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Tateyama(立山), A sake that never betrays your expectation

Honestly speaking I have not been satisfied by some sakes that I took recently.

And today I had this sake “Tateyama”(立山).

I love every type of sake under the brand name “Tateyama(立山)”, which was proved by today’s sake.

立山無濾過特別純米生原酒, I think it’s difficult for many people to understand the meaning of this long name.

However I think that the enticing aroma and flavor of this sake are surely understood by every people.


Rice polishing ratio 55%
Alcohol percentage 18-19%
Color Bright golden yellow


Acidity and bitter like Japanese citrus

However you can also feel fresh sweet aroma after swallow.

You can enjoy comfortable sweetness like fruit after a nuance of lucid acidity and bitterness.

I enjoyed home tavern.

I enjoyed sake at home with several small dishes like Japanese style tavern last night.


These small dished were cooked by me and my wife using foods I bought in a department store nearby my office.

Sake I had first was this.


Umenoyado Jyunmai-Ginjyo-shu(純米吟醸酒 Pure Rice Rich Aroma Sake) 梅乃宿純米吟醸酒紅梅

Although it was Jyunmai-Ginjyo-shu, there was seldom a Ginjyo-ka(吟醸香) the fruity aroma typically found in Ginjyo-shu.

I felt rather a bitter and slight acidity aroma of lactic acid.

The taste was mainly acidity with slight bitter.

When it was cooled firmly and had by a wineglass, I could enjoy very lucid taste with fresh bitter.

Since sake spreads in the inner part of a mouth immediately when it is taken by a wineglass, we feel mainly bitter taste by inner part of tongue which has more sence of taste sensitive to bitter more than sweet or acidity.

After drinking 梅乃宿, I tried another sake.


Shinkai Namazake No.7Yeast Yamahai-moto(Pure Rice Sake brewed by Yamahai Yeast) 神開生酒七號山廃酛 brewed by Fujimoto Bprewery

There was the acidity aroma of a fresh fruits like a lime or a pear, which we can frequently find in freshly pressed sake.

I felt a very slight sparkling first and after that fresh lime like acidity and a little bit heavy sweetness could be felt.

Sweet taste was slightly sticky and I felt it was heavy.

But anyway I could have a very good time in a home tavern.

What is Ginjyo-shu?

Ginjyo-shu(吟醸酒 Rich Aroma Sake) is a premium sake with very fruity rich aroma called “Ginjyo-ka(吟醸香 Rich Aroma)” like banana, apple or melon which is caused by Isoamyl acetate and Ethyl caproate.

It is brewed by special method and yeast using the rice polished to 60% or less.


There are 2 types in this category.

One is Ginjyo-shu consisting of Ginjyo-shu(吟醸酒 Rich Aroma Sake) and Dai-Ginjyo-shu(大吟醸酒 Very Rich Aroma Sake).

In this type, distilled alcohol is added before pressing Moromi(The mixture of the liquid and solid which are made through fermentation process) into Sake(liquid) and lees(solid).

By adding distilled alcohol, rich aroma “Ginjyo-ka” can be effectively moved into Sake.

The other is Jyunmai-ginjo-shu consisting of Jyunmai-Ginjyo-shu(純米吟醸酒 Pure Rice Rich Aroma Sake) and Jyunmai-Dai-Ginjyo-shu(純米大吟醸酒 Pure Rice Very Rich Aroma Sake).

In this type, the sake is brewed with only rice and rice koji(rice onto which koji-mold has been cultivated) and has comparatively mild aroma and flavor.


Sake in which there is the aroma of yogurt

<In Japanese here>

Each Japanese sake has very various aroma.

For example you can find some sakes which have aroma of fresh acid like yogult.

I understand the origin of such a aroma is lactic acid bacteria added in the process of Kimoto(生酛) making Yeast Starter.

Yeast that is used for alcoholic fermentation has to be protected from other stronger bacteria.

Adding lactic acid bacteria is very effective way to protect yeast against other bacteria which are weak in acidic environment.

As to Making A Yeast Starter please refer to “Brew Process of Sake“.

Although Kimoto(生酛) making Yeast Starter is traditional way which requires much time and effort, some breweries are keeping this way by which they can succeed in obtainning high quality sake.

Daishichi Jyunmai Kimoto(大七純米生酛)

Kikumasamune Kimoto Jyunmaishu(菊正宗生酛純米酒)
Kikumasamune Kimoto Honjyozo(菊正宗生酛本醸造)

The National Bureau’s Research Institute of Brewing

<In Japanese here>

The result of the National Bureau’s Research Institute of Brewing(全国新酒鑑評会) for the Brewing Year 25 is released.

Refer to the report of result(in only Japanese)

I always find that many major brewing companies are listed as the gold prize winners although it’s common among sake fans that the sakes brewed by major sake breweries are not delicious.

Judging from this fact I think that although major sake breweries have been succeding to keep and develop their high brewing technique they are mainly brewing mid and low range sakes since these range sakes still occupy the big share in a market .

In the meanwhile there are mainly three features in the National Bureau’s Research Institute of Brewing that are shown as below;

– The National Bureau’s Research Institute of Brewing is a contest sponsored by national government which can not be found in the world as alcoholic beverage contest.

– The sakes evaluated in this contest are not for commercial but are specially brewed just for this contest and we can not try them.

– Almost all sakes displayed there are alcoholic added sakes in order to take special aroma and flavor out.

Sake Cellar :*) 

<In Japanese here>

Today I converted my wine cellar into sake cellar by taking out inside shelfes, so that sakes can be stocked standing.
Since cap of sake bottle is made by alumi, it’s better to keep the bottle standing in order not to let sake tach alumi cap.


In the meanwhile I also cover the window of the cellar by sake packages in order to interrupt light which possibly deteriorate quality of sake.


Alcoholic Addition

<In Japanese here>

Although there are some persons who deny adding distilled alcohol to sake without argument, I at least am the position of accepting according to the purpose.

When internationalization is considered, of course, it is a fact that there is criticism of treating the sake which is added alcohol same as a Junmaishu(純米酒 brewed by only rice and rice-koji).

Althoug I think such a argument have to be considered carefully, we need to also understand the meanings of alcoholic addition exactly.

The purposes of adding distilled alcohol;

1) Preservation from decay

It is said that the adding of alcohol is based on experience in which some sake breweries were suffered from being totally destroyed under the influence of various bacteria.
It is said that alcoholic addition was performed in order to cope with such a situation, and to control various bacteria.

2) Aroma adjustment

Small amount of alcoholic addition is very effective to obtain a fruity aroma like especially an apple, a banana, or a melon, and many breweries have added alcohol for this purpose.

This is why most of sakes which are desplayed and evaluated in the National Bureau’s Research Institute of Brewing(全国新酒鑑評会) are with alcoholic addition and it is said that Jyunmaishu(純米酒 brewed by only rice and rice-koji)is difficult to be awarded because of this reason.

For example, Dewazakura Oka Ginjyo(出羽桜 桜花 吟醸) is famous for its very enticing fruity aroma among sake fans and I also like this sake very much.


Dewazakura Oka Ginjyo is also added by distilled alcohol.

I do not generally regard the alcoholic addition improper way of brewing as far as it’s conducted for the reason of 1) and 2).

The problem is 3)

3) Cost reduction

Distilled alcohol is frequently added in order to cut brewing cost.
Many people deny alcoholic addition for this reason.

Did you understand saying that the talk is not simple?