Tsukinokatsura Junmai Ginjo Nigori Nakagumi Nama

Tsukinokatsura Junmai Ginjo Nigori Nakagumi Nama

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This raw, effervescent nigori is a classic. It's the modern iteration of the very first (legal) nigori of the modern age, originally introduced by Tsuki no Katsura in 1964. Wanting to resurrect the old style of cloudy sake enjoyed a hundred years prior, Masuda Tokubee-san broke past government restrictions that grouped nigori with doburoku, a once-illegal farmers' brew. Because it's bottled during the fermenting stage and kept raw and unpasteurized, it's effervescent and lightly sparkling.

Brewery: Masuda Tokubee Shoten
Japanese brand name: æœˆăźæĄ‚
Prefecture: Kyoto (Fushimi)
Rice: Kyo no Kagayaki (Kyoto table rice), Iwai (Kyoto, organically farmed)
Polishing: 60%
ABV: 17%
SMV: 0
Acidity: 1.8
Shubo: sokujo

Tsuki no Katsura is a famous, historic brewery with relatively small, local production, utilizing old methods. There are many releases that can only be purchased from the brewery or local restaurants they’ve maintained century-long relationships with. This Kyoto longevity is evident in their brand and style.

Kyoto has a reputation for being exclusive: for instance, after the brewery Tamano Hikari moved from Nara to Kyoto, they weren’t able to sell their sake locally for over 50 years– it all had to be sold outside of Kyoto, because locals wouldn't accept it as their own. In contrast, Masuda Tokubee Shoten, the brewery that sells the Tsuki no Katsura brand, has been domiciled in Kyoto since 1675 and is deeply, thoroughly entrenched in Kyoto culture.

For almost 200 years of the brewery’s life, the Japanese imperial palace was located in Kyoto city. This imperial presence influenced the regional culture, standard of craftsmanship, types of entertainment and industry, quality of cuisine, and so on. The need to serve a royal and noble standard has long been a part of Kyoto’s heritage. To me, Tsuki no Katsura carries a signature of ageless elegance: hidden complexity, seasonal character, commitment to tradition, and subtlety-- much like the city itself.

To dive deeper, have a listen at this English- language interview with the upcoming successor of the company,
As well as this Instagram clip explaining the nigori method that originated at this brewery: