Kenbishi "Kuromatsu" Honjozo (900ml)

Kenbishi "Kuromatsu" Honjozo (900ml)

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Nutty, ricey, toasty, savory goodness. One of the best honjozo on the market.

The younger brother of "Mizuho", aged 1-3 years and made from a mysterious, proprietary blend of rice, techniques, and historic methods. "A stopped clock tells the right time twice a day" is one of the mantras of Kenbishi--  they firmly stick to their historic recipe (with very rare changes, such as reverting to wooden fermenters about a decade ago)-- never chasing trends or brand new techniques.  By remaining committed to their old methods, Kenbishi maintains a loyal following of fans...myself included. 

Kuromatsu honjozo is perfect for heating, and shows its full range of flavors and aromas once it hits 120F or higher. Just prepare a small pot of hot water, submerge a sake carafe (or heatproof vessel) of honjozo, and after a minute or so pull it out. Like Kenbishi Junmai Mizuho, gently warmed (think bath water) is my preferred temp.

 

 

 

 

Brewery: Kenbishi Shuzo, 剣菱酒造
Location: Hyogo, Japan
Classification: Honjozo
Rice: Yamadanishiki (Toku A), Aiyama
Polishing: Blend. 70% minimum
Starter method: Yamahai
Aging: 1-3 y
SMV: +1
Acidity: 1.7
ABV: 17%

A singular, historic Hyogo brewery, which is utterly committed to its recipes and tradition. Kenbishi tastes like Kenbishi...it's a house style, blended, the junmai is aged an average of 8 years, from an unknown combination of rice, polishing ratios and techniques (except yamahai-- we do know it involves yamahai!)

In order to preserve their traditional methods, Kenbishi has played a significant role in keeping the local cooperage and forestry industries alive. At one point, because of the widespread use of stainless steel and fiberglass, Hyogo prefecture was down to one elderly master cooper with no apprentices. Now, with the support of Kenbishi, a 3-person cooperage is flourishing and encouraging tojis to return to the old ways.