Posts Tagged ‘Shizuoka’

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Masu Ichi Brewery- The Last Bottle? Masu Ichi Dai Ginjyo

April 5, 2012

Masu Ichi Brewery has not been making sake for the past year and will not ever as his owner/masterbrewer Denjirou Masui/増井伝次郎 just passed away at the age of 49 leaving no successor willing to take over the brewery founded in 1882.

Denjirou Masui

Denjirou was his brewer’s name given by his mentor Denbei kawamura, the godfather of Shizuoka Sake and the creator of the Shizuoka sake yeast. He was one of the only three brewers of the Shida School.
His sake is fast disappearing and this particular one is the first of a series of “last bottles” I’m scouring the Prefecture to get my hands on for posterity!
This is therefore the third bottle! (More coming!)

This is a Dai ginjyo, meaning the top premium variety blended with pure rice alcohol!

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Light, elegant and fruity. Melon, pineapple, banana.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry and fruity attack backed up by pleasant alcohol.
Complex. Oranges, melon, pineapple.
Disappears quickly.
Very elegant in spite of its dryness.
Drinks very easily.
Oranges asserting themselves with the second sip.
Varies little with food with a drier note.

Overall: Very elegant sake!
Best appreciated on its own, as food tends to interfere with it more than marrying with it. Nevertheless would make for an extravagant aperitif and would enhance the taste of light vegetables such as white asparaguses!
Obviously a sake conceived for tasting!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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!, CATCHCARRI
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Masu Ichi Brewery- The Last Bottle? Masu Ichi Junmai Ginjyo

April 5, 2012

Masu Ichi Brewery has not been making sake for the past year and will not ever as his owner/masterbrewer Denjirou Masui/増井伝次郎 just passed away at the age of 49 leaving no successor willing to take over the brewery founded in 1882.

Denjirou Masui

Denjirou was his brewer’s name given by his mentor Denbei kawamura, the godfather of Shizuoka Sake and the creator of the Shizuoka sake yeast. He was one of the only three brewers of the Shida School.
His sake is fast disappearing and this particular one is the first of a series of “last bottles” I’m scouring the Prefecture to get my hands on for posterity!
This is therefore the second bottle! (More coming!)

That beautiful bottle cap is also going to disappear…

It is a junmai ginjyo, meaning no alcohol was blended in and that is a premium sake of ginjyo level!

Rice milled down to 50 %
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in March 2012

Clarity: very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Assertive and fruity. Complex.
Melon. Liquorice. Pleasant alcohol.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very deep attack backed with junmai petillant. Fruity. Complex.
Almonds, melon and faint oranges.
Disappears on a dry coffee beans note.
Varies little with food with a strong accent on oranges and dry almonds.
Coffee beans and dark chocolate make a strong comeback once away from food.

Overall: A very dry but elegant sake!
Very enjoyable on its own but particularly pleasant with vegetables.
Actually happily marries with any food, be it Japanese or Western gastronomy.
Would also make for a great aperitif, although its dryness would be the perfect match for chocolate!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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!, CATCHCARRI
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Masu Ichi Brewery- The Last Bottle? Masu Ichi Honjozo Suruga No Kuni Shida Brewmaster

March 19, 2012

Masu Ichi Brewery has not been making sake for the past year and will not ever as his owner/masterbrewer Denjirou Masui/増井伝次郎 just passed away at the age of 49 leaving no successor willing to take over the brewery founded in 1882.

Denjirou Masui

Denjirou was his brewer’s name given by his mentor Denbei kawamura, the godfather of Shizuoka Sake and the creator of the Shizuoka sake yeast. He was one of the only three brewers of the Shida School.
His sake is fast disappearing and this particular one is the first of a series of “last bottles” I’m scouring the Prefecture to get my hands on for posterity!

It is a honjozo, meaning that it was blended with water and pure sake alcohol after pressing.
Its name “Suruga no Kuni” means the “Country of Suruga”. Suruga is also the name of the wide bay off Shizuoka Prefecture.

Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees.
Bottled in March 2012

Clarity: Very clear.
Color: Transparent.
Aroma: Assertive, fruity and dry. Complex. Banana, dark chocolate, vanilla.
Body: fluid, somewhat sirupy.
Taste: A very distinct attack, fruity and dry. Very complex.
Starts almost sweetish to take a very dry turn with a solid and pleasant alcohol backup.
Green apples, nuts.
Disappears fairly quickly while warming up the back of the palate with dry nuts, walnuts and chestnuts finish.
Dark chocolate and coffee beans tend to peek out later.
Changes little with food, although more dryness will appear later.
Marries beautifully with any food.

