Oct 1, 2009

Japanese Sake Day

When I compare two brands of sake one of which is namazake and the other is pasteurized sake, I prefer the former to the latter in most cases. I feel namazake and pasteurized sake are completely different products.

By the way, if one happens to come in an izakaya where they have only one type of sake and she or he orders it, the sake is, in many cases, inexpensive pasteurized sake such as futsushu (regular sake), I guess. I have no intention to say that futsushu is not good. However, I think it is difficult for many people to understand the virtue of futushu if they have not experienced many types of sake or they do not have a delicate palate.

So, if someone who has not drunk so much of sake before happening to drink such sake as futsushu at cheap izakaya, it is quite likely that she or he thinks "Maybe, I am not good at this."

However, when it comes to namazake, its refreshing fragrance and rich taste impresses you at the first moment when you take the very first sip. So, I would like those who believe they don't like sake to drink namazake as a trial. They may change their view on sake. If they judge sake to be not enjoyable after drinking only inexpensive futsushu, I feel chagrined.

I am thinking of the above lately. Anyway, today is the Japanese Sake Day. It seems that some breweries have started koji making and some have proceeded to fermentation process already. Liquor shops are selling akiagari (half-year aged sake) and hiayoroshi (half-year aged sake without pasteurization before shipment). Especially hiyaoroshi can be called half namazake since its pasteurization process before the shipment is skipped.

As autumn gets far advanced and it becomes cooler, it becomes easier to pass our days. We are blessed with delicious foods of autumn. Every food is really tasty in autumn. It may be the privilege of those who live in Japan to enjoy hiyaoroshi paired with nice foods in autumn.

Today's Sake
Kure Junmai Muroka Hiyaoroshi (Nishioka Sake Brewery)
Sake from Kochi prefecture. This hiyaoroshi has been aged in a cave in the headwaters area of the Shimanto River.
It has been aged to mellowness while maintaining the characteristic flavor of namazake. In spite of the sake meter value of +9, it is fresh rather than dry.
Rice used: Tosanishiki (sake rice harvested in Kochi prefecture)
Seimaibuai: 60%
Alcohol: 17 - 18%
Sake meter value: (+)9


McAlpine said...

Nice Read! Thanks for the information.

Ichibay said...

Thank you for reading my posts and leaving commnents frequently.

Rosina said...

Hi Ichibay,
Your blog is very interesting. I want to learn more about sake, never have a chance to try it. I will be travelling to japan just for the sake, and want to ask you a few questions; seeming you are the expert in this area. How do I contact you?
thanks, Rosina (from canada)
can reach me at info@takui.ca

Ichibay said...

Hi Rosina,
Thank you for the comment.
What are your questions? I am pleased to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge about sake.
Also, please refer to the following site for your information: http://tokyojizake.web.fc2.com/sake_english/index.htm