ALPHA KAZE NO MORI KIJOSHU

Alpha Type 5 Kijoshu by Kaze no Mori with their Alpha experimental range from Yucho Shuzo (brewery) located in Nara prefecture.  Kijoshu is a sweet style sake where some water additions to the main mash are replaced with sake, in this case 9 year old Koshu or aged sake. It’s recommended as a digestif instead... Continue Reading →

WHAT IS KOJI? – THE MAGIC MOULD

Without Koji, sake would not be with us today in its current form. Rice is a grain just like barley but since it's polished removing the germ (the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant) it is unable to go through a malting process that beer does so a different approach is required.... Continue Reading →

HANATOMOE – MIYOSHINO JOZO

Hanatomoe from Miyoshino Jozo, well-known for its bold sake with character, have been brewing sake since 1913 in Nara, arguably the birth capital of sake and also the first permanent capital of Japan from 710 to 794. More recent developments include the Yoshino Cedar Project which helped the brewery revive brewing sake in cedar barrels... Continue Reading →

THE NEW JUNMAI GLASS BY RIEDEL

Glassware: it's more than just aesthetics. Choosing the right vessel to drink your sake can either enhance or leave you missing out on what the producer intended you to experience, just as with wine. When it comes to sake, the traditional ceramic cup, the o-choko, is the default choice but can be somewhat limiting for... Continue Reading →

KATORI 80 & KATORI 90

Katori 80 and Katori 90 from Terada Honke in Chiba prefecture; defying the highly polished scene. Katori is a nod to the nearby agricultural city and the 80 and 90 are an indication of its spec; the rice used is only polished to 80% and 90% remaining respectively. It's Masaru Terada's mission to brew most... Continue Reading →

WHAT IS SAKE?

You’ll often hear the word ‘rice wine’ being thrown around since it has a similar alcohol level to wine but sake is in fact made in breweries not wineries and closer to beer in its production process. Also in Japanese, the word sake is actually a generic term meaning 'alcohol' and you're better off sticking to... Continue Reading →

SPARKLING AFS

By far my favourite sparkling sake ever tried and I've had a few. The sparkling AFS from Kidoizumi Shuzo in Chiba prefecture is a complex, intense sake with a perfect interplay of acidity and sweetness. A standard sake fermentation starter is made with 3 additions of steamed rice, koji-rice and water over 4 days however... Continue Reading →

RICE POLISHING: HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?

Sake’s main ingredient is rice but before it is fermented it goes through a process of polishing and the brewer has the option of what level of polishing to work with. This is shown on the bottle as a percentage known as the rice polishing ratio or the seimaibuai 精米歩合. There are brewers who work with... Continue Reading →

TAMAGAWA 3U

The Tamagawa 3U limited edition series 純米吟醸 無濾過生原酒  from Kinoshita Shuzo in Kyoto prefecture is a seasonal item sold between December and April. While a large majority of breweries are aiming for the fruity/floral types, Tamagawa is going for flavour and created an umami bomb. The 3U stands for unpasteurised, unfiltered (charcoal) and undiluted and the traditional... Continue Reading →

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