Monday, January 21, 2008

Urakasumi Junmai review

Sake Review

Urakasumi Junmai

Ladies and Gentlemen, please let me introduce to you one of my all-time favorite sakes.
Urakasumi is an impressive sake, with all the bearings of a classic junmai sake. The aroma is like steamed rice and chestnuts, inviting and comforting. The flavor matches well to the aromas, with a soft wash of rich flavors, but retaining a light feel on the palate. The mouth-feel is very creamy and rounded, feels like sake should be, liquid rice. The finish is fairly lengthy, just long enough to entice you to come back for more. A special note for this particular sake is that the toji uses a proprietary yeast for this brew. This yeast was discovered and can only be used by Urakasumi brewery.

Note: Whenever I can get a hold of it, I will also post information (whatever I can find) regarding the brewing specs of a particular sake. Some folks find this tedious, some swear by it, and some say that ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, because everything is in your personal taste of how you relate to a particular sake.

Grade: Junmaishu
Rice: Manamusume
Seimaibuai: 65%
ABV: 15-16%
SMV: +2.0
Acidity: 1.5
Amino: 1.7

Below is a blurb from the English portion of their website, giving some background and historical flavor to the beloved brewery. It should be noted that matsushima is considered to be one of Japan’s three most famous views, although not as famous as Mt. Fuji, it has inspired many artists, and seemingly, many sake brewers for generations.

“The Urakasumi Sake brewery dates back to the time when the feudal lord of the influential Date clan in northeastern Japan ordered sacred sake to be offered to the gods of Shiogama Shrine in the feudal domain.For more than 280 years since we first produced sake in Shiogama,near beautiful Matushima Bay,our brewery has been one of the leading local sake breweries in the northeastern region.Using mainly choice sake rice grown locally, and with the consummate skill of a Nanbu toji(master brewer),we brew sake that has been described as maboroshi, or dreamy sake.”

Try it out if you get a chance.

Intro to Sake

I turn 30 this year.
So if we do the math, hhmmm, let's see, I've been drinking sake for close to nine years.
In that time I have tried a lot of awful stuff, especially in the early stages of experimentation, when the rule was to try mostly whatever I could get my hands on.
As time passed and I continued to try various types and kinds of sake from all over Japan, and some produced here in the U.S. as well, I learned to discern many things about sake, it's flavor profiles and unique aromas, the various regional styles involved in sake and the brewer's approach to producing probably one of the world's most exacting beverages.

In this blog I hope to share with you some of my experiences, some of my revelations and insights gained from tasting various sake and I hope that you might get something out of it. I'll try to pretty regularly discuss various bits of sake knowledge, and I will discuss some of the culture and habit of sake, it's history and process. This site will not replace a comprehensive source such as John Gauntner's site or books, but it might give you enough of an interest to pursue his books or research other books on your own.

Most importantly, I hope that it just gives you enough information to pursue sake in one form or another.

You might wonder what makes me so eligible to spout sake knowledge and pretend I know what I am talking about, well, over the past nine or so years, I have taught five or six classes on sake, I have met with a few brewers, lived in Japan for a year (where I tasted as much as possible), and generally spent a lot of time poring over various books and information pieces to learn as much as I could about sake. It's been a sort of obsession for me as a link to Japan, a country which I deeply love.

I also have been working in the liquor distribution trade for about two years now, primarily selling sake, so I have had the opportunity to taste, smell and see a wide selection.
I hope you enjoy what I can tell you about sake, and I hope to hear your thoughts on sake too, please share your opinions and thoughts as feedback is always welcome.