Miyakobijin "Usagi" Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu Yamahai Yamadanishiki

Miyakobijin "Usagi" Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu Yamahai Yamadanishiki

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This has that Summer-in-Norway, gjetost, buckwheat, honey, dried flowers, dried pear, salted caramel, morel compound butter, something something going for it that makes me return for more again and again. 

At room temperature, the palate explodes with a vision of salty, miso-brown butter cookies with espresso and dark chocolate flakes, pomelo zest, toasted Scottish oats, wakame seaweed, and apricot nectar. REALLY big on the palate, almost oily in texture. An absolute delight from start to finish.

This comforting brew has very quickly become my top choice for after work. And over 6 weeks, the 1.8L bottle I've been pouring from has only improved.

Stats
  • Brewery: Miyakobijin Shuzo
  • Prefecture: Hyogo; Awaji Island
  • Rice: Gohyakumangoku + undisclosed table rice 
  • Polishing: 70%
  • Brewing year: 2021
  • Grade: Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu
  • Starter: Yamahai
  • Water: hard
  • ABV: 18%

Background:

Toji Yamauchi-san uses mostly table rice, wild yeasts, and the old school yamahai fermentation method along with room temperature maturation for a full-flavored, complex, umami-rich line of sake.

Miyako-Bijin was established as a company in 1945, when 10 smaller breweries merged together to consolidate their brewing skills. Originally called Awaji Shuzo after the island’s name, it changed to Miyako-Bijin in 1959. After the Sake boom of the 70’s and early 80’s Miyako Bijin struggled with sales and over the following years, cut back on volume-based production and focused solely on small batch quality-driven products. Much of the brewery machinery was sold off and they moved back to handmade, small-tank production.

Today the brewery is led by Toji (Master Brewer) Kunihiro Yamauchi, a talented young brewer who oversees the production of all the Sake, Umeshu and liqueurs produced at Miyako Bijin. 

Miyako-Bijin believe in focusing on quality over quantity and use the traditional method Tenbin-Shibori, where a wooden beam press is used to press their sake rather than a modern commercial press. This method is rare to see as it takes twice as long to press the sake, with less liquid resulting.

(credit to Fossa Provisions for the writeup!)