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Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori

Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori is made of Dewasanzan and Yamadanishiki milled to 50%. It is a Happōnigori ("foaming cloudiness") that is under immense gas pressure.
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Sake specs

Prefecture
Yamagata (山形)
Rice type
Dewa 33 (出羽燦々)
Polishing rate (semaibuai)
50%
Alcohol content
15%
SMV
+8.0
Acidity
1.5
Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり)

Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) is made of Dewasanzan (kōjimai) and Yamadanishiki (kakemai) milled to 50%. Retsu (洌) is Kojima's second brand, in addition to the renowned Tōkō. According to Kojima Kenichirō, who was appointed the 24th tōji in October 2015, the name 'Retsu' was inspired by the taut texture of a clear midwinter stream when you dip your hand in it. The sake has a dignified, dry image but is finished with a good sense of maturity and a lively umami flavour.

The Junmai Daiginjō is Retsu's top-ranked sake. In addition to Dewasanzan and Yamadanishiki rice, the brewery uses a blend of two types of Yamagata yeast called KA and 16-1. The 16-1 has a subdued aroma and gives the sake its flavour and sharpness. Retsu is not shipped immediately but matures until its characteristic flavour develops, a very time-consuming procedure.

Due to the high gas pressure of this Happōnigori (発泡にごり, "foaming cloudiness"), the bottle and the stopper may gush out when the bottle is opened. The bottle comes with detailed instructions.

Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり) Toko Retsu Junmai Daiginjo Happonigori (洌 純米大吟醸 発泡にごり)


Kojima Sōhonten (小嶋総本店) in Yonezawa tKojima Sōhonten (小嶋総本店) in Yonezawa

About the brewery

Brewery
Kojima Sōhonten
Name in Japanese
小嶋総本店
Address
2-3-22 Omachi, Yonezawa, Yamagata 992-0031
Phone
0238-21-6601
Website
Online store
toko-logo.png
Tōkō Brewery in Yonezawa, Yamagata, has been operating continuously since 1597. Its beer is brewed in Kojima Sōhonten (小嶋総本店), which later became a purveyor to the Uesugi Family. The brewery and the adjacent Tōkō Sake Museum are just a stone's throw away from Yonezawa Castle.

Kojima Sōhonten was founded by Kojima Yazaemon in 1597 when he established Kojima Sakaya. During that time, Yonezawa was a territory of the Gamō clan, and Kojima Sakaya was responsible for brewing sake and running a pawnshop. Six years after the foundation of Kojima Sakaya, the Tokugawa shogunate was established in Edo. At the beginning of the Edo period, Uesugi Kanekatsu was assigned to relocate to Yonezawa. The Uesugi clan then remained in charge of the domain until the end of the Edo period.

Under the Uesugi clan, Kojima Sakaya became a purveyor to the family as a sake brewer. Even after alcohol prohibition began during a famine, they were among the few brewers permitted to continue operation. Kojima Sakaya has been operating in the exact location since at least the middle of the Edo period. In 1757, due to his contributions to the Uesugi clan and Yonezawa, Kojima Yazaemon was awarded the position of ward head and the family was permitted to use surnames and carry swords. Since then, the Kojima family has been treated as samurai and, in the Meiji period, is said to be shizoku (a descendant of a samurai).

Kojima Sakaya, the private industry of Kojima Yazaemon, became a stock company as Kojima Sōhonten in 1952. The name "Kojima Sohonten", meaning "the original", was chosen as more brewers, wholesalers, and retailers of alcohol products in Yonezawa named "Kojima" appeared. Most of these other companies were run by relatives of Kojima Yazaemon.

The Tōkō Sake Museum has the largest brewery exhibition in Tōhoku. It is housed in an original building built using the traditional method, which uses no nails. The brewery was later awarded the Yonezawa City Scenery Award. The Crown Prince and Princess visited the museum in 2003, and the 23rd Kojima Yazaemon (the current chairman) personally escorted them.

Tōkō won first place in Daiginjō in the International Wine Challenge 2014 sake competition, the world's largest yearly wine competition. The brewery received the award in London. Since then, it has been exported to more than ten countries.

Latest reviews

Colour / hue
Colourless
Clarity
Cloudy
Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori is a cloudy sake with detailed instructions on how to open it. And you better heed them! Kojima recommends always keeping the bottle refrigerated at around 0°C. The bottle should be pointed away from people and fragile objects when opened. The cap should be loosened slightly and tightened just before it starts spilling, a process to be repeated until the gas has settled. Ignore this, and you get to enjoy only half a bottle or less.

The secondary fermentation in the bottle differs from bottle to bottle. Some bottles are vigorously effervescent; others are less effervescent. As this is not a product with artificially added carbon dioxide gas, it is not a product where a certain level of gas pressure can be guaranteed.

It has a subdued aroma and a refreshing flavour of apples with lactic and citric notes. Along with the aroma, sweetness and umami gradually spread to the mouth. For a junmai daiginjo, it is quite crisp, allowing you to savour the fullness and sharpness of the flavour (SMV of +8.0). Nevertheless, it has a very good balance of sweetness, umami, acidity and sharpness, making it an exciting sake to pair with food or enjoy as aperitif. We had it chilled and also recommend drinking it cold to savour its crispness--the brewery suggests room temperature or even slight heating to those who love their sake more flavourful.

Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori
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sake information

Category
Junmai Daiginjō
Added by
JREF
Views
117
Reviews
1
Last update
Rating
4.00 star(s) 1 ratings
Location
〒992-0031 山形県米沢市大町二丁目 3-22

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