Shizuoka Sake Tasting 25/1~5: Bandai Brewery

Bandai Brewery: Edagawa sake, Nirayama, Tokubetsu Junmai

Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula does produce quite a few “private labels”
This second one one, “Egawa Sake, Nirayama”, is also exclusively sold at Kuraya Narusawa Beer Brewery.
Actually the Brew master of the latter establishment also helps brewing sake at Bandai Brewery in winter!
Nirayama is the name of a locality in Northern Izu Peninsula.

Bandai Brewery: Edagawa sake, Nirayama, Tokubetsu Junmai

Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in May 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Strong, but dissipates quickly. Almonds, bitter chocolate, coffee beans
Body: Velvety
Taste: Shortish tail. Sweetish first, turns dry quickly.
Fruity: almonds, chestnuts, bitter chocolate.
Strong junmai tingle.
Starts dry, but sweetness tends to reappear with every sip.
Pleasant. More coffee beans appearing with food.

Overall: “Shizuoka Type Sake”.
Devised for food, although enjoyable on its own.
Probably best appreciate at room temperature.
Drinks well with any food, from sashimi to yakitori.
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Bandai Brewery: Egawa Sake, Tan An, Junmai Daiginjo

Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula does produce quite a few “private labels”
This particular one, “Egawa Sake, Tan An”, is exclusively sold at Kuraya Narusawa Beer Brewery.
Actually the Brew master of the latter establishment also helps brewing sake at Bandai Brewery in winter!
“Tan An” was another name of Egawa Hidemitsu a high-ranking Edo Era official with his seat in Nirayama, Izu peninsula. It is believed he was also the first man to bake European-style bread in Japan.

Bandai Brewery: Egawa Sake, Tan An, Junmai Daiginjo

Rice: Yamada Nishiki 100%
Rice milled down to 50%
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Bottled in May 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Body: Velvety
Aroma: Fruity: pears
Taste: Shortish tail. Starting fruity to qickly turn dry.
Complex and fruity: pears, almonds, star anise, banana. Light junmai tingle.
Dry almonds lingering after second sip.

Overall: “Shizuoka Type Sake”
Easy to drink. Very dry. High alcohol contents make it suitable to food in spite of its complex fleeting character.
Tends to turn sweetish with salty food
—————————–
Bandai Izu Ban’yo Junmai Ginjo

bandai-izubanyo.jpg

I was pleasantly to surprised to discover that particular bottle at Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City, considering that Bandai Brewery sake (Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula) are pretty difficult to find away from their locality and the fact the store named above is simply hopeless when it comes to drinks. Only last month I threatened them to report their mistakes to the Shizuoka Association of Sake Brewers when I found that Morimoto Brewery had been relocated to Kakegawa City. The first person I complained to almost shouted at me that the Brewery had been acquired by someone in Kakegawa City… They found out quickly they had proferred the wrong words to the wrong person!
This said, I still thank them for offering Bandai Brewery sake!

Bandai Izu Ban’yo Junmai Ginjo
Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Yeast: Shizuoka No-2
Bottled in December 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Discreet/fleeting. Slighlty sweet. Ricey. Greens.

Body: Velvety

Taste: Complex. Junmai tingle. Elegant. Light. Greens.
Bitter chocolate and vanilla appear later.

Overall: Elegant. Difficult to define/discern. Goes very well with food.
Would become a real poser at a tasting session.
Drunk it on Christmas with foie gras. Made for a great combination.
Stays soft with a lingering tingle with food.
Happened to also drink with chocolate. Turned very dry and interesting, then.
——————————
Arabashiri

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Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji (Izu Peninsula) is probably the most traditional and probably the oldest in Shizuoka Prefecture (apparently founded in 1497!). It is not always easy to obtain their brews as they tend to disappear on their way from such a distant place! Anyway, last time I visited Shuzenji, I made sure to grab one in spite of my better (worse?) half complaining about all that luggage (I had to carry…)

Arabashiri
Futsushu-Seishu/Normal-regular sake
Rice: Shizuoka Jimai (mixture of rices from our prefecture)
Rice milled down to 70%
Yeast: Asociation No 5

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Gold tinge

Aroma: Fruity/fleeting

Body: velvety

Taste: Soft at first. Fruity: almonds. Welcome acidity lingering in mouth.
Tends to change with food. Bitter chocolate appearance.

Overall: Surprisingly pleasant for Futsushu. Easy to drink.
For all its announced dryness, quite soft.
Drunk “nuruma”, almonds backed up by increased acidity. Becomes more velvety and finishes with bitter chocolate.
Conclusion: never underestimates a Shizuoka Futsushu!

———————-
Kuromai Yondai Shikomi Seishu

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I have wanted for some time already to taste and find out about a “kuromai/black rice sake”. I was finally able to acquire a bottle during my last trip to Shuzenji in Izu Peninsula.
the sake is called Kuromai Yondai Shikomi Seishu and is brewed by Bandai Brewery.

Rice: kuromai
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Seishu/futsu sake

Clarity: very clear

Color: persimmon orange

Aroma: light, ricey, malt

Body: fluid

Taste: sharpish and tingling. Dry, almost like a shochu/whisky. Malty taste. Dry persimmons.
Gets easier to drink with the next sip.

Overall: A very dry sake, vey macho.
Might be best drunk as “kan/warm”. Goes down well with oily foods as it turns a little sweeter in palate.
Acquired taste?

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