This 80% polish junmai is sooo luscious and smooth for its low polishing rate! This might be the mastery of Tsukinokatsura & Fushimi water in action.
Notes of vanilla pastry cream, banana custard, nilla wafers, whipped cream cheese, tangerine creamy soda, ripe mango and fuzzy ripe peaches with the skin. Textural, velvelty, a tiny tiny bit of shibumi (astringency) on the finish to make it intriguing. This is an incredibly well-rounded and expressive representation of Kyoto's own heirloom rice, Iwai: cultivated organically by local contract farmers, and one of the most expensive rice varieties money can buy!
- Brewery: Masuda Tokubee Shoten
- Prefecture: Kyoto (Fushimi)
- Rice: Iwai (Kyoto, organically farmed)
- Polishing: 80%
- ABV: 16%
- SMV: +5
- Acidity: 1.7
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.