Archive for August, 2007

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting 4/5: Fuji San Susono 3776 by Fujinishiki

August 16, 2007

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Fuji San Susono 3776 is a shochu conceived thanks to the Susono City Mononofu Town Sake Association with the hep of Fujinishiki Brewery in Shibakawa Cho.

All ingredients were either raised or picked in Susono City and its whereabouts: Rice, yeast and Gree tea leaves. Water cameexclusively from streams and sources flowing from nearby Mount Fuji.

Clarity: Very clean and clear

Aroma: Sharp tgreen tea and green vegetables.

Body: extremely light.

Taste: Very strong green tea leaves taste.
Turns quickly lighter as it spreads around the palate. Tea leaves taste will come back again later.
Fluctuates to sweetness upon eating.

Overall: A discovery.
Shochu tends too often to look like another as ingredients are not revealed to their full extent.
Considering that people here usually drink “Shizuoka Wari”, that is shochu mixed with cold or hot green tea, They won’t for once need any supplement. Moreover they will find little reason to ignore it!
Bets drunk on its own or poured over ice. If one wants to dilute it, good pure water is best!

Fuji San 3776 by Susono City Mononofu Hometown Sake Association

August 15, 2007

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On Tuesday August 14th, I took the train to Susono City to pay a visit to Mr. Koji Emori, a gentleman who has relentlessly fought for the promotion of local sake in the Prefecture for the last 15 years.
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On the way to his liquor shop, Mishimaya, I had plenty of time to notice the great clear water flowing directly from nearby Mount Fuji, a rare treat on another scalding hot day.
I kept wondering why this region did not boast so many breweries with all that pure water on hand. I found out later that this particular area’s economy was based on agricultural products and soy sauce producing before WWII, which explains things.
Mishimaya is a very busy liquor shop with a wine annex run bt the whole family of two brothers and two sisters and parents. In spite of the lack of space I was offered a very warm welcome and talk started right away as if we had known each other for ages.
Mr. Emori and the owners of 12 other liquor retailers formed their association in April 1992 and have since then worked hard on promoting local sake through regular events and the creation of special brands for the city:
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Mr. Emori and his friends also contributed to the creation and promotion of local Strawberry Wine and Sakura Wine.
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But their Tour de force was their role into creating a local shochu exclusively made with local rice and green tea called Fuji San Susono 3776 on July 14th, 2007 with the help of Fujinishiki Brewery (Shibakawa Cho)!
Mr. Emori had me go through a blind tasting of three different Shizuoka Tea shochu, two of which evidently not made in our Prefecture.
I had not difficulty to discover which one was 3776 as the flavour of the green tea was so predominant as compared to the other two brews paling in comparison!

Since I acquired a sample, expect a tasting report soon!

For people not able to travel to Susono or Numazu Cities, look at Mishimaya Liquor Shop’s Homepage (Japanese) or contact:

Mr. Koji Emori
Mishimaya Liquor Shop
410-1118 Shizuoka Prefecture, Susono City, Sano, 1489-3
Tel.: 055-9931553
Fax: 055-9931554

Koizumi Saketen

August 11, 2007

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I just cannot count how many times I have cycled past Mr. Katsunori Koizumi Kiquor Shop as it is along the way to the Cricket Ground I have to go to at least 3 times a week!
I just make a point stoppeng there only when Mr. Koizumi is (rarely) free. Otherwise I would be better off leaving my own chair there as once you have got the gentleman talking, he just would not stop!
He is a great mine of information and local lore on anything realted with local sake, shochu, beer and liqueurs as his family used to run the Koizumi Honkei Brewery in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku until it got absorbed by Sanwa (Garyubai) Brewery in Shimizu!
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He also organizes his own Shizuoka Sake Festival in Shizuoka City, grouping more than a dozen local Breweries. The next one will take place on the 10th of October.
As a proof of his kowledge he revealed me a little secret: A group in Mishima has just convinced Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City to create a “imo” shochu for them next May 2008!

As for local (he has many from all over japan on sale!) shochu he has Saisuke, “imo” and “kome” from Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City and Doman, “kome” from Tenjigura Brewery in Hamamatsu City, as well as Umeshu made with shochu by Senju Brewery in Iwata City.

Koizumi Saketen
Address: 420-0008 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Suido-cho 74
Tel.: 054-2710335
Business hours: 07:30~22:00

Tasting 8: Senju Brewery/Distillery-Ianaizumi

August 3, 2007

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Senju Brewery in Iwata City is another old kura which also produces an extravagant kome/rice soxhu from the milling of its rice. Senjju is also the only Brewery/Distillery owning a kicense to distill rice alcohol in Shizuka Prefecture.

Inaizumi (the “rice source”) is a standard 25 degrees “honkaku shochu) made from rice, rice lees.

Aroma: Ricey/Banana/Vanilla. Discreet and elegant.

Taste: Ricey/ banana-vanilla. Faitful to aroma. Dry

Overall: Very dry and pleasant.
Probably best on the rocks. Very discree aroma. Gents and ladies alike can appreciate.
Very easy to drink. Could be sipped straight. Mixing it with anything but water is tantamount to crime!

A new Shochu is born: Fuji Susono 3776!

August 2, 2007

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On july 14th, 2007 (the National Day of my country, France!) a new Shizuoka Prefecture shochu was born!
Organized for the first time by the “Susono Shi Mononofuno Sato Meisake Kai”, it is made from local tea and rice. The new brand was distilled by Fujinishiki Brewery/Distillery in Shibakawa Cho, near Mount Fuji! The name: Fuji Susono 3776
Why 3776? Because only 3,776 bottles have been first made this time!
For more details check Mishimaya Saketen Homepage (Japanese)
A more detailed posting in the future!