Archive for October, 2013

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Kumpai Brewery: Oni Goroshi Honjozo

October 29, 2013

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Interestingly enough, the name “Kumpai/君盃” is not of Japanese origin but came from China where it means “A Drink In Great Friendship”.
The label above represents the crossing of the Abe River by the side of which is located Kumpai Brewery!

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Rice milled down to 65%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in August 2013

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue
Aroma: Dry. Apples, greens, alcohol
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong fruity attack backed up by very pleasant alcohol.
More complex and deeper than expected.
Disappears fairly quickly with plenty of nuts and almonds.
Changes little with food.
Stays very fruity all the time with appearance of very dry oranges and nuts.
Tends to become more and more complex with the next sip.

Overall: A surprising sake by Kumpai Brewery.
I understand now why a seemingly simple honjozo has been their trademark in spite of the beutiful premium sake they produce.
A sake for all seasons, all occasions, all temperatures!
A sure value I would recommend to beginners and veterans alike!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Suruga Brewery: Tenkou Tokubetsu Junmai

October 28, 2013

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After acquiring the defunct Yoshiya Brewery (Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku) license and continuing their brands such as Chumasa, Oni Goroshi and Tokaido, Suruga Brewery in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City adopted the brand name of “Tenkou/天虹” meaning “heaven rainbow”!

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It is a tokubetsu junmai!

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Rice: Biyama Nishiki (Shiga Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 2
Acidity: 1.9
Bottled in October 2013

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong. Pears, apples.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong attack backed up by assertive junmai petillant and pleasant alcohol and welcome acidity.
Complex and fruity. Pears, custard.
Disappears quickly on an even drier note with more custard and nuts and faint greens.
Takes a back step with food but reasserts itself quickly once away from it again.

Overall: A typical Shizuoka sake with all the usual facets, although stronger in approach than most.
The comparatively higher acidity makes it utterly enjoyable on its own.
Another sure value to keep in mind at all times of the year!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sanwa Brewery-Garyubai Junmai Ginjo

October 26, 2013

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Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City has this famous label for one of its Junmai Ginjo representing two drinkers of the Edo Period and I know a lot of people who like to collect it!

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Most of their sake are called Garyubai these days, a name which can be traced back to a local temple!

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Rice: Gohyakumangoku (Toyama Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 3
Acidity: 1.4
Bottled in August 2013

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Dry and fruity. Pears, macadamia nuts, custard
Body: Fluid, slightly sirupy
Taste: Very dry attack backed up by puissant junmai petillant.
Very nutty at first with hints of oranges and custard.
Lingers for a while warming up back of the palate and tongue.
Mellows somewhat with food.
Turns quickly back to strong dryness away from food.

Overall: Straight forward dry sake best suited for food, especially heavy izakaya food.
Sake concept very different from mainstream shizuoka brews. The toji/brewmaster is of the Nanbu School from Iwate Prefecture and never uses the Shizuoka yeasts.
can be enjoyed at all temperatures in spite of its elevated status. Would do well at a BBQ!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Breweries: The One That Disappeared-Yagi Brewery (Tanchou/丹頂) in Shimada City!

October 17, 2013

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During My visit to the Shimada Obi Festival last Monday I walked past a small private museum/display of Shimada craftsmen’s tools and artifacts.
I made an interesting discovery proving that you can’t overlook anything!
The photo above is taht of a sake bottle bag printed with the word “Tanchou/丹頂” the brand name of the late sake Brewery called “Yagi Brewery/八木酒造”
The brewery disappeared some ten years ago before I really started delving into Shizuoka sake history.
The reasons for its demise are quite simple: the brewery was basically making sake on order for the big breweries in Nada (Kobe) region. When the sake boom of the 70’s receded the orders decreased and finally stopped. On the other hand the other brewery in Shimada City, namely Ooumuraya brewery/大村屋酒造 famous all over Japan for its brand names such Onna Nakase/女泣かせ, Onigoroshi/鬼殺し and Wakatake/若竹 was striving as it has opted for a local market for some time and stopped producing for the Nada breweries a long time ago.

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This is when I realized that their shop, Tanchou Honten/丹頂本店 was just across the road!

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The ground floor of the decrepit building is still used as a bike shop!
An article for my friend at Abandoned Kansai?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Cenova 2nd Anniversary

October 13, 2013

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hanan No Mai, located in Hamamatsu City, is the largest sake brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture and makes a good use of all events in our Prefecture to well their products.

