Haneya Tokubetsu Junmai

Haneya Tokubetsu Junmai

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A light, delicate, crisp and dry Tokubetsu Junmai with a lovely balance of earthen notes, minerality, and gentle orchard fruit. It's not often that I resonate with the Japanese producer's descriptions, but I feel it's really apt to describe this sake as having "a refreshing transparency, like a gust of wind blowing through fresh greenery." What makes this sake special isn't a paragraph of descriptors or aromatic complexity, but a refreshing cleanliness and purity that can be rare to find.

Haneya is the flagship brand of the brewery and uses competition junmai daiginjo as the inspiration for all of its products, including this tokubetsu junmai. They perform closely monitored water absorption in small batches, koji rice is managed carefully using small volumes in boxes and futa (small boxes),use only the middle (naka) fraction of the pressing, and source only the highest quality local rice. Because Haneya's sake brewing process is extremely time-consuming, they are unable to expand production and only produce a small number of limited edition products. They've been gaining international acclaim with multiple IWC award wins and a French Kura Master title as well.

Rice: Gohyakumangoku
Polishing: 60%
Yeast: Kanazawa Yeast (#1401)
Water: Tateyama fukuryusui soft water
SMV: +5
Acidity: 1.4
ABV: 14%

Founded in 1916, the current fourth generation owner and toji (master brewer) brews sake using pure fukuryusui water from the 3000 meter+ Tateyama mountain range and local sake rice from Toyama prefecture. The mountain water arrives through the Joganji River system, a famous spring in Toyama that has been selected as one of Japan's 100 famous waters.
The current owner-toji worked for a major fermentation manufacturer in Tokyo before returning to Toyama to take over the family's sake brewery and enter the world of sake brewing. From there, he changed everything about how they were producing sake with an eye to competition daiginjo as the inspiration for quality.

Its Haneya brand is named after the original shop owned by the family (Hane- ya) and is light and soft in texture. The wish is express the desire to lift the drinker's spirits up, "as if giving you wings to fly". From 2012 they have converted to all-season brewing and are able to provide fresh namazake throughout the year as well as a positive work-life balance for their employees.