Overall: A very solid but elegant sake pefect for food, especially izakaya gastronomy and Western meat fare although it is thoroughly enjoyable on its own.
At 60% millage it is simply an extravagant honjozo!
A sake for all seasons, very macho in approach by Shizuoka standards!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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: Oomuraya Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai-Oni Otome Yume

March 8, 2012

She looks cute, doesn’t she?
Actually, you should beware…
Oomuraya Brewery in Shimada City is celebrated for its brand “Oni koroshi/Kill a Goblin”, meaning that the sake is so good it would overwhelm a Japanese ogre.
Now, the brewery has come up with a dangerous “partner”, “Oni Otome”/ “The Goblin’s Sweetheart” and topped it with “Yume/Dream”! Brrrr….

Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 16 degrees
Dryness: + 2
Acidity: 1.3
Amino acids: 1.2
Bottled in February 2012

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Assertive, fruity, sweetish and flowery.
Pineapple, vanilla, oranges.
Body: Fluid, slightly liquorish
Taste: A little dry attack backed up by junmai petillant.
Fruity and complex. Elegant. Pineapple, oranges, faint dark chocolate.
Lingers for a while warming up the palate.
Ending on a softer dry note with almonds and cherries.
Turns on a lighter note with food along an accent on oranges.

Overall: A sake probably best enjoyed on its own or as an aperitif.
Light and easy to drink.
Tends to a back seat with food.
A sake which should please the younger generation and ladies in particular.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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: Oomuraya Brewery-Wakatake Risshun Asa Shibori Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu

March 6, 2012

Another long name for an annual limited nectar by Oomuraya brewery in Shimada City!

Now, what does “Oomuraya Brewery-Wakatake Tate Haru Asa Shiboritate Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu” stand for?
“Wakatake” is the name of Oomuraya Brewery’s main brand name.
“Risshun Shibori” means this sake had just been pressed on a Spring morning.
“Junmai Ginjo” is a premium level for a sake to which no alcohol was added.
“Nama” means it was not pasteurized.
“Genshu” means that no water was added.
A sake as it came out of the pressing!

The paper envelope attached to the neck contains a five yen coin for good luck!

Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in December 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Puissant. Flowery. Fruity, banana, Macadamia nuts, vanilla. Pleasant alcohol
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong attack backed up by pleasant alcohol and junmai petillant.
Fruity and complex: banana, oranges, vanilla, pears.
Lingers for a while warming up the palate.
Disappears on a dry note with almonds and macadamia nuts.
Great balance between fruit and acidity.
Changes little and drinks well with any food.

Overall: A traditional limited brew typical of Oomuraya Brewery’s approach.
A very solid and strong sake, but nonetheless elegant in its superlative balance between fruit and acidity.
A sake perfect with izakaya gastronomy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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-Kinmei Shiboritate Junmai Genshu

March 5, 2012

Negami Brewery has the particularity to be situated at a height of 550 meters on the slopes of Mount Fuji!
This means the water used for brewing their sake gushes out of the very mountain!

I love the traditional Japanese design!
The crane and turtle/tortoise in Japan are symbols of good luck!

Rice milled down to 55% (extravagant!)
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Bottled in December 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong, sweetish and fruity. Elegant. Oranges and nuts
Body: fluid
Taste: Dry and fruity attack backed up with soft junmai petillant and pleasant alcohol.
Complex. Oranges tend to dominate with some nuts and dark cherries.
Disappears fairly quickly on a drier note.
Varies little with food, although make a short turn to sweetness but will turn back again very swiftly to a drier note once away from food backed up with more oranges and dark cherries.

Overall: A very pleasant sake, if a bit strong, to enjoy on its own or with any food.
Despite its extravagant millage (55% for a junmai!) it is a sake most suited for food thanks to its high alcohol contest!
A sure value at any time!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Japanese Gastronomy: Fuji-Takasago Brewery Public Opening with Sanoman Delicatessen in Fujinomiya City!

March 5, 2012

Some happy participants!

