This Suginishiki Koshu is made with the Yamahai starter method. Yamahai is a brewing method, that along with the Kimoto method, is generally only used used in specialty brews by artisanal breweries due to the extra brewing time and added risk it requires. Most modern Sake are made in the Sokujō method where lactic acid is added at the beginning of the moto [starter mash] which makes it easier, faster and less risky than both Kimoto and Yamahai. The full name for Yamahai is “Yama-oroshi haishi” meaning “discontinuation of Yama-oroshi” which is the labour intensive step of making a paste out of the starter mash in the Kimoto method. In 1909 Mr. Kinichiro Kagi at the National Institute for Brewing Studies discovered that if the starter was left alone, but kept slightly warmer and with slightly more water then the enzymes in the kōji would, over time, naturally dissolve all the rice in the developing moto with no laborious mashing required by workers. Sugii-san utilises Yamahai and Kimoto to produce Sake with great acidity, body and depth.
Roughly 80% of the Sake Sugii-san makes is created using either Yamahai and Kimoto, producing sake with great acidity, body and depth. With age these sake become even more robust and layered. This Koshu was brewed in 2006 and has been aged in bottle since then. Made from local Shizuoka grown Gohyakumangoku rice, this Sake was also created using the traditional Yamahai starter method. An elegant example of Koshu with a fine acidic backbone that gives way to a balanced and complex palate.
Product of Shizuoka, Japan.
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