Junmai • Pure Rice Sake
Ginjo • Rice polished to 60% or less
Muroka • No charcoal filtration
Nama • Unpasteurised
Genshu • Undiluted
Usunigori • Lightly cloudy
Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Polish rate: 59%
This is Usunigori sake. 'Usu' means 'thin' in Japanese and this is a reference to the very finest part of the sediment from fermentation being retained and added back into the brew at bottling after pressing the sake the slow way - using rocks tied to a beam. This technique gives the sake a creamy texture and a flavourful 'ricey-ness' as well as a fine acidic lift on the finish.
What you can expect:
A flavour that can be described as 'roasted onion soup' with its rich umami and creamy mouthfeel. Very very delicious.
Serve cool, not cold.
About Uehara Shuzo | Shiga Prefecture
Uehara Shuzo was founded in 1862 and is located in Takashima on the North-western side of Lake Biwa. The current Kuramoto (Brewery Owner) is Isao Uehara and he is the 7th generation to run Uehara Shuzo.
Shiga is known for its pure water and the streets of Takashima are lined with fresh water canals and this natural spring water flows into the brewery for their sake brewing. The brewery produces about 80% of its sake from locally grown Shiga rice. Rice is only brought from other prefectures when it is not grown locally. All rice polishing is done in-house by Uehara Shuzo as Uehara-san believes that polishing the rice yourself allows you to monitor the humidity in the grain and that in turn means you can brew better sake.
These 7th generation family brewers have gone back to producing more of their sake each year without any additional cultivated yeasts and they use traditional brewing methods where possible. They have also revived the tradition of using wooden casks for fermenting most of their sake as they believe it provides better insulation for cold and heat rather than metal which reacts more rapidly to ambient temperature changes. The brewery also utilising the pressing technique ‘Tenbin Shibori’ (Wooden beam pressing) for all of the sake they produce. This wooden press takes 3 days to gently press the sake rather than the 12-18 hours it would take if they used a modern Yubata mechanical press.
With such attention to detail these are truly some of the finest sake being made in Japan today.