Dry, with a cleansing acidity, this Yamahai Hiyaoroshi is coming from the remote and ancient brewery Hiraizumi, known for their constant experimentations with yeast.
Like any good Hiyaoroshi from a snowy region, Hiraizumi is well suited to warming and designed to be enjoyed with the fatty fish, bitter green vegetables, spicy fruits and sumptuous squashes of autumn and winter. This hiyaoroshi is having its American debut this year (2022), and is a nicely balanced, spiced mix of dried tropical notes (dried mango, dried pineapple), apple pie, pistachio butter; creamy, and taffy-like, with a chewy, satisfying mouthfeel.
- Akita prefecture
- Brewery: Hiraizumi Honpo
- Rice: Akita Sake Komachi
- Seimaibuai (rice polishing ratio): 50-60%
- Brewing starter: Yamahai
- Yeast: house
- Aging: ambient temperature aging over the summer
- SMV: +7
- Acidity: 2.0
- ABV: 15-16%
On the Southern coast of Akita, hundreds of miles from practically anything else, Hiraizuimi has been brewing sake since 1487. They are the 3rd oldest brewery in Japan, and the oldest in the Tohoku region. The current head of the brewery is the 26th consecutive generation in charge.
During the Edo period, the town now known as Hirasawa prospered as a castle town of the Nikaho clan, a post town on the Ushu Kaido road, and a port of call for Kitamaebune trading ships. Sake is always in demand in places of industry and economic motion, so Hiraizumi thrived.
Despite the brewery's extraordinary longevity, and with it the weight of 26 generations of tradition and reputation, Hiraizumi belongs to an intellectual moment in Akita that is focused on innovation, quality and local ingredients. As a result, today's Hiraizumi is novel, exciting, and to old-fashioned tastes, unwelcome.