Umeshu

Sanwa Brewery Garyubai Umeshu

umeshu-sanwa

Umeshu comes iunder different guises in Japan, but if you buy one instead of making it yourself make sure you buy one brewed by a reputable Brewery!
In Shizuoka Prefecture, umeshu is an extravagant affair when made by the local breweries.
Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City is no exception!

Sanwa Brewery Garyubai Umeshu

Alcohol: 12 degrees (fairly low for Shizuoka but still high when compared with cheap stuff!)
Ingredients: Japanese Plum (“Ume”), Sake. Sugar.

Claarity: Very clear at rest. Smoky if stirred beforehand
Colour: Orange/sepia
Aroma: Ver fragrant and sweet plums.
Body: Velvety~fluid
Taste: Dry attack, turns sweet later. Shortish tail. Very pleasant impression. Elegant.

Overall: Very enjoyable and easy to drink.
Fine at room temperature.
Makes for a great aperitif when chilled.
Great with cheese at room temperature.
Elegant beverage. Should please both ladies and gentlemen!
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“Denjiro” Umshu by Masu Ichi Brewery

Every year more local breweries are offering “umeshu” eminently popular in summer when it is most appreciated poured over a few ice cubes!

Masu-Ichi Brewery in Shizuoka City has just entered the fray with concoction called “Denjiro”, which actually is the master brewer/toji’s trade name as he is the second apprentice of Denbei Kawamura, the man who created the Shizuoka Yeast.

It contains less alcohol, 7~8 degrees, as compared to the more usual 15 degrees, making it very easy to drink by ladies and younger people in particular.

Masu Ichi Brewery: “Denjiro”, “Tsuka/Plum Aroma” Umeshu

Alcohol: 7~8 degrees
Plums, sake, sugar.
Bottled: July 11th, 2008

Clarity: very clear
Colour: light red/pink
Aroma: light, dry, plums
Body: velvety
Taste: Shortish tail. Plum taste discreet, not overwhelming. Elegant. Dry.

Overall: Makes for a great light aperitif in hot summers!
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Kuramoto no Umeshu by Hamamatsu Brewery

tenjin-umeshu.jpg

Shizuoka not only produces some of the best sake in Japan and absolutely extravagant shochu, but also come up with the cream of Umeshu found in this country adding local Japanese plums to their sake or shochu for the plesaure of all.

Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery in Hamamatsu City has the particularity to brew sake, shochu, beer and umeshu (when are they going to make wine?).

This Umeshu called Kuramoto no Umeshu (Umeshu from our Brewery) is certainly a beauty:
Alcool: 15 degrees
Ingredients: Kome/rice shochu, Japanese plums extract, sugar.
No colouring or artificial state added.
Bottled in Hune 2007.

Best appreciated on the rocks or straight and chilled at all times.
Very elegant and satisfying. Will please both ladies and gentlemen.
The perfect aperitif!

Hamamatsu Brewery
Hamamatsu City, Tenjin machi, 3-57
Tel.: 053-461-6145
HOMEPAGE
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Ume Maru by Shidaizumi Brewery

ume-maru.jpg

I already the occasion to taste this new umeshu (“Japanese plum liqueur”) callled “Umemaru” when I visited Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City last August before it was put on sale. But due to a hectic schedule before leaving fro France, I did not have the time to make any report.
To amend for the hiatus, I bought and tasted a bottlelast night!

This umeshu is made with sake and ume/Japanese local plum extract, making it quite extravagant in comparison to what is usually marketed as “umeshu”)
The alcohol contenet is not so high at only 11 degrees.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light orang-pink

Aroma: dry plums, drier than expected.

Body: light and smooth.

Taste: Complex and elegant. Drier than expected. Easy to drink and calling for a second and a third sip. Welcome acidity lingering over the palate

Overall: a great aperitif or refreshing drink on a hot summer day/night. Elegant. Adult. Deserves to stand beside European first-class fruit alcohols. Best drunk chilled or on the rocks.
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Homemade Umeshu Season

This is Umeshu making season in Shizuoka!

I decided to make my own, even if I am breaking all the rules!

Here how I proceeded in the secrecy of my office (even my better-worse half does not know about it!):

Bought 1 kg of green “ume” (Japanese plums) from a local grocery, 1kg of “koorizato” (“Ice sugar”) at Tomitaya Saketen.
To which I added in the most extravaganta manner:

1 bottle (720ml) of Kumpai Meguriai Honjyozo (Kumpai Brewery/Shizuoka City)

1 bottle (720ml) of Sugii Shodai Saisuke Kome/Rice shochu.

I cleaned the ume/plums, dropped them in jar especially conceived for home-made shochu, added all the sugar and poured in the above two bottles.

I closed it tight, marked the date on the lid, put in a cool area away from the light and will wait until next winter!
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Hana no Mai Brewery Umeshu

hana-ume1.jpg

Umeshu, that is a liqueur made with Japanese plum is not technically a sake, but since it is made with sake, and a lot of it in this case, I still feel it necessary to introduce it in this particular blog!

Hananomai Brewery, Hamamatsu City has had a long habit (and a good one at that!) of producing liqueurs of all kinds as well as some excellent shochu!

This particular Umeshu was made with Junmai sake (seishu), Japanese plums grown in Shizuka Prefecture and sugar.
All the ingredients are 100% Shizuoka Prefecture ingredients. Knowing that Brewery’ toji is also from Shizuoka Prefecture, it will difficult to find a more authentic Shizuoka product!
Alcohol content: 13 degrees
Ume-plum essence: 15%
Size: 500ml
Price: 1,260 yen (a bit pricey, but deserves it!)

A great aperitif, with a strong but discreet character. Great drink served chilled in hot summers!

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