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This is a second posting as Tasting 5 was incomplete due to (« inebriated »?) malfunctioning communications for which I would like to apologize to all concerned!


Etsuko Nakamura of Tokyo Foodcast and Melinda Joe of Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass teamed up to taste two more bottles I sent them. Etsuko was kind enough to send me her notes:

We finally tasted your special hole-in one Chumasa. That was so good!
Thank you for the opportunity to sample a special sake!

Hole-in One
Chumasa Brwery, Shizuoka City.
Dai Ginjo, Hyogo Yamadai Nishiki rice 100%, Rice milled down to 40&. Brewed in February 2007. Not for sale
Subtle melon/banana fruity aroma
Nice finish with slight bitterness, but that bitterness has really
Nice balance and does not stand out
Light and good overall balance

This one went really well with food. It does not stand out by itself,
not like some Daiginjo that screams « look at me », rather it has very
elegant personality.

The other day at Kaiun, they said Shizuoka Kanpyokai does not like
having too much aroma, but try and keep it really simple.

Fuji Takasago Junmai injo Muroka Nama. Unfiltered and unpasteurized. Rice milled down to 55%
Very fresh « nama » with good balance
I see they have Yamahai and Yamahai Honjozo. I will look for one of these to try next time.
Etsuko Nakamura

Color: Completely clear
Aroma: tropical fruit (melon, banana)
Texture: very smooth, dry
Body: full with soft edges
Flavor: Strong attack leads you into thinking that the sake is completely dry, but sweetness blooms in the finish. Mild fruit followed by a few balancing bitter (herbal) notes toward the end. The sake finishes beautifully, showing sweetness that slowly unfurls before vanishing quickly from the tongue.
General impressions: nicely balanced, clean, superb finish

The following are collective tasting notes on the other 3 sake (7 tasters).

1) Takasago

Aroma: green apple, honeydew, v. fruity, typical of nama, a hint of peppermint
Texture: smooth like water, dry then becomes sweet, a little sticky
Body: light – medium
Flavor: fruity, apparent acidity, bitter notes
General: easy to drink, sawayaka, pleasant kuse, long finish

2) Hana no Mai

Aroma: faint, floral, fruity
Texture: firm and dry, easing up and softening toward room temperature
Body: light
Flavor: light in flavor, evident (strong) alcohol, no kuse, savory notes – “I taste the sea.”
General: This sake improved as it warmed. Very subtle, fluttering sweetness followed by a quick finish.

3) Mystery Sake

Aroma: more pronounced than #2, fruity and sawayaka, pleasant
Texture: soft and billowing, but still dry
Body: medium, fullest of the 3
Flavor: strongest flavor of the line-up, umami roundness, deep, citrus notes with hints of herbs in the follow-through, sweet but with a clean and refreshing finish
General: kirei, quiet, gentle, soft and round (my favorite of the 3)
At the end of the evening, we voted on our favorites. Here’s how it turned out.
Mystery Sake: 4
Takasago: 2
Split vote: 1 (best aroma = Takasago, best flavor = Mystery)

Thank you again, Robert-Gilles! It was so much fun!

Answer to the « Mystery sake »:
Daiginjo « Shizuku » Tori Genshu by Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City
Dryness: +5
Acidity: 1.2
Rice milled down to 40%
Alcohol: 18.4 (pretty high, isn’t it?)
Yeast: Shizuoka HD-1, NEW-5


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