Furosen Usunigori Junmai Ginjo Yamahai Nama
Intricate and idiosyncratic craft sake brewed in a wonderful combination of new and old techniques. Uehara Shuzo's Furosen Usunigori is a slightly hazy 'not-...
Intricate and idiosyncratic craft sake brewed in a wonderful combination of new and old techniques. Uehara Shuzo's Furosen Usunigori is a slightly hazy 'not-quite nigori'/'not-quite clear' that shows off balances between gamy umami and vibrant acids, while still keeping things in check by having less pronounced aromatics, and an overall soundness in structure that is crisp, nutty, and ricey.
A key to the backbone of this sake is evidently the brewery's abundant crisp spring water, which Uehara Shuzo prizes for it's quality in sake brewing.
Sake brewer Uehara-san polishes their own rice in order to more closely monitor the humidity affecting the grains, which in turn allows him more precise control towards making better sake. He ferments in wooden casks, without temperature controls (yet clearly manages to pull off flawless a delicous and restrained Yamahai method apparently without these controls! I'm intrigued.) The yeast used is one cultivated from yeasts in the brewery, rather than being purchased from commercial yeast producers. He also utilizes a huge wooden vertical press, which takes 3 days to press rather than 12-18 hours of the more common Yabuta method. Slow sake indeed. Brewing is finished up with coarse filtration which gives us the slightly cloudy usunigori style. This isn't a heavy, thick nigori. Think of it like having the texture of a hazy IPA, or unfined and unfiltered natural wine. The sake is not pasteurized before release, which gives big and bold flavors, but also means it needs to be kept cool. Store it in your fridge.
Yamadanishiki Rice (the king of sake rice!), 60% polish ratio.
Uehara Shuzo is a 7th generation family brewery run by Isao Uehara. They are located in Takashima, on the Northwest side of Lake Biwa.
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