Shizuoka Sake Tasting 28/1-2-3: Watanabe Brewery

Bokusui Honjozo Genshu

bokusui-genshu.jpg

And the series with Watanabe Brewery in Numazu City continues!

Watanabe Brewery/Bokusui Honjozo Genshu
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 16~17%
Bottled in January 2008

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Flowers, green melon, rape blossoms

Body: fluid and velvety

Taste: Alcohol impression not as strong as expected despite the genshu character. Easy to drink. Green fruit. Green melon. Short tail. Calls for the second sip which reveals offee beans.
Shows different facets with food.

Overall: Easy to drink. A sake designed for food. Surprisingly mild in spite of its high alcohol content.
Becomes easier and easier to drink with food.
—————————
Izu no Umi Ginjo

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Watanabe Brewery must be the smallest one in Shizuka Prefecture tucked away from anywhere in Numazu City. I can tell you it is not easy to find their brews even near Numazu City. But I made good provision when I visited them and can appreciate them in all tranquility back home!

Watanabe Brewery/Izu no Umi Ginjo
Alcohol: 15~16%
Bottled in January 2008

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Body: velvety

Aroma: Fruity and sharpish: bananas, pineapple

Body: velvety

Taste: Fruity with good alcohol backup. Pineapple, vanilla, bananas. Short tail.
Alcohol impression stays strong with second sip.
Acidity revealed later with almonds, bitter chocolate and coffee beans.
Pleasant and esay to drink. Turns dry on palate.

Overall: Easy to drink sake fit for food. Does not vary much with food intake.
Fruity at first. Tends to turn dry quickly.
—————————-
Tago No Fuji

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I’ve started tasting through the range of brews concocted by this very small brewery in Numazu City. And the best way is to drink with dinner at home (while my better half is drinking wine!). This bottle probably sports the most traditional Japanese label picture in this picture with Mount Fuji and pine trees.

It is a futsushu/”normal sake”, but absolutely extravagant for its kind.

Watanabe Brewery/Fuji no Tago
Rice milled down to 70% (!)

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light golden tinge

Aroma: Fleeting/dry fruit

Body: velvety

Taste: Dry fruit/dried persimmons/Almonds/Plums/dried apricots
Starts sweet to quickly tail off drier.
Shows different facets with food. Short tail.

Overall: As stated before, untypical sake for Shizuoka Prefecture.
Goes down very well with food.
Can be appreciated at all temperatures, although best at room temperature in my own view. Almonds taste increase with food.
Easy to drink.
——————–
Kasei Bokusui Honnama

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Watanabe Brewery must be the smallest one in Shizuoka Prefecture. It a father-and-son brewery cum liquor shop business and practically serve their sake only locally. I had to travel all the way to Katahama, Numazu City to acquire three bootles. I was kindly offered the present bottle for my trouble so I made a point to taste it first!

Watanabe Brewery Kasei Bokusui Honnama
Bottled in December 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Ricey. Sharp and dry. Dry cherries.

Body: fluid

Taste: Unusual taste for a Shizuoka sake. Very dry/Crisp-sharpish/ Almonds/Cherries.
Both sweetness and acidity lingering in mouth

Overall: An old-fashioned sake. Very marked dry taste. Would probably go well with oily/heavy food. Not the usual Shizuoka type sake. Tends to acquire more dryness and acidity along.
Interestingly enough, my wife liked it and made the comment that it would be great with “surume/dried cuttlefish”!

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