5) Aoshima Brewery: Kikuyoi Ginjo


All but for its limited size, Aoshima Brewery has achieved a deserved fame all over Japan as recently demonstrated in the widely read DANCYU magazine. Densaburo (Masterbrewer name) Aoshima has the particularity to speak fluent English as he holds a business management degree from an American University. Interestingly enough, he does not export his sake yet.

Aoshima Brewery: Kikuyoi Ginjo
Rice: Yamada Nishiki Ginga
Rice milled down to 50%
Dryness: +6~+9
Acidity: 1.1~1.4
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Oigawa Southern Alps Spring Water
Rcommended tobe drunk at 12 degrees
Bottled in January 2009
No 1101 (Mr. Aoshima numbers all his bottles for tracing back)

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity and dry: flowers, pears, vanilla
Body: Velvety
Taste: Light but dry attack. Disappears quickly.
Well-rounded. Complex.
Fruity and flowery. Pineapple, almonds, faint vanilla and pears.
Elegant with a dry deep quick finish backed by almonds and nuts.
Combines well with food. tends to turn drier with food.

Overall: A deep elegant sake!
No wonder it i making so many converts all over Japan!
Stands so well to food without losing any of its character.
Fleeting multi-faceted, typical Shizuoka sake.

4) Kikuyoi Matsushita Mai 40 Daiginjo


This particular sake was tasted by nationwide connoiseurs for the 2008 March edition of Dancyu if I needed any proof of its sublime excellence (oxymoron?)!
It was exclusively made with Matsushita rice biologically grown in Fujieda City else to Aoshima Brewery. As the yeast is also from Shizuoka, you could not ask for a more local sake!

Aoshima Brewery/Kikuyoi-Matsushita Mai 40 Junmai Daiginjo

Rice: Matsushita Mai (fujieda City/Biological rice)
Rice milled down to 40%
Dryness: +6.5
Acidity: 1.2
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Bottled in December 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light golden hue

Aroma: Light and discreet. Fruity, pear, pineapple, melon

Body: velvety

Taste: Light, complex, short tail, elegant.]
Dryness emphasized with second sip and food.
Coffee beans, bitter chocolate, almonds.
Calling for next sip.

Overall: Gentle and elegant sake. Very complex with multiple facets revealed along with more sips and food.
Litlle junmai tingle. Turns dry on the palate.
Simply extravagant. A very special drink for a very special moment with very special compny?

3) Kikuyoi Shiboritate Nama Futsushu


Some time I remember having thanked a Shizuoka Brewery for not making « futusushu »/regular-normal sake, thinking in my ignorance that all Shizuoka sake ought to be premium sake.
I have eaten my words quite a few times since then.
Aoshima-Kikuyoi Brewery in Fujieda City is one of those breweries which still produce a precentage of their brews as normal sake, especially for « local consumption.
Alright, the catch is that any « normal sake » made in Shizuoka Prefecture is simply extravagant. You will not find any rice millage over 70%!

Kikuyoi Shiboritate Nama Futsushu
Rice: Ogonbore
Rice millled down to 70%
Alcohol: 19~20 degrees (genshu/original amount of alcohol)
Unfiltered (muroka)
Dryness: +2~+6
Acidity: 1.2~1.5
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast

Clarity: very clear
Colour: almost transparent
Aroma: sweet/bananas/strawberries
Body: velvety
Taste: Sweet/nama tingle/Fruity: bananas, strawberries. Solid, strong impression.
Lingers inside mouth with a noticeable alcohol background. Welcome acidity with food.

Overall: I came to understand why Fujieda City people like their Kikuyoi normal/futsushu as it goes down so well with food.
Could be drunk at any temperature.
A sake designed for food.
Extravagant value considering parameters and price!

2) Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Junmai


It dawned on me some time ago that If I wanted to taste and report on as many sake as possible, a simple, and easier one at that, way to do it cosisted in writing on sake I actually drunk in my favourite izakayas or restaurants, knowing the owners would not mind at all indulging me (and their reputation!).
Therefore this particular tasting was conducted at Tomii, a great Kyoto-style restaurant in Shizuoka City:

Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Junmai (Aoshima Brewery/Fujiieda City)
Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +6
Acidity: 1.3
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast

Clarity: Very clear

Colour: Golden tinge

Aroma: Very fruity/pineapple/flowers

Body: velvety

Taste: Dryness mixed with junmai tingle. Complex. Keeps both dry and velvety after second sip.
Calls for another sip.
Turns drier with food and reveals more flavours: bitter chocolate/green apples

Overall: A typical « Shizuoka sake ». Easy to drink but very complex and elegant sake. Turns drier than most Shizuoka sake.
This particular sake was introduced in the celebrated manga, « Kurabito Claude » part III!

1) Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Honjozo Nama


It is somewhat difficult to believe, but for all my meetings and sending their brews everywhere I had not written a single tasting article about Aoshima-Kikuyoi Brewery in Fujieda City!
I made a point to tatse one when I visited one of my favourite sushi restaurants, Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in Shizuoka City today!

Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Honjozo Nama
Rice: Yamada Nishiki Toyonishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +5.5
Acidity: 1.3
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Sweet, fruity/pineapple

Body: velvety

Taste: Welcome acidity mixed with a lot of fruit/pineapple/bitter chocolate/vanilla.

Overall: easy to drink. Very elegant for Honjozo.
Goes very well with any food, especially sashimi and sushi.
Lots of fruit. Turns complex with food.
Could be drunk on its own. Would particularly be pleasant chilled in summer.
With food, turns almost extravagant

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