A gorgeous, mineral-driven daiginjo with notes of green apple flesh, blueberry, watermelon, mineral water, witch hazel, aloe, and sea beans. This is a daiginjo made with the (relatively) hard water, Miyamizu, which the brewery trucks over from the well of their (now defunct) original brewery in Nishinomiya.
Water: Miyamizu (Nishinomiya)
Yeast: Hakutsuru proprietary
Brewery: Yasufuku Masashiro Shoten
Brand: Daikoku Masamune
If you were alive in 1995 you probably heard about the Great Hanshin earthquake. Although there wasn't a nuclear disaster as in Fukushima, the damage, loss of life, loss of culture and economy, is comparable and its ripples are easily seen today. Nearly 10,000 buildings collapsed entirely, most of them old and historic, and among them a number of sake breweries. For Kobe-- specifically the district Nishinomiya City-- is the source of Miyamizu, arguably the most important single source of water in the history of sake brewing.
So when Daikoku Masamune lost nearly everything in the quake, their four wooden warehouses as well as the deterioration of their steel-framed brewery and equipment, this small, beloved local brand with a committed following received an offer from one of their biggest fans: the president of Hakutsuru. In 2013, he asked the family of Daikoku Masamune to continue brewing at Hakutsuru. For free. Who among us has seen our favorite restaurant close, our favorite product discontinued, and wish we could save them?
Hakutsuru is the largest brewery in the world by a considerable margin and for that reason you won't usually see their sake in my shop, although it is of excellent quality. But I respect their leadership most for the generous gesture they extended to Daikoku Masamune and for most recently asking their importer, Sake One, to bring Daikoku Masamune to the US-- to us. This is a tiny operation and Sake One brings in a tiny amount, most of which never leaves the West Coast, much less Oregon. And if you look at their beautiful website, you'll wish you could be there trying all of their beautiful products and being a part of their wonderful community. To have their Junmai Daiginjo here in the shop is one part human kindness, one part persistence, and two parts miracle.