Infused with life, this namazake (unpasteurized) usunigori (lightly cloudy) junmai sake is bright, captivating-- notes of tropical fruit, coconut yogurt, pomelo, and savory white mushroom. Everyone I've served it to has so far been hypnotized by its not-so-subtle charms.
"Wow! What is that?" It's always hard to answer simply. Hanatomoe is one man's commitment to traditional methods of production, to ambient yeast, to the preservation of his local forestry industry and the old style of wooden aging and fermentation vessels that have long fallen out of favor. The toji-owner trained at Kenbishi-- ancient, shrouded in mystery-- and returned to his family brewery a changed man. Kenbishi's use of old techniques like yamahai, extended aging, wooden fermentation vessels, local rice varieties, changed Miyoshino Jozo and Hanatomoe brand forever. In his commitment to this new style of brewing, an 8 man brewing team became a one man team overnight.
The local natural wine distributor Julian Sinclair, their importer Zev Rovine, the Danish curator and exporter Yoigokochi in consultation with Kyoto exporter and sake bar owner Yoram Ofer, are the reason we have this sake today. An unbroken chain of inspired and passionate people who want to share Hanatomoe with the world despite its minuscule production. While I lament the long chain (and each of us taking a percentage), I firmly believe it's worth every penny.