Akishika Black Moheji Nama - 2016
Dry, brilliantly structured, and intensely aromatic, Akishika Brewery's "Black Moheji" is at once wild and smartly refined. The rice in this sake comes from ...
Dry, brilliantly structured, and intensely aromatic, Akishika Brewery's "Black Moheji" is at once wild and smartly refined. The rice in this sake comes from a single, organically farmed paddy. The rice is Omachi, polished to 60%, fermented, and aged at least 4 years before release. This sake is also unpasteurized! This is by far the most interesting, dynamic, and beguiling sake that we've tried. We had it around a campfire and the cedar and smoky aromas of the sake fit right in. There are also fruity notes of melon and citrus alongside beguiling savory hints of things like Parmesan, yeast, and dashi. Dried herb aromas of lavender and anise round out the nose.
Akishika Brewery is located in Osaka prefecture. They grow rice themselves, as well as contract with local farmers. Akishika obtained certified organic-status in 2011, although they and their farmers had been running things as such for much longer. All of their rice used is Yamada Nishiki or Omachi. Brewer Hiroaki Oku says, "I am a farmer who makes sake." It is his aim to show the terroir of the rice that he grows for the sake that he brews.
Of unique note for Akishika, they are of a small cadre of aging-oriented sake brewing. Although the mainstream of sake is geared towards fresh and fast consumption of brews, following short aging, Akishika follows their own path and stores the majority of their releases for years before release. They release sake from storage sporadically, only once it is deemed "ready". Given this, Akishika Brewery's sakes are ones that we would wholeheartedly endorse cellaring. We really can't say for how long one should hold onto these, but the structure and complexity of Akishika's brews speak to this. Also consider opening a bottle, having a glass, and then putting the open bottle away for 24 hours (or 6 months, why not?). There's really something fantastic about the way oxygen affects these sakes, and like other bold sakes (such as Yuho), our experimentation is continuing to pay off in tasty surprises.
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