This unique sake is a 12 years aged (approximately-- the brewer uses a solera system of fractional blending, think of it like a mother sauce), and is made of 99% koji rice, aged in tank. The 99% koji and low polishing of the rice (90%), plus brewing with the high-acidity yamahai method, give the sake enough sweetness, structure and acidity to stand the test of time. Why 99% koji and not 100%? Because that inclusion of 1% plain steamed rice lets it legally qualify as sake in Japan. In contrast, Nanbu Bijin's All Koji is not legally sake.
Kaetsu Shuzo calls this style “jijoshu,” which is a term they invented, as it has much more acidity and glucose than most koshu but is not technically kijoshu. Dr. Sato of Kaetsu heads a society dedicated to studying the aging of sake and has been doing it longer than most (actively brewing >50 years now!)
Kaetsu's Kanbara brand (of Kanbara Junmai Ginjo Bride of the Fox) was created to make non-Niigata styles of sake (their original brand, Kirin, is much more Niigata-like). Kaetsu exports most of their Kanbara production to europe and the US as they love the idea of their sake being served chilled in fine glassware with international foods like foie gras, blue cheese, or ribeye with caramelized onions.
Enjoy as you would a tawny port, madiera or oloroso sherry.
- Location: Niigata
- Rice: Yamadanishiki, Koshitanrei (local)
- Polishing: ~70-90%
- Starter method: Yamahai
- Other: genshu (undiluted), muroka (unfined), tank aged appx. 12 years, 99% koji