Jan 23, 2009

Genuine Tokyo Sake

Tokyo sakes are not always made from rice harvested in Tokyo. In fact, 99.9% of Tokyo sakes are made from rice from other prefectures, for Tokyo, you know, is at the bottom of the rice acreage ranking among the prefectures of Japan.

As to sake made from rice harvested in another prefecture, I somehow hesitate to call it Tokyo sake, but if there is one made from Tokyo rice, I am pleased to recognize it as Tokyo sake without reserve.

-- "Haramine no Izumi (two bottles on the left) and Shiboritate Nama Genshu Kamekuchi" --

It is when I was thinking of Tokyo sake in that way that I encountered an article of the mail magazine issued by Ishikawa Brewery, which is brewing Tamajiman sake. The article said that they were selling sake named Haramine no Izumi at the sake shop on their premises.

The article read -- "To make this sake, they irrigate natural water springing from the Sekido area in Tama City, commonly known as "Haramine no Sato," into the paddies, and give ducks free run of the paddies to have them eat harmful insects instead of using agricultural chemicals. The rice harvested in this way is used to make koji rice (koji-mold cultivated rice). Meanwhile, they also grow another variety of rice in the Ichinomiya and Wada areas close to the Tama River. This rice is used as kake rice (steamed rice to be added in the fermentation tank during the moromi process). Both of the rice varieties are milled down to 50% of the original weight. Being made from these rice varieties, this sake is genuine 'Sake of the Tama Area (a western area of Tokyo).'"

According to the article, the sake shop was selling only the limited number of 200 bottles. I thought I had to go and get this sake by all means, and drove the car to the shop and bought two bottles Wednesday.

The sake, brewed from Tokyo rice and Tokyo water by Tokyo brewers, is genuine Tokyo sake. I could finally get it. The caps of these bottles are still intact. I am looking forward to the day I will open the caps and enjoy this sake with friends.

Today's Sake
Tamajiman Shiboritate Nama Genshu Kamekuchi (Ishikawa Brewery)
This sake is bottled each time a customer buys this sake in the liquor shop on the premises of Ishikawa Brewery. Only this shop sells this sake during a limited period of this season. I purchased one bottle of this sake (the rightmost bottle in the photo above) when I got Haramine no Izumi there. Being non-diluted sake, the sake contains relatively much alcohol, but it is difficult to stop drinking this sake because of the rich flavor and pleasant palate.
Alcohol: 19.5%
Sake meter value: (+)4
Acidity: 1.8
Amino acid: 1.4

No comments: