Junmai • Pure Rice Sake
Yamahai • Traditional yeast starter method
Muroka • No charcoal filtration
Nama • Unpasteurised
Genshu • Undiluted
Nigori • Cloudy
Polish rate: 70%
The rice for this sake is grown organically by Oku-san himself (look out for the logo that looks like a house) and has been made at the brewery for the last 25 years. The Mizore Moyo is unique as it is produced by reserving 1/3rd of the Moromi (fermenting liquid) which is then mixed back into the already pressed liquid. This results in a sake with a large amount of very fine sediment and often produces a little gas on opening.
What you can expect:
A fresh ferment character with melon fruit, pear, fennel and a great lingering acidity. The sake is alive and has been fermenting in the bottle, so keep it chilled and open slowly (it is lightly fizzy).
About Akishika Shuzo | Nose, Osaka Prefecture
Akishika Shuzo was founded in the town of Nose (No-say) in Osaka prefecture in 1886. When Hiroaki Oku took over his family brewery in 2009, he set a new production target: He wanted to slash it by 75 percent. Each year he gets closer to that goal, and Akishika sakes get rarer. His reasoning: he wants to use only the very best rice, and to be at the helm for every step of the process. He’s aiming for what he calls “ikkan-zukuri”, meaning production from seedling to sake.
Oku-san grows organic rice on 22 hectares of local land without the use of herbicide, pesticides and agricultural chemicals. He makes his own fertiliser by fermenting the byproducts of rice growing and sake brewing. He won’t use manure, he says, because you can’t be sure what the animals ate. The focus on organic isn’t just about health. When you avoid the nitrogen-based fertilisers you can grow a better, leaner grain, free of the impurities that can ruin a sake. The care put into the cultivation of rice shows in the sake, which are unfiltered to retain as much of the purity and umami of the rice as possible.
He has also invested in a milling machine. You don’t often see them in breweries of this size because they’re enormous beasts, they cost about the same as a Lamborghini Huracan, and it’s easy to outsource the milling. But it’s a price you pay if you want to be ikkan-zukuri.
Oko-san's sakes typically have layers upon layers of flavour and a moreish streak of acidity. Some are held back to develop for years until he believes they’re in perfect drinking condition. Sake from Akishika Shuzo have a cult status in Japan, so when Akishika does release sake, they sell out exceptionally quickly. We are lucky to get our hands on a few bottles.