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

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