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Sawanotsuru Junmai Nama Genshu

This Nama Genshu uses an advanced filtration technique, known as "ultrafiltration", to ensure that the original taste of the sake is preserved, by removing most of the enzymes (proteins), thus guaranteeing a richer flavour.
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Sake specs

Prefecture
Hyōgo (兵庫)
Rice type
Yamada Nishiki (山田錦)
Polishing rate (semaibuai)
70%
Alcohol content
18.5%
Sawanotsuru Junmai Nama Genshu

This Nama Genshu is part of the "Sawanotsuru Craftsmanship Series - Hyakunin No Kikisakeshi" (100人の唎酒師) that uses an advanced filtration technique they call "ultrafiltration", to ensure that the original taste of the sake is preserved, by removing most of the enzymes (proteins), thus guaranteeing a richer flavour. As it is unpasteurized, it has the taste and aroma of freshly squeezed sake, which can be maintained over a long period. It is brewed using Yamada Nishiki from Banshu and Miyamizu, an essential ingredient in Nada's sake brewing, using the most traditional sake brewing method, Kimote-zukuri.


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Sawanotsuru Brewery.jpg

Sawanotsuru Sake Museum (沢の鶴資料館)

About the brewery

Brewery
Sawanotsuru Brewery
Name in Japanese
沢の鶴
Address
5-1-2 Shinzaike Minamimachi, Nada Ward, Kobe, Hyōgo 657-0864
Phone
078-881-1234
Website
Sawanotsuru Brewery is located in the Nada Ward of Kobe in Hyōgo Prefecture, one of Japan's three major sake production areas. It was founded in 1717 by the first generation of rice merchants, who started brewing sake as a side business. Since then, the ability to judge rice has been passed down from generation to generation.

The brewery's name originates in Japanese mythology: when Amaterasu, the Sun goddess, was enshrined at Ise, a bird was heard singing in the stream at Izawa. When Yamatohime-no-Mikoto (倭姫命) inquired about the source of the singing, she found a pure white crane crying while holding an ear of rice. Isawatomi no Mikoto (伊佐波登美神) was deeply moved by the fact that even a bird could make a rice field and offer food to the kami and ordered Isawatomi no Mikami to brew sake from the ears of rice and offer it to the gods. The crane was henceforth called Otoshi no Kami (大歳神, God of the five grains). The story is based on the origin of the Iza-no-Miya shrine (a separate shrine granted the same status as the Ise Naiku).

In 2017, Sawanotsuru celebrated its 300th anniversary.


Sawanotsuru Sake Museum
This historical museum which preserves an old brewery has been designated an Important Tangible National Cultural Property by Hyogo Prefecture. Admission free.

1-29-1 Oishi-minamimachi, Nada-ku, Kobe
078-882-7788
Business hours 10:00-16:00
Closed on Wednesdays, the year-end and New Year holiday, and mid-August Obon holidays


Video in Japanese:

Latest reviews

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Sawanotsuru's "100 Sake Masters" is remarkable in many ways: it started as a crowdfunding project in March 2020 and is now available for the general public. One may wonder if 100 sake brewers were involved in crafting this fine sake, but there's no doubt that it represents the pinnacle of brewing technology. "Ultrafiltration" is the watchword and means that protein particles ("enzymes") are eliminated by "extreme filtration" not pasteurization. Pasteurization changes the original taste of the sake once it's squeezed, therefore ultrafiltration results in an unaltered, natural taste.

The sake comes in a very stylish bag that's insulated with a thin aluminium layer to help cool the bottle and protect it from sunlight.

I expected a fruity, mildly sweet bouquet when pouring it but its pungent and intensive alcohol scent with notes of almonds surprised me. When serving it chilled, its body is quite oily and a bit on the heavy side. It has a slight sweetness and well-balanced umami but retained its strong alcoholic note (it has an alcohol content of 18.5%), hints of almond, and a finish with a peppery tingle. I liked it much better at room temperature when it got milder and much gentler in taste.

A very unique brew. I reckon we will have to taste next year's squeeze, too.
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sake information

Category
Genshu
Added by
JREF
Views
1,837
Watchers
1
Reviews
1
Last update
Rating
4.00 star(s) 1 ratings
Location
〒657-0864 兵庫県神戸市灘区新在家南町5丁目1−2

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