Tag Archives: 杉井酒造

Shizuoka Sake Rice: “Azekura Ishin” by Sugii Brewery

“Sakamai/酒米”, or sake rice in Japanese is a variety of riice 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!

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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sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting: Kogane-Danshaku by Sugii Brewery


As a general rule I keep Shochu tasting postings to my other blog, Shizuoka Shochu, but for once I thought these tasting notes could help non-Japanese shochu lovers how to report on their favourite drink.
Please note that my style is very dry. Some will have have a more lyrical manner, and the better for it! LOL

Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has come up with yet another creation of theirs! But once again, it is a “limited edition”. You do have to keep all your senses alert to discover these bottles.
Unlike Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu Island, Shizuoka-made shochu are not only exotic and extravagant, but rare and slightly more expensive. The labels certainly become collectors’ items!

Sugii Brewery: Kogane-Danshaku Shochu

Kogane (Satsuma potato variety) and Danshaku (normal potato variety), both grown in Shizuoka Prefecture
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5 (Shizuoka Sake Yeast)
Fermented rice
Contents: 500 ml

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Clean, strong, nutty
Taste: Sweetish, clean attack.
Deep roasted nuts.
Shortish tail with a dry finish.
Memory of coffee beans.

Overall: Unusual, clean, elegant shochu with lots of character and facets.
Combination of Satsuma yams and potatoes out of the ordinary! The use of Shizuoka Sake Yeast gives it a very regional flavour!
Best appreciated straight with plenty of ice!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi