Choryo Yamahai Omachi Cedar-Aged Taru-zake
Choryo's Yamahai Omachi Taruzake is clean and sophisticated, with a wonderfully earthy, woody balance. On the nose, it is black pepper, tea, rice, and wonder...
Choryo's Yamahai Omachi Taruzake is clean and sophisticated, with a wonderfully earthy, woody balance. On the nose, it is black pepper, tea, rice, and wonderful subdued cedar aromas. The damp earth and woody aromas, along with the rainwater-like texture remind me of Oregon autumns on the coast. On the palate, this sake is slightly dry, with a soft and watery texture that bears a pleasant and light astringency.
Choryo is most well-known as a brewery for their concerted efforts in preserving Japan's tradition of cedar sake barrel-making. In staggering attention to detail, Choryo harvests specific young trees of a certain size (not too young, not too old) from a forest nearby the brewery. They then make specific barrels from different parts of the wood, to be used specifically for each sake they make. This sake sees about 2 weeks of age in these fresh handmade cedar casks. Once the casks have been used for sake, they get passed on to be used in traditional miso and shoyu production.
The term Yamahai in this sake's name refers to an old-school brewing technique where lactic acid is produced naturally from the ambient airborne bacteria in the brewery. This method is risky and more time consuming than the modern way of doing things, but the results can yield earthiness, umami, gaminess, and big-boned sake.
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