Japanese sake is a brew of Japanese origin in which rice, koji and water are the main ingredients. It is also known as “sasa” in ancient Japanese language, “hannyato” in hidden jargon among Buddhist monks, and “kichigai mizu (crazy water)” during the Edo period.
Japan’s Liquor Tax Act stipulates that the alcohol content in Japanese sake must be below 20 percent.
Sake that uses brown rice bearing a 3rd category or above rating in the rice crop test or white rice milled from such brown rice, and with the ratio of rice koji at 15 percent or above, is known as “tokutei meisho shu” and is further classified into 8 categories based on conditions such as the origin of rice and the brewing method. All other Japanese sakes are called “futsushu” or “sanzoshu”.
The commonly known “Junmai”, “Ginjo”, “Junmai Ginjo”, “Junmai Daiginjo” etc. are all part of “tokutei meisho shu”.
The grade of Japanese sake is generally determined by the percentage of rice that is polished off ahead of the brewing process. The more the rice is polished away, the higher the grade because of the extra time and effort required.
There are many variations of water, rice, koji and yeast -- the basic ingredients for Japanese sake, so different combinations can yield an infinite variation of sake. Each of the different combinations therefore becomes the unique taste of each brewer across the country.
Rice that is suitable for brewing sake is known as “Shuzo kotekimai.” The grains are larger than rice for ordinary consumption, with the center of the grain, called “shimpaku”, being relatively large, and it contains less protein and ash content. In Japan, there are at least 90 kinds of shuzo kotekimai, with Yamadanishiki, Miyamanishiki, and Omachimai among the most famous.
Water is extremely important in the process of sake brewing. It is called “shikomi mizu （mother water）.”
Water hardness is another important element that affects the taste of sake. Soft water produces softer tasting sake with slower fermentation, while hard water yields harder sake with enhanced fermentation.
This is because the amount of minerals in the water affects the yeast activity.
Koji is steamed rice and also known as koji-kin, or koji mold spores. Its role is to break the starches in rice into sugars when placed in the moromi.
In comparison, the production of wine does not require this process of turning starch into sugar as grape juice already contains glucose.
In the process of sake brewing, yeast turns the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
There are several tens of thousands of varieties of yeast in the natural habitat, and each of the broad varieties has its own impact on the sake’s taste and aroma.
The products will be sold under a shopping club distribution system. The 8 bottles of Japanese sake purchased as a set by the customer will be distributed over three deliveries -- in December, January and March -- according to the timing when each sake is at its best. Customers will be charged the total sum for the entire set of 8 bottles upon purchase.
For this round, the first delivery is scheduled for early December 2016; the second delivery in late January 2017; and the third delivery in late March 2017.
To maintain sake quality, all products will be delivered via refrigerated “cool takkyubin” courier service all the way from the brewer to the customer.
This glass is designed specifically for Japanese sake. It is featherlight and smooth on the lips, with a delicate touch that is sure to impress.
You will be hooked by the magnificent taste of sake delivered by this glass. A great reminder of how a glass can make such a big difference when it comes to the taste and aroma of sake. Filling the glass to 80% will be just about 50ml.
Oishii Japan offers customers with a selection of carefully hand-picked premium Japanese sake with the cooperation of Hasegawa Saketen Inc.
Cancellation due to the customer's personal preference or circumstances etc. will not be accepted.