“Azekura Ishin” by Sugii Brewery

Azekura Ishin : “Sakamai/酒米”, or sake rice in Japanese is a variety of rice only exclusively in the making of Japanese sake. You will never find it on your table at a meal.
Sakamai has been traditionally grown only in some regions of Japan.
Shizuoka, for all being arguably the best when coming to Japanese sake, had to “import” its sakamai from other regions.
The problem is that such rice production is not only declining but also unpredictable when it comes to quality.
For example, if the grains of rice are split or broken one cannot make good-quality Japanese sake. The quality of rice will be assessed only upon receipt with the consequent problems if unsatisfactory.
Accordingly, Shizuoka Breweries have gradually come to encourage and rely on Shizuoka-grown sakamai with various success, especially their own brand of Yamanishiki rice or a local hybrid called Homare Fuji.

Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City who has always been willing to experiment, especially in old-style (forgotten) methods, came up with an original (limited) brand.
This sake is made with sakamai exclusively grown by Fujieda farmers.
But since the various batches of rice came in grains of different size, Mr Sugii could not really define his sake. It would qualify as a junmai if the grains were of similar size.
The process, dating back to the Meiji Area is the equivalent of “Yamahai” method, a way avoided by many breweries for its difficulty.

Sugii Brewery: Azekura Ishin

Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 15.5 degrees
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 2.1 (high for Shizuoka!)
All rice being harvested in Fujieda in 2009

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Golden hue
Aroma: Fruity backed by alcohol. Nuts.Custard, Memories of banana and vanilla
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strongish attack, warming back of the palate. Lingers for a short while with a welcome acidity.
Complex: Custard and macadamia nuts. memories of coffee beans/dry grapes/dry cherries.
Stay lighter than expected on its own or with food.

Overal: Very difficult to define. hence a very intriguing and inteesting sake. Completely “out of range” as a Shizuoka sake.
Deserves a second, third and more glasses. Strong ut pleasurable sake. Probably best appreciated as “nurukan/lukewarm”, although it would become drier.
Great with any food, although can be truly appreciated on its own.
definitely a sake deserving plenty of interest!

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope

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