Shizuoka Sake Tasting 13/1~8: Hana No Mai Brewery

8) Yamahai Shikomi


It’ s been some time since I tasted a new brew from Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu city, but since they have come up with their first-ever Yamahai, I could not defer any longer!

Hana no Mai Brewery: Yamahai Shikomi (Honjozo)

Rice: Shizuoka Yamada Nishiki 100%
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Bottled in November 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Light and elusive. Vanilla, pineapple
Body: Velvety~fluid
Taste: Complex and dry attack. Short tail. Fruity: coffee beans, melon, vanilla, almonds.
Tend to sweeten a bit with late bitter chocolate.

Overall: Although the brewery advises to drink it “atsukan/warm”, does very well at room temperature, especially with food.
Definitely elegant for a Yamahai. Typical of Hana no Mai Brewery’s gentle brews
7) Karakkaze “Karakuchi” Ginjo

Karakkaze/”Dry Wind” has been one of Hana no Mai Brewery’s flag brews for quite some time.
The brewery has even created a sake lovers’ association of the same name in Hamamatsu City.

Hana No Mai Brewery: Karakkaze “Karakuchi” Ginjo

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled on January, 10th, 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Dry. Fruity: Almonds, pineapple
Body: Velvety
Taste: Dry. Lingering tingle. Alcohol. Fruity: vanilla, almonds, pineapple.
Shortish tail. Warmth lingering in the back of the mouth.
Turns drier with food with more pineapple, almonds and coffee beans making their entrance. Hints of melon/cantaloupe.

Overall: a very dry sake with good character.
Probably best enjoyed with food.
Interesting on its own, especially when lightly chilled
6) Hana no Mai Kura Dashi Ginjo Nama


This is the second bottle tasted by the Shizuoka Geeks on December 7th, 2007

Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City) Kura dashi Ginjo Nama Sake
Rice: Shizuoka Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 55%

Clarity: Very clear

Colour: Transparent

Aroma: Flowers, light

Body: Velvety

Taste: very dry impression.
Turns sharpish with food. Reminiscent of custard/vanilla/almonds.
Tends to go through sweet/sour cycles with food later.

Overall: Sharpish dry sake, but tends to turn “sweet and sour” with food.
Would probably appeal more to gentlemen than to ladies

5) Hana no Mai Shiboritate Junmai


This is the first bottle the Shizuoka Geeks tasted on December 7th:

Hana no Mai Brewery, Shiboritate Junmai
Rice Shizuoka Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Acidity: 1.8
Bottled on October 27th, 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Transparent

Aroma: Light, ricey, bananas, berries

Body: velvety

Taste: Junmai tingle. Sharpish. Fruity: bananas, berries. Acidity develops later in mouth.

Overall: A very easy to drink sake. Drier than expected. Goes down well with food.

4) Susono Junmai Shiboritate Genshu


Thisa is the third bottle sampled by the Hamamatsu geeks on September 14th:
A group of sake lovers in Susono City (eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture) asked Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City to brew a limited junmai shiboritate genshu exclusively made with rice grown in and around Susono City and water collected from Mount Fuji.

Rice: goyakumangoku milled down to 55%
Dryness: +5
Bottled on November 2nd, 2006

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Fruity, bananas, plums

Body: fluid

Taste: complex but light. Fruity. Bananas. Welcome tingle. On second drink bitter chocolate will appear.

Overall: Easy to drink. A sake fit for light food. Recommended for ladies and beginners
3) Hana no Mai Karakkaze


We continue the 300ml bottles with Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamakita/Hamamatsu City)this time

This Karakkaze was brewed on December 11th, 2006.
The rice was milled down to 55%. If Hana no mai does not advertize the kind of sake, one can automatically assume it is honjozo or tokubetsu honjozo. The 55% would indicate the latter.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: ricey, light

Body: light/velvety

Taste: Banana, Vanilla, Almonds
Little tingle with liquoruce and bitter chocolate faintly appearing later

Overall: typical of Hana no Mai Brewery.
Light, easy to drink, ideal for beginners and young ladies.

2) Hana No Mai Daiginjo


This Daiginjo was brewed by hana No Mai Brewery, Hamamatsu City, on April 17th, 2007

Rice: Shizuoka Yamada Nishiki 100%
Rice milled down to 45%

Colour: transparent
Clarity: very clear

Aroma: light and fleeting. Ricey/flowers

Body: light

Taste: Slightly complex and light. Dry-sweet/flowers/bitter chocolate

Aftertaste: fleeting, petillant on palate. A little residual acidity. Disappears quickly.

Overall: a sake for ladies beginners. Would improve with food, especially sushi.

1) Hana No Mai Nama Junmai


This Nama Junmai was recently brewed on April 5th, 2007
The rice was milled down to 60%
Hana No Mai Brewery uses only Yamada Nishiki rice grown in Hamamatsu City

Colour: ransparent

Clarity: very clear

Aroma: Pears, light.

Body: light

Taste: Pears/vanilla/fruit. Bustles into petillant as it meets the palate

Aftertaste: Linger for a while. Stays even and soft

Comments: would be a good nama for beginners to try and study a an aperitif after a hot day.

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