Archive for March, 2007

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting 3: “En” by Takashima Brewery/Distillery

March 26, 2007

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!



Here is a very unusual shochu!
“Ginjyo Spirit EN” by Takashima Brewery/Distillery (Hakuin Masamune) in Numazu City is a shochu made from the white lees (sake kasu) of sake made by the same company. With an alcohol content of 26 degrees, it would already make for a good quality spirit.
But the difference resides in that it is aged inside oak barrels used for maturing sherry in Spain!
Hence a beautiful amber colour!
As for the taste, it certainly deserves a lot of attention. It almost taste like a very dry whisky!
Pour it on as large an ice block you can find inside a large glass and sip it by a warm fire or stove! Tried it with some ice and ginger ale. makes for a great “high ball”!

Liquor Shops: Marukawaya Saketen

March 20, 2007

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!



I discovered Mr. Kawaharazaki’s shop on the Internet when I was starting investigating the Shizuoka Sake World. His homepage is a great source of information and provided me with an unvaluable headstart!
His shop was founded by his father in 1964 and sells Japanese sake, mostly from Shizuoka, shochu, liqueurs, beer and wines. Actually Mr. Kawaharazaki is a great wine love and does a lot of tasting. But most of all, he is encouraging everyone to taste Shizuoka Sake! If all the saketen could do that…
AS for Shizuoka brewed shochu he sells: Imo (tuber/yam) and kome (rice) shochu ny Sugii Brewery/Distillery and En by Hakuin Masamune Brewery/Distillery. Not much, I concede, but very high quality!
Mr. Kawaharazaki will keep you informed by mail of all new sake coming to his shop if you leave and airmail address or a fax number. He can read English, so no problem there!

420-0068 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tamachi, 2-104
Tel.: 054-2527817
Fax: 054-2551974
24-hour telephone service: 054-2218929

Sugii Brewery-Distillery: Kinnosuke Sugii

March 15, 2007

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!


Mr. Kinnosuke Sugii has the reputation of a maverick inside the Shizuoka Sake Brewers world.
He is only a very opiniated toji who spends a lot of time and energy on personal research into new ways and products the industry should be thankful for!

Mr. Sugii (49) is the 6th generation of a purely local dynasty of master brewers dating back to 1843. The next generation is still at high school, but his staff of three fairly young men, all local, seemed to have been taught well as their “toji” takes the helm only when brewing ginjo. Otherwise ,”I let them in charge!” he proferred as he is busy with his constant research.

Like every other brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture, Sugii Brewery uses the water from its own well fed by by the Oi River. It is reputedly the hardest and richest in minerals in the Prefecture. Mr. Sugii is quite happy with the fact as it allows him to concoct brews with a difference. He would like to increase the acidity as well, as he thinks our sake are a bit too soft. The annual output is 40,000 1,8 l, 30% of it ginjo. No futsusake/normal sake produced! I personally thanked him for that!
After some “private” talk about the politics, lack of consultation/teamwork inside the brewing community and the economy, he invited us on grand tour of his brewery with the help of of his staff who seemed to really enjoy demonstrating their craft.

We had to climb wooden stairs half worn by all the feet of the crowd of “kurabito” who used to toil there to have a peek at the fermenting and drying rice. We went into some very technical discussion about rice that I will spare you from. In any case, I had to leave early back to work, abandoning Mr. Nagashima of Nagashima Saketen and two of his “kikizake” friends.
Sugii Brewery also produces some very fine shochu from “imo/tuber” and “kome/rice” under the name of “Shodai Saisuke. His toji has tried his hand at making shochu with barley and buckwheat. But he was not convinced. This year, he wants to experiment with violet yams and fruits. Should be fun!

Sugii Brewery
428-0033, Shizuoka Ken, Fujieda City, Koishigawa cho, 4 cho-me, 6-4
Tel.: 054-6410606
Fax: 054-6442447