Saturday, August 15, 2009

Out with the new and in with the old!

In a first for this blog, I would like to introduce everyone to a kind of sake that not all of you may be familiar with: Koshu (古酒). Literally translated koshu means "old sake," wich although quite blunt is more or less correct. Koshu is in fact aged sake.
Aged sake is often compared to aged sherry, and shares many similarities (although is in no way the same thing). If a sherry comparison does nothing for you, keep reading, otherwise, keep reading.
Now, not all sake makes good aged sake, and there are many different styles of aging that make a huge difference in the out come of the Koshu. Some examples being: Aging unpasteurized VS. pasteurized, aging at room temp VS. rifrigerated, etc.
Aging a sake generally brings out a very distinct taste profile consisting but not limited to: earthy tones, cooked honey or sugar smell and flavor, added depth of flavor, and a lighter nose.

On that note I bring you (more information on this particular type of koshu after the tasting notes):
Daruma-Masamune / ダルマ正宗
Special Blend / 特別ブレンド
Alcohol: 15% / Polish: Blend
Shiraki Tsunesuke Shouten / Gifu Prefecture
Tasting notes:
On the nose: Strong honey, and hints of almost a rice pudding. Very sharp clean nose for aged sake.
On the palate: Clean slightly sweet and minerally, with understated earthy tones. Caramel-honey notes round out a medium body balanced nicely by a clean mild acidity, keeping the slight sweetness in check.
Other notes:
  • This is a blended Koshu, with a blend ratio of: 40% 4 year aged sake, 60% 14 year aged sake, and about 0.5% 30 year aged sake.
  • "Why use a blend?" Blending aged sake give you more freedom to more or less craft your desired taste profile. Simply using straight aged sake leaves a lot open to mother nature.
  • This particular Koshu was born from the idea of letting as many people know about aged sake as possible. in order to achieve this goal they have created an aged sake with a mild taste profile, lots of delicious flavor, and all at a very affordable price.
  • This particular koshu was aged Pasteurizes at room temperature, giving it more earth tones and a deeper darker color.
  • Daruma Masamune koshu is characterized by the big red Daruma doll of a guy named Masamune (name of unknown origins) who to me looks kinda like a pirate.
  • Look for other great aged sakes out of Daruma Masamune, including a line up of age it yourself sakes (vintages starting from this year and going back as far as 30 years are available).
Well that's it for this time around, if you have any questions please feel free to ask!


Meishu no Yutaka staff

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mansaku Mania PART 2!

Well something like that any way.
Part two is kinda catchy right?
I know what you are yelling at your computer screen right now,
"Part 2? What? You can't have a part 2 with no part 1! Are you crazy?"
Yes I am in fact crazy, but There is a part one to this story.
You just won't find it in this blog.
Part 1 came out about a year ago after the big earthquake in the northern part of the main Island.
You may remember it by the fiasco with the nuclear power plant leaking waste into the ocean.
At that time a lot of the Breweries in the area lost a lot of good sake, and didn't have enough to put out individual labels.
At that time Mansaku no Hana came up with the great idea of: "Hey, lets just blend all the leftovers together and sell it as a blended sake!"
The result: Mansaku no Hana "Jishin Saku" (Earthquake Bloom).
A beautifully blended sake that was a huge hit among Mansaku fans.
So this Year they decided to re-unleash the Jishin Saku blend upon the hungry fans,
And without further ado I bring you PART 2:

Mansaku no Hana / まんさくの花
Jishin Saku Gold Blend / 地震作ゴルドブレンド
Alcohol: 16~17% / Polish: Blend
SMV: +3
Hi no Maru Jouzou / Akita Prefecture
Tasting notes:
On the nose: Very fresh with lots of rice and Kome-Koji. Slight fruity sweetness balanced by a nice crisp bite to the nose.
On the palate: Fresh medium bodied, very dry, but balanced by a nice ricey fruity sweetness on the front of the tongue followed by an almost sour bite to the sides of the tongue on the after taste.
Other notes:
  • Although there was no earthquake this time, Mansaku still pulled off one heck of a blended sake.
  • This sake drank a little bit rougher than the average Mansaku no Hana sake, however, that is not to say that it wasn't still a mouth watering piece of work.
  • Hi no Maru Jouzou has bounced back just fine after the earthquake, and is making some other killer sakes. Definitely worth checking out their other sake.
  • I got a little behind with this post, and we are already down to our last bottle of this one at the store, so unfortunately if you missed out this year, they will probably be releasing a blended sake of some sort or another every year from here on out.
Sorry for the long lag in posting...
The store is one person short for the month, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to post in my 12 hour workday. I will try and take a little more time out soon to post again.
If not the start of next month will be back to posting as usual.
Thanks for hanging in there.

On another note if anyone out there ever feels like talking sake, please feel free to give me a call at the store or email me at!

Untill next time...


Meishu no Yutaka Staff