Bizen Maboroshi Junmai Ginjo Omachi
Bizen Maboroshi Junmai Ginjo Omachi

Bizen Maboroshi Junmai Ginjo Omachi

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Bizen Maboroshi might be the quintessential omachi sake, at least in my book. The flavor profile is extremely unique, one of a kind really, and gives you the full impression of heirloom omachi rice. Notes of spearmint, rose, fresh-cut grass, white pepper and balsa wood make you wonder if this is truly just made from rice. An unctuous, slippery body reminds you that this is indeed omachi, famous for its weight on the palate-- like heavy cream in a sea of skim milk. 

The brewery is situated amongst omachi fields, where the varietal was first discovered in 1859. It's brewed from the very best local plots of rice based on centuries-old relationships with local farming families. The sake is brewed with the same water that nourishes this rice, by a brewery that exclusively works with omachi. It's truly the deepest love letter to this special, rare and coveted grain.

Stats:

  • Location: Bizen, Okayama
  • Grade: Junmai Ginjo
  • Rice: Bizen Omachi
  • Polishing: 60%
  • Yeast: Muromachi Kobo (house strain of #9)
  • SMV +2
  • Acidity: 1.6
  • Water: A very cool underground spring below the brewery, the same water which supplies the fields. 

Background:

Founded in 1688, Sakuramuromachi is the oldest brewery in Okayama and situated squarely amongst the rice fields that make this region famous.

From an interview, the brewery owner comments on the spring water:

"It is clean, of course, but it has the same water temperature in winter and summer, and is slightly soft water with a pH of 6.5. The "Omachi Cold Spring," consisting of subsoil water from the Asahigawa River that flows through Okayama City, was used by the feudal lord Lord Ikeda during the Edo period (1603-1868) as his official water supply, and was considered the best water in Bizen Province. There are other places nearby where water springs are located, but the Omachi Cold Spring, selected as one of the 100 best waters, is the only water that springs in this area with pinpoint accuracy."