For the last 8 years or so Fuji-Takasago Brewery has been holding a Brewery Public Opening Day on their premises in Fujinomiya City with the collaboration of Sanoman Co., the largest delicatessen company in the Prefecture.
The event is attracting a lot of attention from the whole of Shizuoka Prefecture as demonstrated by thousands of visitors from all corners of the Prefecture!
The joint event has become a reference for an ever-growing number of similar festivals in Shizuoka!

The train saw a lot of people going down at Nishi Fujinomiya Station at a walking distance from the Brewery. Some of them took the opportunity to eat hot pork soups at Sanoman Co. which stands on the other side of the street!

The soups on offer!

They were the more welcome by the cold weather!

I had a quick look inside Sanoman Co. as I knew quite a few of their products would be on sale on the Brewery premises!

And then we had only the street to cross to enter Fuji-Takasago Brewery!

The whole staff with their young owner were busy welcoming everyone!

Take note of the Fuji-Takasago sake kegs!

Quite a few notable visitors were already enjoying themselves including Kenya Yoshimura, owner of Uzu Restaurant in Shizuoka City!

Sakekasu/sake white lees were on sale for customers who will use them for amazake/sweet sake or nabe/hotpot back home!

Fujinomiya Yakisoba!

Visitors were even treated to a show by local folklore dance groups!

A keen crowd!

Cute kids taking part in the dance!

Slightly tired performers!

But my first destination was the sake served for free by the brewmasters (Noto School) themselves!

Directly from the brewing tanks!

Many local producers were selling their products!

Strawberry jams and cakes!

But the cold weather required plenty of hot food: Delicious croquettes by Sanoman Co.!

Baked sweet potatoes!

Hot tonjiru soup!

It certainly brought smiles on many faces!

Even so, quite a few visitors gathered around one of the many fires!

Another method to keep away from the cold was to queue for more free sake!

What with visitors coming from far away the brewery staff was busy selling their nectars!

It was a battle to reach the bottles!

Sake is fine but one can’t drink on an empty stomach, so it was back to the food stands!

Mind you, there was plenty of green tea on offer!

Home-made natural yeast bread!

Tonjiru soup and karaage chicken!

Now, what is this freshly made anko/sweetmeats for?

Dorayaki!

Apart of Fuji-Takasago Brewery and Sanoman Delicatessen, there were two more stars present!
First Kunugi Rainbow Trout Farm from Fujinomiya City!

It was non-stop work for the Kunugis!

Couldn’t wait for these beauties to be ready!

Yummy!

Very happy visitors!

A very rare treat: Red caviar from the land, Rainbow trout Roe!

Another rare treat: canned raibow Trout!

The other star was yakitori by Aoki Chicken Farm in Fuji City!

They certainly needed a lot to satisfy the enormous demand!

Absolutely non-stop work again!

I can guarantee you they were worth the wait!

I’ll have to come earlier next year!

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: Haginishiki Brewery-Toro No Sato Tokubetsu Junmai

March 5, 2012

The labels of Sake Breweries make for a good support for advertising cultural assets among others to the rest of the world.
Haginishiki Brewery in Shizuoka City has long been producing a fine sake under the name of Toro no Sato/登呂の里:Toro Village to commemorate the Ruins of Toro.

The site of a village dating back to the late Yayoi Period (about 2,000 yeras ago) was unearthed on the 11th of July 1943 in the middle of Shizuoka City. It is registered as a National Historic Monument and is open to the public as well as a Museum.

Rice: Biyama Nishiki/美山錦
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: + 1
Acidity: + 1.4
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Almost transparent
Aroma: Discreet, complex. Greens, faint notes of coffee beans and vanilla
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack backed by Junmai petillant.
Complex and fruity: Coffee beans, banana, dry nuts.
Starts and ends up very dry with pleasant alcohol.
Lingers on very little.
Turns even drier with food with strong hints of coffee beans and dark chocolate competing with very dry banana and greens.

Overall: A sake obviously devised for food that can be drunk lightly chilled, at room temperature or lukewarm.
More complex and drier than expected. Its dryness makes it a good sake for any food, especially izakaya fare.
Very solid and dependable. No wonder we see it often in Shizuoka Izakayas!

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 Shiboritate Fuyu Gentei (Genshu)

March 5, 2012

Hana no Mai in Hamamatsu City (formerly Hamakita City) is the largest Sake Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture although still a medium-sized one by Japanese standards.
They do export quite a lot to the US.

