleasant alcohol
Complex and fleeting. Fruity.
Disappears fairly quickly.
Dry, reminiscent of of a dry white wine.
Pineapple, faint almonds.
Liquorish comeback with second sip. Oranges and pears coming later.
Turns soft with food. Very feminine.

Overall: A very soft approach to sake.
Can be appreciated in many ways but is best at room temperature.
Ladies will love it!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune Honjozo

March 5, 2012

Takashima Brewery in Numazu City is not only celebrated for its inventiveness and daring but also for actively supporting Shizuoka Gastronomy in general!

Not everyone knows, but Suruga Bay is the home of the greatest number of varieties of edible seaweeds.
Takashima Brewery started to introduce the fact on labels since last year!
The present one is called Champalone by its scientific name!

Moreover, Takashima Brewery has always been careful about the design of their labels, real collector’s items!
The present brew also includes Homare Fuji rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune Honjozo

Rice: Homare Fuji 22&
Rice milled down to 60%
Aichi no Kaori: 78%
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Alcohol: 14~15 degrees
Dryness: +6
Acidity: 1.5
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Light golden hue
Aroma: Strong. Fruity. Alcohol. Complex. Pineapple, oranges, banana.
Body: fluid
Taste: Liquorish attack with a strong alcohol back up.
Starts almost sweetish to disappear with very dry almonds.
Complex. Fruity. A lot drier on the second sip.
Almonds, coffee beans. Faint notes of citrus.

Overall: Typical brew from Takashima brewery who concoct their sake both to marry well and food and satisfy the curiosity of true sake lovers.
A somewhat mysterious sake which will surprise many. Very dry for Shizuoka sake and certainly not obeying the trends!
A favorite of mine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Homare Fuji, the local Shizuoka Sake Rice has not only become a feature in most breweries in our Prefecture, but the latter have been working hard using it in the creation of premium sake such as did Yamanaka Brewery in Kakegawa City!

These brews are really recognizable with their little label.
This tokubetsu junmai made with rice milled down to an extravagant 55% would achieve junmai ginjyou status anywhere else!

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: +1.5
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity. Banana, vanilla. Alcohol
Body: Fluid
Taste: Liquorish attack pleasurably warming the back of the palate with junmai petillant.
Complex and fruity. Starts liquorish and almost sweet to depart on a warm dry note.
Oranges and almonds. Very pleasant to drink.
Were it not for its late dry note it could become a dessert sake/wine.
Changes little with food and actually nicely complements it.

Overall: A pleasant sake to drink.
More elegant than expected, which shows all the improvement achieved by brewers with this particular strain of sake rice.
Although designed to accompany food, makes for a very pleasurable beverage on its own!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

2nd Central-East Shizuoka Sake Breweries Festival in Kakegawa City

March 5, 2012

More and more sake breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture have been organizing medium-scale regional sake Festivals.
One of the newest ones is the “Dai Nikai Kuramoto to Nihon Shu wo Tanoshimu Kai/Chuutouen Sake Monogatari/中東遠酒物語・第2回蔵本と日本酒を楽しむ会/the 2nd Festival for Sake Breweries and Sake of Central East Shizuoka”.

Mr. Morimoto (Morimoto Brewery/Kikugawa City) and Mr. Doi (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City) on both sides of a grower of Homare Fuji Sake Rice.

The event was held at the Kakegawa Grand Hotel on Saturday evening June 25th.
No less than 150 guests, including some well-known figures attended the Festival.

Money donations were collected to help the victims of the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in North East Japan!

Five breweries took part:
Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City.
Senjyu Brewery in Iwata City.
Kokko Brewery in Fukuroi City.
Yamanaka Brewery (Aoitenka) in Kakegawa City.
Morimoto Brewery (Sayogoromo) in Kikugawa City.

Junmai Dai Ginjyou table!

Each table of 9 guests had two bottles of sake ready while loads of bottles standing in wait on three more tables for all to sample!

Dai Ginjyou table!

All in all, no less than 27 brews were introduced to the participants!

The Junmai and Ginjyou table!

This particular table also featured a great koushu/old sake from Senjyu Brewery I tasted again and again later as well as an excellent umeshu!

All the breweries had brought water from their own wells!

These vegetables offered in Bagna Cauda style were all from Kakegawa City!

Such events are vital to make people know more about their own sake, and to make them remember the occasion until next year plenty of excellent buffet food had been prepared to accompany all those great brews!

A very generous buffet including some rare Yorkshire pork from pigs raised in Mikkabi!

And appetizers had been set in front of every guest to titillate his/her appetite in expectation!

I had actually conducted my own investigation before the festivities started!

Representative of Yamanaka Brewery!

This event proved an invaluable opportunity to share long chats with The sake brewers and colleagues from (serious) media!
I already have quite a few interviews and reports lined up!

The celebrities!
Denbei Kawamura, the Godfather of Shizuoka Sake, the man who created the Shizuoka Yeast!
Mr. Yabuta of the President of the Tago Katsuobushi Association!

To be continued (in further reports on participants and naturally at next year’s event!)…

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery