Yamahai is a traditional way of making sake which leaves a lot to nature.
It is difficult to master and most breweries avoid even mentioning the name!

But Takashima Brewery in Numazu City are extremely proud of their Yamahai and do not hesitate to advertise it clearly for all to see on their labels!

And making a top-premium Junmai Daiginjyo out of a Yamahai is not only extravagant, it is also a true tour de force!
One ought to enjoy such nectar slowly out of an high quality earthenware sake cup!

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune-Junmai Daiginjyo Yamahai-Genshu

Rice: Komachi
Milled down to: 45%
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu/no pure water added)
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Dryness: + 4
Acidity: 1.5
Bottled in February 2012

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Assertive and fruity. Bananas, oranges
Body: Fluid and a little liquorish
Taste: Fruity attack, sweetish at first but turning quickly dry.
Strong junmai petillant.
Banana backed by dark chocolate and sweet nuts with a late appearance from oranges.
Lingers for a while warming the back of the palate and throat.
Complex. Dark chocolate asserting itself with the second sip with further attack from junmai petillant and dry almonds.
So pleasant and easy to drink.
Gets drier with food with very strong junmai petillant and oranges.

Comment: A discovery!
To turn a Yamahai in such a superlative sake is simply a mark of the extraordinary skills of Takashima Brewery!
Can be indifferently enjoyed on its own or with food, a feat not easily done with Junmai Daiginjyo!
Will definitely rate as one of best 5 sakes drunk in 2012 even by April!

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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery