€ 49 btw incl.
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Sakemochida Brewery is located in the city of Izumo which is in the northeast of Shimane Prefecture. Bordered by the Sea of Japan to the north, and Shinji Lake to the east, it is famous for the Izumo-Taisha Shinto shrine, the oldest in the country with a creation dating back to the 7th century. You may have heard of the “Kamiarizuki”, the “month of the Gods present”. It is in the temple of Izumo, in the month of October, that according to Shinto beliefs all the gods of Japan gather for their annual meeting. They are of course absent in the rest of the country where October is called “the month without gods” (Kannazuki).
The brewery is located in one of the old wooden buildings that can be admired in the heart of the classic Kitano Kaido neighborhood. Although it was officially founded only 140 years ago, the brewery is a continuation of an almost ancient way of brewing sake in the family.
The “Izumo Toji”, the local guild, is known to have an ultra advanced knowledge of the techniques and during the Meiji period (1868-1912) Sakemochida Honten was very much involved in the first scientifically based studies in close collaboration with the fermentation specialists of the time. The brewery was the first in the region to set up an in-situ laboratory, inviting researchers with the idea of improving its methods. The brewery grew rapidly, reaching volumes of more than 1500 goku per year (283,000 liters, which was enormous at the time), before declining after the war due to a lack of raw materials.
Our favorite is produced from Kairyo Omachi rice, with a seimaibuai of 70%.
It is a yamahaï with discreet and elegant aromas. The nose is lactic, on cereals, fresh honey, ripe fruits. The mouth is silky and soft with a power that comes gradually. One discovers a bitterness which evokes cereals, straw, a great complexity, with light smoky, roasted notes. A long maturation of 3 years, at low temperature, allows a beautiful integration of the aromatic components, the sweetness and the bitterness become rounder.
We paired this one last year with some beautiful Snowcrab, Japanese Kolhrabi remoulade and some juicy Takoyaki…. heaven!
But what is Yamahai? It is a yeast starter method that was developed after Kimoto, but before Sokujo. Yamahai allows for natural lactic acid production to secure the fermentation starter to interfere with bad bacteria, but does away with the need for “Yamaoroshi” or the labor intensive macerating/mashing of the yeast starter using long wooden poles as done for centuries in the kimoto method.
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