This month’s brewery: Mikunibare Shuzo (皇国晴酒造株式会社)
Mikunibare Shuzo is a homely sake brewery tucked away in the cosy town of Ikuji, Kurobe, located in-between Toyama Bay and the Tateyama mountain range. Well-surrounded by pure natural environment, the brewery takes full advantage of the rich resources available to churn out bottles of ambrosial sake year after year.
Their signature Maboroshinotaki Shiboritate Nama Junmai is a freshly-made, unfiltered and unpasteurised nama sake.
To give their sake its signature rich, full-bodied, rice-like flavour they only use Tominokaori, a one-of-a-kind hybrid rice and extremely clear spring water – one of Japan’s “100 finest waters” – for the brewing process.
Plus, to further ensure that they maintain the sake’s taste and quality, the brewery takes careful steps to adjust their brewing schedule (due to climate changes) so that the brewing process occurs during the best time possible in the season. By pressing the rice slightly earlier than normal, the brewery is able to reduce the sake’s bitter aftertaste and give it a milder finish in the throat.
At 70%, the sake is also considered to have a high seimai-buai (精米歩合, polishing ratio). Because of the high polishing ration, the rice is more delicate and requires more time, care and effort to press – something the brewery takes into great consideration. This high polishing ratio also gives the sake a clearer, smoother taste. And as a junmai-type of sake, it does not have any additional alcohol added.
Nama sake must be kept refrigerated so that the enzymes in the sake will not activate and cause the sake to go bad. It could also be consumed quickly after opening.
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