Shizuoka Sake Tasting 26/1~8: Eikun Brewery

Eikun: Futsushu

Eikun Brewery is an old establishment “lost” in the mountains facing the sea at Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shziuoka City.
They have the merit to still make absolutely extravagant “futsushu/regular sake” at ridiculous prices.

Like most of all futsushu (only 18% of the total production, probably the lowest in Japan), the bottles are adorned with old traditional designs!. As they are easy to conserve thy would make the perfect souvenir back home in the rest of world!

Eikun: Futsushu
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Rice milled down to 70%
Bottled in January 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Fruity, ricey
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry and soft attack. Discreet.
Fruity and nutty: macadamia nuts, almonds, coconuts.
Disappears quickly with dry nuts.
tends to come up with new facets with the second and third sip (glass).

Overall: Very elegant and extravagant for a futsushu.
Goes well with any food.
A sake for everyday home drinking!
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Eikun Tokubetsu Junmai Hiyaoroshi, genshu

EIKUN-TOJ

Yes, I’m still alive!
Just had some different priorities of late, but now I at last have the time to come back more regularly to my first love: Shizuoka Sake!

It’s been a long time since I taste a brew by Eikun Brewery in Yui.
The trip to that particular brewery is almost an expedition as it is located along a lonely road halfway up the mountains bordering the sea and the very narrow valley in Yui, a place so famous for its fish, sushi and sake!
This Hiyaoroshi had only a front label with the minimum of indications, but it certainly was worth exploring!

Eikun Brewery

Tokubetsu Junmai Hiyaoroshi, genshu

Rice milled down to 55% (extravagant!)
Alcohol: 16~17%
Bottled in September 2009

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: pears, vanilla, banana
Body: velvety
Taste: Very soft attack backed up by a little dry alcohol.
Very well-rounded.
Fruity: bananas, pears.
Short tail.
Pleasant dry and fruity finish with notes nuts at the back of the mouth.
Elegant, feminine, fleting with a sense of unexplored depth.
Turns drier with food.
Overall: Very pleasant in spite of its high alcohol content. Very fruity, but soft on the tongue and palate.
Elegant and extravagant for a junmai.
Makes for the perfect aperitif, although holds its own very well with food.
Would certainly not lose its place to wine!
—————————
Eikun Brewery: Natsu Ginjo (Summer Ginjo)

This particular brew by Eikun Brewery in Yui Cho is a “limited edition” for the summer.
For a ginjo, it has a comparitively high alcohol amount.

Eikun Brewery: Natsu Ginjo (Summer Ginjo)

Rice: Gohyakumangoku (Fukui Prefecture)
Rice milled down to: 50% (milled on site)
Dryness: +7
Acidity: 1.2
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in July 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity: apples, almomnds, melon.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Complex. Fruity: green apples, bitter chocolate, melon. Coffee beans appearing later.
In site of its announced dryness, drinks smoothly, almost sweet, especially with salty food.
Will turn slightly drier with food with alcohol warming up the back of the palate.

Overall: An elegant sake designed for quality food.
Fruity and very complex.
A brew representative of Eikun Brewery.
Eminently enjoyable with any food.
Will reveal many facets according to food variety.
The kind of sake you want to boast about!
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Eikun Brewery: “Oninama” (Goblin Unpasteurized) Honjozo

Eikun being a comparatively small brewery, a lot of its brands are mainly sold very locally.
I found this particular bottle in their own minuscule shop.

Eikun Brewery: “Oninama” (Goblin Unpasteurized) Honjozo

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Light. Complex and fruity: apples, vanilla
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Fruity: green apples, bitter chocolate. Smooth on palate. Complex.
Very soft in spite of its “nama”/unpasteurized nature.
Pleasant and elegant.
Almonds making an entry when drunk away from food.

