Mutsu Hassen Tokubetsu Junmai "Isaribi"

Mutsu Hassen Tokubetsu Junmai "Isaribi"

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Mutsu Hassen Isaribi was inspired by the idea of a "fisherman's sake for meals" and named after the fire used for luring fish at night. Look closely at the label: the distant flares of light represent squid boats off the coast of Hachinohe.

This is a dry sake (SMV +6) with solid umami, strong acidity, and less focus on fruitiness than most-- especially the rest of the Mutsu Hassen range. Notes of dried lemon peel, clove, wheat germ & apple blossom. Perfectly matched with seafood, fish, and shoyu flavors, and a versatile temperature range.

Accolades:  2020 US National Sake Appraisal, Junmai Category: Silver Award / 2018 JPN Delicious Sake in a Wine Glass, Main Category: Silver Award / 2018 UK International Wine Challenge, Junmai Category: Silver Award

Stats

  • Brewery:¬†Hachinohe¬†Shuzo
  • Location: Hachinohe,¬†Aomori
  • Category: Tokubetsu Junmai¬†
  • Water: Kanizawa Fukuryusui (famed local hard water, trucked in from outside of the city)
  • Pasteurizing:¬†Namazume
  • Rice:¬†local Aomori¬†
  • Polishing: 55%/60%¬† (koji/kakemai)
  • Yeast:¬†Aomori yeast¬†‚ÄúMahoroba kaguwa‚ÄĚ
  • ABV: 16%
  • SMV: +6 (dry)
  • Acidity: 1

Background:

Hachinohe Shuzo; a microbrewery in Aomori prefecture that selects local rice and yeast and brews with the famous water of Kanizawa, Hachinohe. Their aim is to produce a modern sake that is delicious yet safe for the environment and personal health. They use 100% white koji in their moromi base giving their sake a fresh, straight-from-the-brewery character.  

Hachinohe Shuzo was, like so many breweries, on the decline when the latest generation of brothers inherited its management. In a now-classic story, the Hachinohe brothers’ shift to quality and innovation carried them into the limelight on a wave of notoriety. A new brand, Mutsu Hassen, marks the turning point, but Mutsu Otokoyama, the old brand, is still dutifully brewed and beloved by Aomori locals. 

As a brand, Mutsu Hassen is defined by several commitments. A philosophy of ‚Äúdon‚Äôt add anything unnecessary‚ÄĚ that eventually led to the use of white koji in their moromi in 2015 (instead of the typical yellow koji) as well as their commitment to organic local rice, local yeast and water, which began in 2002 and now incorporates community rice growing initiatives.