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Cenova Department store in Shizuoka City just celebrated its 2nd Anniversary and like for the opening and 1st Anniversary hana no Mai produced a tokubetsu Junami limited to 100 numbered bottles. I got No 11!

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“Local Souvenir”!

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Hana No Mai Brewery has a habit of printing the exact bottling date on their labels!

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Rice locally grown
rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled on September 30th 2013

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue
Aroma: Assertive and fruity. Custard
Body: Fluid, lightly sirupy
Taste: Soft attack at first, immediately followed by puissant junmai petillant warming up back of the palate.
Fruity and dryish. Custard, macadamia nuts, almonds, oranges.
Lingers for a while before softly disappearing with more macadamia nuts and ornages.
Takes a small back step with food on a slightly drier note with more dry oranges.
Away again from food sees a solid appearance by chestnuts.

Overall: A typical sake from Hana No Mai Brewery with a comparatively soft approach.
A sake probably best enjoyed before food.
Should please younger people and ladies alike.
A sake fit for beginners, too.
Would make for a beautiful sweet aperitif when chilled!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Sake Kegs at Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City

October 2, 2013

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One noticeable difference between Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines (Shinto is the native religion) in Japan is that shrines exhibit the empty kegs of sake offered by believers (the original meaning of “Sake” is “food of the gods”) whereas Buddhist Temples don’t.

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Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City which is one of the most important in the Prefecture does exhibit quite a few.
Not all are sake made inside Shizuoka Prefecture, though.
At least investigating the one produced inside Shizuoka Prefecture provide quite a few insights!
Therefore it will be a pleasure to help you discover them!

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“Kaiun/開運” is the brand name of the sake produced by Doi Brewery/土井酒造 in Kakegawa City/掛川市 in central-western Shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Garyuubai/臥龍梅” is the brand name of Sanwa Brewery/三和酒造 in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City/清水区静岡市 in central Shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Aoitenka/葵天下” is the brand name of the sake produced by Yamanaka Brewery/山中酒造 in Kakegawa City/掛川市 in central western shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Hana No Mai/花の舞” is the brand name of Hana No Mai Brewery/花の舞酒造 in Hamamatsu City/浜松市 in western Shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Senju/千寿” is the brand name of Senju Brewery/千寿酒造” in Iwata City/磐田市 in western Shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Kumpai/君盃” is the brand name of Kumpai Brewery/君盃酒造” in Shizuoka City/静岡市 in central Shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Haginishiki/萩錦” is the brand name of Haginishiki Brewery/萩錦酒造 in Shizuoka City/静岡市 in Central Shizuoka Prefecture.

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“Takasago/高砂” is the brand name of Fuji-Takasago Brewery/藤高砂酒造 in Fujinomiya City/富士宮市in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture.

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Now, this keg belonged to a defunct brewery!
“Chuumasa/忠正” was the brand name of Yoshiya Brewery/吉屋酒造 in Shizuoka City/静岡市 in central Shizuoka Prefecture.
Their license was bought some two years ago by a new brewery called Suruga Brewery/駿河酒造 also in Shizuoka City. As for the Chuumasa brand name it is still used by Suruga Brewery.

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As for this brewery, there are a lot questions marks left! (would you believe that one of my Japanese-side relatives is actually working there!)
“Kihei/喜平” is the brand name of Hikari Brewery/平喜酒造 in shizuoka City/静岡市 in central Shizuoka Prefecture.
Now, Hiraki Company which originally (and still is) a liqueurs and drinks distributor originating from Kakegawa City bought Hiraki Brewery in Okayama Prefecture in 1956 and then established their headquarters in Shizuoka City to sell the sake made in their brewery in Okayama Prefecture.
Two years ago, having acquired the license of defunct Dogatsuru Brewery in kakegawa City they started their second brewery called Shizuoka-Hiraki Brewery/静岡平喜酒造. When interviewed the Association of Sake Brewers in Shizuoka Prefecture assured me that they would only market sake made in Shizuoka City inside Shizuoka Prefecture. Unfortunately it was completely untrue! Moreover their representatives or master brewers never appear at events featuring their brand!

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“Fukki/富貴” of the eponymous brerwey is from Shizuoka Prefecture but they produced pure sake alcohol to be blended with jumai sake in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City. They were an official member of the Association of Shizuoka sake Brewers until two years ago. They haven7t been mentioned there since then. I wonder why… actually I know!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City


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