Overall: Surprisingly smooth for a “nama”/unpasteurized sake. Light and feminine in character.
Complex and gentle.
Perfect with food, especially sashimi and vegetables.
A sake for all seasons.
——————-
Suruga no Bishu, Futsushu

I just had the opportunity to visit Eikun Brewery perched in the mountains away from any main thoroughfare in Yui Cho (soon to be part of Shizuoka City). Although it has already made itself a name outside the Prefecture this is a small brewery, so I make it a rule to grab whatever interesting stuff I happen to take sight of!
Melinda and Etsuko will learn that once again I found another great “futsushu” of ridiculously high value!

Eikun Brewery: Suruga no Bishu, Futsushu

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Rice milled down to 65% on site (absolutely extravagant)
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Light. Fruity: Apples, almonds.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail (especially for futsushu). Light alcohol. Apples, almonds, vanilla, licorice. Very smooth on tongue and palate. Turns drier after a few sips.

Overall: A sake fit for food.
I tasted it at room temperature, but should be interesting lukewarm.
Drinks so easily. Deep and pleasant taste.
Simply extravagant for futsushu!
Can be drunk at all times of a meal.
—————————–
Tokubetsu Junmai (2008)

Since I will shortly travel to Yui Cho to visit and interview Eikun Brewery, I thought some tasting was in order!

Eikun Brewery: Tokubetsu Junmai (2008)

Rice: Yakumangoku
Rice milled down to 55%
Yeast: Shizuoka HD-101
Alcohol: 16.5 degrees
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.4
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Fruity. Complex. Vanilla, bananas, pineapple.
Body: Velvety to fluid.
Taste: Short tail. Dry at first but soft. Slight junmai tingle.
Complex. Fruity: pineapple, almonds.
Pleasant and fleeting. Almonds making a strong comeback with junmai tingle on second sip. Turns dry with food.

Overall: In spite of its elevated rank, holds itself very well with food.
Elegant, fleeting. A sake for all season!
———————————–
KOHAKU

kohaku-old1.jpg

Not many breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture are venturing into manufacturing koshu/old sake, and it is a pity. But things are fortunately slowly changing. Eikun Brewery in Yui has come up for some time with quite an extraordinary brew matured for 10 full years from a batch originally conceived in 1963! It certainly does not look like a sake!

Kohaku/”Ten Maturity”
Alcohol: 26 degrees (!!!!)
Bottled in December 2006

Clarity: Very clear

kohaku-old2.jpg
Colour: Rich dark amber (name of the sake!)

Aroma: Pleasant. A bit pungent. Similar to a Chinese old chum. Almonds

Body: Full, easy on the palate.

Taste: Solid. Tastes like an old sherry. Welcome alcohol.
Persimmon, caramel.
Acidity revealed later on the palate as the dry impresion gains emphasis.

Overall: maybe an acquired taste for some, but very pleasant. Should be drunk like an old sherry or even like a good port.
Goes down well with food.
Heated to about 40 degrees celsius, it becomes very pleasant with hot dishes, especillay “nabe”. Do not forget the high alcohol content. Drink sparingly, or it will hit you!
————————-
Eikun Tokubetsu Junmai

eikun-tokuhon.jpg

Slowly but steadily (although in a very disorganized way), I am progressing through all the breweries of Shizuoka. Incidentally the tasting order does not reflect my preferences, although those also vary along time…
I did not have to go far this time, as Eikun Brewery stands in the mountains near Yui, which will be part of Shimizu Ku next year.

Eikun Tokubetsu Junmai
Rice: Gohyakumangoku (Fukui Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.2
Bottled in February 2006

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light gold

Aroma: Fruits: pineapple/banana

Body: velvety

Taste: Junmai tingle. Complex. Fruity: pinepapple, banana, bitter chocolate.
Fruits linger long in mouth.
Calling for another sip.
Welcome faint acidity appears later with sweet oak and bitter chocolate.

Overall: Elegant. Easy to drink. Very fruity.
Calls for another sip. Complexity grows as more is drunk.
Turns surprisingly very dry when eating fresh fruit or dessert.

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