Every year in Autumn when they start putting out new sake they come up with a couple of gentei (limited editions) to celebrate the beginning of the brewing!

On top of local water, most of their sake are made entirely with Shizuoka Prefecture ingredients, that is, their own sake rice and yeasts!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Yeast: own yeast
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees (genshu)
Bottled on October 28th, 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Strong and fruity: pineapple, pears. Alcohol.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong attack backed up with junmai petillant and pleasant alcohol.
Very fruity and slightly dry.
Pears, liquorice, chestnuts.
Lingers for a while warming up the palate.
Pleasant and easy to drink in spite of its high alcohol contents.
Disappears on a dry note with more chestnuts and mandarines.
Changes little with food, although gets drier with dry mandarines and pears.
Dry mandarines tend to take over after a cup or two.

Overall: In spite of the high alcohol contents it is a very pleasant and complex sake.
The same high alcohol contents make it fit to drink with food.
A slightly unusual sake for Hana No Mai Brewery which tends to concoct brews for a younger generation, especially ladies. That could explain its limited edition status!

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: Hatsukame Brewery-Hatsukame Nama Ginjyo

March 5, 2012

Japanese breweries all over Japan sell their brews in small bottles containing only 300ml/cc of their sake, which makes it very easy to transport, and although ml for ml it is more expensive it means you do not have to spend too much money at once and at the same time allows you to finish the bottle quickly, especially if you drink it on your own! Moreover, it helps you taste more nectasr of the same brewery. The only problem is that breweries will put out only 3 or 4 varieties in such small bottles!

The labels of Hatsukame Brewery in Okabe (recently part of Fujieda City) are popular with collectors as their designs are simple, retro and artistic!
This particular brand being “nama/生/unpasteurised means you have to drink it up quickly. Therefore this small bottle is most practical!

Hatsukame Brewery-Hatsukame Nama Ginjyou
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled on August 8th, 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong and fruity: banana, nuts, faint oranges and notes of pineapple
Body: Fluid
Taste: Softer attack than expected.
Starts sweetish to quickly end up very dry.
Fruity: oranges, almonds. Banana appears later with very dry oranges.
Complex. Changes so quickly inside palate.
Lingers only for a little while.
Very dry coffee beans pick out later backed up by more dry almonds.
Changes very little with food.

Overall: A very complex sake with ever-changing facets.
The fact it is a “nama” does come very much in play.
Beautiful sake on its own although obviously conceived to marry well with any food.
Could be happily used with strong food with cheese coming to mind!

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: Senju Brewery: Junmai Ginjyo (Rice grown free of agrochemical agents)

March 5, 2012

Senju Brewery in Iwata City produces what could be termed “maboroshi sake”, “hidden sake”, as it is difficult to obtain away from Iwata City. They produce superlative sake and shochu, and what’s more they have recently joined a growing number of breweries making sake with rice cultivated without any agrochemical agents!

Creating junmai ginjyo with such a rice is a proof of courage and extravagant quality!
Interestingly enough, the name “Senju” almost does not appear on the label!

You will find it on the cap!

Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in July 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Discreet, dryish and fruity.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dryish and fruity attack backed up by a little junmai petillant.
Complex and sophisticated.
Greens, dry apples, coffee beans, notes of mandarines and liquorice.
Drinks very easily.
Disappears quickly on a sweetish note.
Turns slightly drier with food with more greens appearing.

Overall: Definitely a sake conceived for tasting although it beautifully marries with food thanks to its pronounced dryness.
Feminine in approach, a sake greatly appreciated for its own sake although I particularly enjoyed it with deep-fried vegetables!
Tends to disappear quickly, making it so easy to drink!

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

7th Sake Festival-Let’s Meet the Brewers in Shizuoka City!

March 5, 2012

Good sake knows no borders!

Among many very active events promoting sake and Shizuoka Sake in general the Meigara Tanhou Kura no Kai/Dai Nanakai Kuramoto to Kataru Kai/ Sake Matsuri/銘柄探訪 蔵の会 第7回 蔵元と語る会 2011 酒祭/Discover the Brands Breweries Association/7th Let’s Speak with Brewers Association/2011/ Sake Festival is drawing increasing attention.
Its 7th edition was held on the 3rd of November In Granship, Shizuoka City and gathered no less than 250 guests (for a demand double of that number!) and 14 brewers from Shizuoka Prefecture and 10 brewers from Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ishikawa, Gifu, Okayama, Hiroshima and Kochi Prefectures!

The guests certainly came in early to check the tables and brewers,…

while others participated in earnest to the tasting competition!

Mr. Doi, Chairman of the Shizuoka Sake Brewers Association and owner of Doi Brewery (Kaiun) in Kakegawa City!

I barely had the time to greet and photograph the participating breweries!

Yamanaka Brewery (Aoitenka) from kakegawa City!

Morimoto Brewery (Sayogoromo) from Kikugawa Citry!

Oumuraya Brewery (Wakatake) from Shimada City!

Suruga Brewery (Tenko) from Shizuoka City!

Sanwa Brewery (Garyubai) from Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Kansawagawa Brewery (Shosetsu) from Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Eikun Brewery from Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Fujinishiki Brewery from Fujinomiya City!

Fujimasa Brewery (Chiyonomine) from Fujinomiya City!

Makino Brewery (Shiraito) from Fujinomiya City!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery (Takasago) from Fujinomiya City!

Takashima Brewery (Hakuin Masamune) from Numazu City!

Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery (Shusseijyo) from Hamamtsu City!

Guest brewers from other Prefectures!

More of them!

All (paying) guests were offered an excellent two-tier bento box!

The first tier!

The second tier!

As for the kampai sake our table shared a honjyozo called “Yamatake Shirayuri/Mountain White Lily” by Makino Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

Once again a great, if a bit short, day to enjoy great sake and great company! Not to mention all the new friends!
See you again next year!

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: Kokko Brewery-Kokko Ginjyou

March 5, 2012

Kokko Brewery in Fukuroi City holds a special place in the history of the sake of Shizuoka Prefecture as it was the first brewery to use the Shizuoka sake yeast which revolutionized the whole industry in Shizuoka and helped our Prefecture out of the doldrums (dregs) up to the very top in Japan!

Usually the brewery does not write information apart of that required by law.
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu/no water added)
Bottled in August 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity, dry, discreet. Bananas.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack backed up by strong and pleasant alcohol.
Complex. Fruity: Bananas, coffee beans, dry almonds.
Disappears fairly quickly with dry apricots and coffee beans, warming up the palate.
Turns sweeter with food although makes a quick comeback to dry as soon as away from food again with more coffee beans and a note of dark chocolate.

Overall: Very dry, even by Shizuoka standards.
A ginjyou that marries beautifully with any food.
Very sophisticated although its sharp character will please people looking for a sake off the beaten tracks, that is, in Shizuoka Prefecture!
In spite of its ginjyou elevated status I would drink it with food, especially salads!

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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: Shidaizumi Brewery-Hiyaoroshi Futsushu Funeshibori

March 5, 2012

Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City is not only celebrated for its great nectars but also for its research in all types of sake!
They explained me that they do have a local clientele who exclusively drink their sake as futsushu/”normal sake” (as opposed to premium sake)!

They also came up with this bright yellow label both in Japanese and English to appeal to local foreigners!

This sake is a Hiyaoroshi/ひやおろし, meaning it has been pasteurized only once!
“Funeshibori/ふねしぼり” means that is has been pressed in a large rectangular vessel filled with bags of sake taken out of the fermenting vats.
It is also a genshu/原酒 meaning that no pure water was added!

Now, this sake being futsushu/normal sake it is pretty well opened to experiment as you will see below:

Rice: Hyakumangoku 20% + normal rice (futsumai!) 80%
Hyakumangoku Rice milled down to 65% (absolutely extravagant!)
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast N02
Dryness: + 6.0
Acidity: 1.3
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees (genshu)
Bottled in September 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue
Aroma: Strong, dry and fruity. Vanilla, almonds, apricots, alcohol
Body: Fluid
Taste: Fruity with pleasant big alcohol attack
Disappears fairly quickly with warmth spreading all over the palate.
Complex. Dry but very fruity: Apricots, macadamia nuts, almonds.
Very solid throughout. Varies little with food, except for an accentuated dryness with oranges.

Overall: If futsushu, so-called normal sake, were all like this, there would little incentive to taste or buy premium sake! But this is Shizuoka Prefecture where all sake are extravagant as a matter of course! A sake you can savor with any food or on its own although it was obviously designed to accompany simple everyday meals!

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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-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!

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With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
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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: 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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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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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