Tag Archives: Hana No Mai Brewery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-“Kira” Junmai Ginjo “Kura Dashi” Nama Genshu

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I just had the opportunity to taste a very unusual, that is for that establishment, by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, in my usual not so secret lair!

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The name, ”煌”/”Kira”, could be roughly translated as “bright” and is increasingly used in names.
The sake was sold in Cenova Department Store, Shizuoka City, not in the bottle, but from a tank into a bottle to be closed in front of the customer!
It is a junmai (no pure rice alcohol blended in) ginjo nama (unpasteurized) genshu (no pure water blended in!

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Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice blended to 60%
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees
From the tank on October 1st, 2015

Clarity: very clear
Color: very faint golden hue
Aroma: light, dry and fruity. Discreet. Dry plums, pears
Body: fluid
Taste: dry and fruity attack backed up by puissant junmai petillant.
Complex: dry plums, pears, dry custard.
Lingers for a while warming up the palate before departing on notes of chestnuts, sweet oranges and dry sweet potato.
Varies little with food but for a drier note.
Turns a little sweeter with rise in temperature with sweet potatoes taking the lead.

Overall: a very unusual sake for Hana No Mai Brewery, which should actually appeal more to adults thantheir usual brews.
Best enjoyed slightly chilled on its own.
Would make a superlative aperitif!
Suggested pairings: grilled fish, yakitori.

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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

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-Junmai Shiboritate Genshu

Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City ‘ the largest Sake Brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture and export a sizeabkle amount abroad.
For quit some time they have been breweing their sake with their own ingredients. They grow their own Yamada Nishiki rice in the same city, uses Shizuoka yeats and the local water!

They produce also many limited brews such this nicely warpped “shiboritate/newly pressed” Junmai (no alcohol added) Genshu (no water added!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Acidity: 1.8
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Bottled in October 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity and asserive. banana, pineapple, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong fruity alcohol attack.
Warms back of the palate.
Dryish and strong junmai petillant.
Lingers for a short while with lots of almonds and coffee beans. Oranges, Macadamia nuts, hints of dark chocolate.
Drinks well with food with more Macadamia nuts.

Overall: Unusually strong sake for Hana No Mai Brewery.
Straightforward and fruity.
Tends to vary with food.
Best appreciated with strong taste food, although the latter might influence the taste.
A good sake for Izakayas!

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
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Last year, on June the 12th to be precise, I concocted “Umeshu” (Japanese plums preserved in sake and shochu) which happened to be so popular that the four litres I had lovingly matured for a whole year disappeared in a couple of weeks!

A Japanese friend of mine, having been impressed with the results of my slightly unusual recipe asked me to put my talents to work with “biwa/loquats”!

He brought me small loquats unfit for normal consumption but perfect for preserves.

I used premium sake and shochu from the same brewery, Hana no Mai in Hamamatsu City, to ensure some regularity:
From left to right: Yaramaika kome/rice shochu (25%), Acha no Tsubone rice/kome shochu, Hana No Mai Junmai Ginjo (15.5%) and Hana No Mai Junmai (15.5%)

I added 1 kg of “koorizato/peserve sugar” to almost 2 kg of loquats (for umeshu, I used only 1 kg, as they had more “flesh”).

Now, we shall have to wait until June next year!

If you try your own hand, make sure your concoction stays in a dark place at a reasonable and constant temperature!