Masu Ichi Brewery has not been making sake for the past year and will not ever as his owner/masterbrewer Denjirou Masui/増井伝次郎 just passed away at the age of 49 leaving no successor willing to take over the brewery founded in 1882.
Denjirou was his brewer’s name given by his mentor Denbei kawamura, the godfather of Shizuoka Sake and the creator of the Shizuoka sake yeast. He was one of the only three brewers of the Shida School.
His sake is fast disappearing and this particular one is the first of a series of “last bottles” I’m scouring the Prefecture to get my hands on for posterity!
It is a honjozo, meaning that it was blended with water and pure sake alcohol after pressing.
Its name “Suruga no Kuni” means the “Country of Suruga”. Suruga is also the name of the wide bay off Shizuoka Prefecture.
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees.
Bottled in March 2012
Clarity: Very clear.
Aroma: Assertive, fruity and dry. Complex. Banana, dark chocolate, vanilla.
Body: fluid, somewhat sirupy.
Taste: A very distinct attack, fruity and dry. Very complex.
Starts almost sweetish to take a very dry turn with a solid and pleasant alcohol backup.
Green apples, nuts.
Disappears fairly quickly while warming up the back of the palate with dry nuts, walnuts and chestnuts finish.
Dark chocolate and coffee beans tend to peek out later.
Changes little with food, although more dryness will appear later.
Marries beautifully with any food.
Overall: A very solid but elegant sake pefect for food, especially izakaya gastronomy and Western meat fare although it is thoroughly enjoyable on its own.
At 60% millage it is simply an extravagant honjozo!
A sake for all seasons, very macho in approach by Shizuoka standards!
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Must-see tasting websites:
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-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery