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Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai

Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai is made of a rice variety grown in Hiroshima, Gin no Sato milled to 60%, and Kumamoto yeast. It is a refreshing everyday sake with a clear and transparent taste.
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Sake specs

Hiroshima (広島)
Rice type
Gin no Sato (吟のさと)
Polishing rate (semaibuai)
Alcohol content
Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒)

Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒) is made of a rice variety grown in Hiroshima, Gin no Sato milled to 60%, and Kumamoto yeast. The name of this product is, in fact, "Hanahato "Touji Mizukara Sodateta Kome de Kamoshita Tokubetsu Junmaishu" (華鳩 『杜氏自ら育てた米で醸した特別純米酒』), which roughly translates to "Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai brewed with rice grown by the brewmaster himself". Hanahato's tōji Fujita-san was responsible for the rice from planting to harvesting.

The brewery describes this sake as a refreshing everyday sake with a clear and transparent taste.

Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒) hHanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒) Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒) Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒) Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒) Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai (華鳩特別純米酒)

About the brewery

Enoki Shuzō
Name in Japanese
2-1-15 Ondochō Minamiondo, Kure, Hiroshima 737-1205
Enoki Brewery is located in Ondo on Kurahashi Island, southeast of Hiroshima Bay and south of Kure City. Ondochō is the legendary Ondo-no-Seto (音戸の瀬戸), where Taira no Kiyomori arrested the setting sun with a fan to be able to complete his new capital, Fukuhara-kyō faster. Enoki Sake Brewery was founded in Ondo in 1899. Legend has it that the town is home to many descendants of fallen Heike warriors. That's why the brewery used the brand name "Kiyomori", but as historical views on Taira no Kiyomori were not favourable, the owners changed it to 'Hanahato' (華鳩), the primary brand name. 'Kiyomori' is still used as a sub-brand. Hanahato derives from the place name of Hato-oka (鳩岡), where the brewery is built.

Before the war, Enoki Brewery was awarded an honourary prize at national sake competitions. Since the 1950s, it has won 14 gold medals at the National New Sake Competition. In 2001, it won the National New Sake Competition and was the first brewery in Hiroshima to win four awards, including a gold medal at the National New Sake Competition. Since then, the brewery has won prizes in the National New Sake Competition and continues to produce high-quality sake. At the International Wine Challenge, the world's largest sake competition, held in London, in the old sake category, the brewery was awarded a gold medal for its 8-year-old kijōshu sake (貴醸酒), which won trophies in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2010, it was the champion. The brewery was the first in Japan to brew kijōshu in 1974.

Hanahato's sake is mild and gentle. The natural and deep flavour has a refreshing and sour taste. The water quality is medium-soft. The average rice polishing ratio is 60%. The brewery uses Yamadanishiki from Yoshikawa, Hyōgo, for its daiginjō; all other rice is grown in Hiroshima Prefecture. Hachitan-Nishiki and Koi-Omachi are used with high and flat rice polishing for special sake.

Kijōshu (貴醸酒)

Kijōshu was developed by the National Research Institute of Brewing and Fermentation as a sake for foreign dignitaries. It was named Kijōshu to denote a type of premium sake comparable to Kijō wine. Sake is made from rice, kōji and water; the main characteristic of kijōshu is that it is made from sake instead of water. At the end of the three-stage brewing process, the sake is brewed using junmai-shu instead of water. Brewing with sake allows the yeast to ferment the alcohol more slowly, producing rich, mellow, fragrant sake.

In 1974, Hanahato became the first company in Japan to produce kijōshu, based on a production patent from the National Tax Agency's brewing laboratory. In the early days, this type of sake was criticised, with some saying that such dark-coloured, sweet sake is not sake. Still, after repeated trial and error, the acceptance of kijōshu gradually grew as food culture diversified. Just as brewing water is essential for sake, kijōshu requires high-quality sake. It takes more time, effort and cost than sake, but the quality of the sake is preserved even when stored for a long time, and as it ages, it has a rich flavour that is smoother on the palate and has a more profound aftertaste with a sharpness.

The taste is rich and mildly sweet. It has a rich, full-bodied flavour with a raisin and nutty aroma. However, it has a more acidic flavour than ordinary sake, making it sweet but with a surprisingly refreshing aftertaste. The more it matures, the deeper the amber colour becomes and the more mature the taste becomes. It may be closer to sherry or Madeira than to sake.

Oishi so Japan had an excellent feature on Enoki Brewery, its Hanahato brand, and kijōshu:

Latest reviews

Colour / hue
Pale Yellow
This sake uses a local rice variety named Gin no Sato, which has been planted, harvested and brewed by Hanahato's very own toji Fujita-san. It has a fruity nose of green apples, grapes, and lychee. Creamy, viscous texture, satin-like, sweet approach, intensely sour and refreshing mid-palate, with a long, dramatic finish of sweet and bitter notes.

Hanahato Tokubetsu Junmai
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sake information

Tokubetsu Junmai
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4.00 star(s) 1 ratings
〒737-1205 広島県呉市音戸町南隠渡2丁目1−15

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