Much like the Gozenshu Bodaimoto Nigori, this is a hauntingly complex sake that evolves and takes many guises. At one moment fruity, rich, tropical, and ripe... it soon shifts to almond toffee, frozen yogurt, Scottish oatmeal and mountain streams. My descriptors will inevitably differ from yours. In fact, I think no two people will ever see totally eye to eye on Gozenshu 9.
- Brewery: Tsuji Honten
- Brand: Gozenshu
- Prefecture: Okayama
- Rice: Locally grown, pesticide free Omachi
- Fermentation starter method: Mizumoto (Bodaimoto inspired)
- Rice polishing: 65%
- Yeast: 901
- Woman toji!
The brewery recommends pairing with mimolette, fatty seasonal sashimi, and eel glazed in a sweet soy kaeshi sauce. I honestly haven't tried any of these pairings yet, but I'm confident they are spot on.
Any glassware or serveware will work well. A wine glass will emphasize the fruit while an ochoko or junmai glass will emphasize the texture. Lightly chilled is the recommended temperature but fully chilled and gently warmed are also delicious.
Like its nigori cousin, the complexity of "9" can be attributed primarily to two factors:
1) First is the bodaimoto fermentation starter method, or Tsuji Honten's spin on it, more accurately called mizumoto. While the vast majority of sake is acidified with bulk lactic acid (aka sojuko method) and then inoculated with yeast, a bodaimoto/mizumoto starter is a mix of water, uncooked rice and cooked rice, left to turn sour. Ambient lactic acid bacteria (along with a bunch of other random buggies) do their business, generate lactic acid, and eventually create a sour environment safe for sake yeast. This wild starter tends to be wild, funky, yogurt-y and fruity. It's super unique and has ancient, religious origins.
2) Second is the use of omachi rice, an heirloom varietal known for its earthy, herbal, rustic and full-flavored profile, well suited to junmai.