SAKE | 磯自慢 (Isojiman)

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A self-organised tasting night of this premium maker’s specials thanks to the efforts of sake enthusiast friend JM. Much comparisons have been drawn with, not surprisingly, Burgundy wine, as this particular producer prides itself with the quality of rice being used, and most of them are proprietary crops from specific tiny fields in the famous Hyogo area for Yamada Nishiki. First up for the night was a relatively new product from the domaine, a 純米大吟醸 スプリング ブリーズ (Spring Breeze) 42 using special grade rice from 少分谷, located on the ‘right bank’ of the 東条川. Indeed very fitting for its name and no doubt the best to kick start the evening, this time with a live ika prepared by Sase-san so fresh that even the liver is good enough to be served sashimi-style. As we moved onto the other goodies of the season, up come the Junmai ginjo of the domaine’s sake maker 多田信夫’s namesake. Using our Burgundy analogy, this will then probably be a ‘Leroy Village’ with a very limited production and reputation of the maker on the table to back its quality. As we devoured the Hokkaido crabs and abalone, the ‘main course’ of the night is then being served, being a super rare ‘Monopole’ from the classic ‘left bank’ (東条秋津) special AAA graded field ‘古家’, and it did hit us like a rockstar! Super complex as expected and very ‘cloudy’ even from the looks, this is the closest to my all time favourite ‘Ishidaya’ from Kokuryu that I have ever tried, only with a less robust ‘nose’ of rice. A few pieces of very hearty sushi were downed to accompany it and it was a very fitting end to this little ‘luxurious’ tasting. The night went on with two very special shochu being tasted as well and a next encounter with Sase-san is being reserved again as usual. Thanks again to all for a very fulfilling night!

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