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 Yamahai starter method is used along with indigenous yeast of the brewery which is especially vigorous fermenting strongly. These pack a punch at 22 degrees alcohol in the Omachi and Yamadanishiki rice variety, also coming in the Gohyakumangoku variety.
On the nose, spice, roasted nuts, soy sauce, dried fruits with an earthy element. It’s full bodied, dry, with high acidity partly due to the traditional ‘Yamahai’ method. Definitely one that can hold its own against heartier dishes such as oxtail stew (coda alla vaccinara in Italian) and bbq meats. Also if you don’t know what umami, the 5th flavour is, you’ll know after drinking this.Kinoshita brewery in Kyoto prefecture has been brewing sake since 1842. Tamagawa meaning ‘Jewel River’ which flows near the brewery, is led by maybe the only non-Japanese master brewer in Japan, British-born Philip Harper.
Category – Junmai (rice, water, Koji and natural yeast)
Polishing Ratio – 66%
Starter – Yamahai
Muroka – No charcoal filtering
Nama – Unpasteurized
Genshu – Undiluted