Mutsu Otokoyama Junmai Chokara

Mutsu Otokoyama Junmai Chokara

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From Hachinohe Shuzo, makers of Mutsu Hassen in Aomori Prefecture, this Junmai Chokarakuchi (extra dry) is almost entirely sold/consumed locally and is a true Aomori jizake (local sake). This brand was introduced in 1910 for the local fishermen and it is still enjoyed by them today. Despite these humble roots however, this sake is a major award winner, contributing generously to Hachinohe Shuzo's 2021 World Sake Championship Award.

Like Mutsu Hassen, Mutsu Otokoyama is made with white koji and has a lovely lemon zest quality to it. Great chilled, great warm, excellent with anything from the sea.

Stats

  • BreweryHachinohe Shuzo
  • Location: Hachinohe, Aomori
  • Category: Junmai Chokarakuchi
  • Water: Kanizawa Fukuryusui (famed local hard water, trucked in from outside of the city)
  • Pasteurizing: Namazume
  • Rice: local Hanafubuki 
  • Polishing: 65%  
  • Yeast: Aomori yeast “Mahoroba kaguwa”
  • ABV: 16%
  • SMV: +8 (very dry)
  • Acidity: 1.2

Background:

Hachinohe Shuzo; a microbrewery in Aomori prefecture that selects local rice and yeast and brews with the famous water of Kanizawa, Hachinohe. Their aim is to produce a modern sake that is delicious yet safe for the environment and personal health. They use 100% white koji in their moromi base giving their sake a fresh, straight-from-the-brewery character.  

Hachinohe Shuzo was, like so many breweries, on the decline when the latest generation of brothers inherited its management. In a now-classic story, the Hachinohe brothers’ shift to quality and innovation carried them into the limelight on a wave of notoriety. A new brand, Mutsu Hassen, marks the turning point, but Mutsu Otokoyama, the old brand, is still dutifully brewed and beloved by Aomori locals. 

As a brand, Mutsu Hassen is defined by several commitments. A philosophy of “don’t add anything unnecessary” that eventually led to the use of white koji in their moromi in 2015 (instead of the typical yellow koji) as well as their commitment to organic local rice, local yeast and water, which began in 2002 and now incorporates community rice growing initiatives.