Ohyama "Tomizu" Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu 2022

Ohyama "Tomizu" Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu 2022

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This sake uses a very traditional recipe-- and as far as we know, is among the only doing so in the modern era- which uses 10 koku of water instead of the usual 12 koku relative to the same proportion of rice, resulting in a thicker, more concentrated brew. The resulting sake is dense and juicy, with complex notes of fruit and grain. 

When I tasted this on release (March 2022) it was so thrown off by the jostling of overseas shipping that the flavors were all out of wack-- for nearly 5 months!
Re-tasting it in August, I was finally able to see what this sake had to share. I'm so glad I waited, because it went from uninteresting to absolutely brilliant. 

The palate starts a little candied: nostalgic flavors of Cherry Heads, ripe apricot, and mango. But as the flavors open up on the palate, a complex range of spice, grain and bitterness washes through: clove, aniseed, ripe sliced banana, cherry blossom, maraschino liqueur, and allspice. There is a comforting backbone of sweet rice and umami... fresh mochi, chestnut paste, toasted soybean flour, and anko bean jam come to mind. 

Overall the flavors are powerful and intriguing. This is definitely a unique brew that needs time in the glass to understand.


  • Brewery: Kato Kahachiro Shuzo
  • Brand: Ohyama 
  • Grade: Junmai Ginjo Genshu Namazake
  • Polish: 60%
  • Prefecture: Yamagata 
  • Yeast: Yamagata KA 
  • Rice: Haenuki
  • ABV 18%
  • SMV -6
  • Acidity 2.1
  • Amino Acid 1.5
  • Established: 1872