Shizuoka Sake Tasting 3/1~6: Doi Brewery-Kaiun

Doi Brewery]: kaiun Sakura No Hana

In spite of the passing away of the nationally famous sake masterbrewer, Mr Hase, his apprentices have taken up the job of continuing producing brews in the greatest Noto tradition (Noto peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture) at Doi Brewery in Kakaegawa City and helped maintain the highest rank for the pleasure of all.

Kaiun Sakura Hana is a regular feature put out just before the cherry blossom season for which the magnificent Doi Brewery is celebrated for.

There are very few indications as to how the sake is made, but it is a Junmai Ginjo.

Doi Brewery: Kaiun Sakura No Hana

Rice milled down to 50%
Alcohol:15~16 degrees
Bottles in March 2010

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Faint golden hue

Aroma: Fruity and flowery: banana, pineapple, peaches. Strong and extremely pleasant

Body: smooth and solid

Taste: Dryish attack, junmai tingle, shortish tail.
Fruity and complex.
Bananas, dry almonds, later backed up by coffee beans and bitter chocolate and peaches.
Very soft at the back of the mouth.
Holds its own well with food with a drier note.

Overall: A beautiful, very flowery sake to be enjoyed on its own, although it goes well with any food. Best appreciated at room temperature, although many will like it slightly chilled. Feminine in aroma, but more direct in taste!

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Kaiun Junmai

Yeaterday I had the occasion to drink a brew by Doi Brewery with a new label!

Doi Brewery: Kaiun Junmai
Rice: Oyamanishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.5
Amino acids: 1.2
Bottled in March 2009

Clarity: very clear
Colour: faint golden hue
Aroma: Fresh, discreet, feminine, fruity. Memories of vanilla, banana and pineapple.
Body: velvety
Taste: Soft attack. Well-rounded. Shirt tail.
Pleasant, fleeting, feminine, sophisticated.
Fruity and dry, but very smooth.
Pineapple, soft citruses
Junmai tingle appears with food with a late appearance by almonds.
Very soft and fleeting finish with more dry almonds.

Overall: Extravagant, sophisiticated, fleetingly feminine are not exaggerated descriptions for this sake, the last created by Master Brewer hase who passed away in 2009.
Now, how would you drink it?
With your love? as an extravagant aperitif? Or on your own away from the bustle of everyday life….
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5) Kaiun Junmai Hiyaoroshi

We are in October and it becomes a rush to taste all these Hiyaoroshi!

Doi Brewery: Kaiun Junmai Hiyaoroshi
Rice: yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to: 55% (extravagant!)
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu)

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Light golden tinge
Aroma: Discreet. Banana
Body: Velvety
Taste: Complex. Shortish tail. Fruity and dry. Banana, coffee beans.
Turns drier very quickly, especially with food.
Vanilla and almonds appearing later.
Junmai tingle.
Bitter choclate appearing later with more food.

Overall: “Shizuoka Type Sake. Multi-faceted.
Well suited for food.
Drinks very quickly. Tends to show a fleeting character.
Extravagant millage at 55%.
Poured a cup inside a “kegani/spider crab” shell with its “miso/brain”. Sublime!
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4) Kaiun Junmai Ginjo “Den”

kaiun-ten.jpg

Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City has seen its junmai elected as the best in Shizuoka Prefecture by their peers in 2008.
I just could not pass the occasion to check it for myself!

Doi Brewery/Kaiun Junmai Ginjo “Ten”

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Hyogo Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: +4.0
Acidity: 1.3
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Alcohol: 1~18 degrees
Limited edition: 600 bottles
Bottled in February 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light golden hue

Aroma: dry, alcohol, fruity, flowery, melon

Body: velvety

Taste: Strong junmai tingle, almost bubbly. Complex, fruity and spicy
Short tail, calling for another sip. Melon, vanilla. Drinks very easily and does change character with food.
Bitter chocolate and bananas make a late entry.

Overall: Impressive sake to be savoured at all times for all occasions. A sure winner! Very solid and showing a lot of character.
The kind of sake that disappears from your glass without notice!
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3) Kaiun Ha Junmai Ginjo

kaiun-jungin-ha.jpg

Kaiun Ha Junmai Ginjo by Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City, wasthe second brew tasted by the Hamamatsu Geeks on November 2nd:

Kaiun Ha Junmai Ginjo
Rice: Yamada Nishiki 100% (Hyogo Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 40%
Dryness: 6.0
Acidity: 1.3
Limited edition: 600 bottles
Bottled in May 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Light, fruity

Body: soft. Velvety to fluid

Taste: Delicate, fruity. elegant. Almonds/Bitter chocolate

Overall: Very elgant and discreet. Complex. Suited for ladies especially.

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2) Junmai Ginjo 10 years old Sake

kaiun-old.jpg

When the Japanese Government boosted the Sake in dustry in 1953 by offerings generous loans and tax rebates, they included an unwritten condition that Breweries produce sake to be consumed as early as possible, effectively stifling the research and developments of “vintage” and old-style sake.
Some breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture have recently developed their own “koshu”/old sake nonetheless: Morimoto (Kikugawa), Eikun (Shizuoka-Yui) and Doi (Kakegawa)

Doi Brewery has come up with a particularly interesting brew called “Junmai Ginjo Ju Nen Koshu” (Ten year old junmai ginjo) made from rice milled down to 55%.
Apart of the beautiful old fashion label, it drwas a 17~18% alcohol content, making pretty strong.
The colour is a radiant gold, almost the same colour as the label.
For unknowing people its taste reminds of old Chinese rice wine.
It could be drunk at room temperature or warmed up as “kan”. It is a bit of an acquired taste, but wine fans will be able to appreciate for its great value.
I would definitely recomend it with some hearty food.
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1) Iwaizake
kaiun-iwaizake.jpg

I just finished this bottle offered to me by mrs. Miyazaki, a student of mine who has relatives in Fujinishiki and Wakatake Breweries (which should make it easier for me when interviewing them!)

It was brewed in February 2007 by Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City.
“Iwaizake” means “Congratulations Sake”.
It is a “nama shinshu shiboritate”, or unpasteurized new sake, just “wrung out”.
Interestingly enough, although the rice has been milled down to 60%, the Brewery did not give even the name of Honjozo.
It can be drunk chilled or even as “kan” (warmed up).
Totally transparent
Clear colour with a hint of amber
Slightly sweet aroma, melts quickly inside the mouth with strong hints of banans and vanilla. Leaves a “petillant” impresion on the palate for a while, typical of unpasteurized sake.
At 920 yen a 720ml bottle, definitely a great bargain! Would suggest it as a chilled aperitif!
Kampai!

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