1489:Dassai Koshu(Yamaguchi Prefecture)


For the first time in four mounths, the "otamajakushi" (tadpole) and friends came for drinks. I am the "sakegaeru" (sake frog) and otamajakushi's younger than me, hence the nickname. This time, it's otamajakushi, otamajakushi's beautiful co-workers O & S and myself, drinking. We're at our usual watering hole, Izakaya U.

We drink our way through "Shichi Hon Yari Junmai Kassei Nigorizake," "Shichida Junmai Origarami Nama Muroka," "Bon Awayuki Muroka Namazake Junmai Daiginjo Yamadanishiki," "Tatsuriki Junmai Ginjo Dragon Black Episode 2," "Imanishiki Special Junmai Muroka Namagenshu Otamajakushi," "Daina Junmai Ginjo Miyamanishiki Muroka Namagenshu Chokugumi," "Takakiya Special Junmai Handmade Funeshibori Namazake," "Wataya Special Junmai Miyamanishiki" and "Hiwata Yamahai Junmai Genshu Chousoku Hiire."

From the tenth sake, we start a series of "koshu" (aged sake). The manager brought "Tenyurin Junmai Ginjo 55 2008," "Hokkoji Gouriki Junmai Ginjo Tobindori Muroka Genshu," "Matsu No Hana Junmai Aged & Stored 8-Years Hizoukoshu," "Kuromatsu Okina Hizoukoshu 15 Years Old" and "Dassai Koshu." I didn't know that Dassai makes aged sake. Immediately, I try it.

Beauty O: It tastes like a liquor. It lacks body.
Sakegaeru: It tastes like a koshu. Has some umami. Not much acidity.

This conversation is jotted down on my iPod Touch as we drink. However, I'm not confident that I clearly stated my impressions. That's because I have no memory of the taste. I had only the memo and the photo I took. This is bad.

I can't write this column without any recollection of the taste of the sake I write about. It's rude to my readers. So, six days after drinking with otamajakushi and friends, I invite my friend D to come along and re-visit Izakaya U. We drink all five of the koshu series that I can't remember, beginning with the "Tenyurin." We drink them in the same order too. It sounds silly, but I'm a methodical and particular person and I have to do it this way to settle things with myself.

Now a sober start to the "koshu series." Just as we did 6 days ago, I drink in the order of "Tenyurin" "Hokkoji Gouriki" "Matsu No Hana Junmai Aged & Stored 8-Years Hizoukoshu," "Kuromatsu Okina Hizoukoshu 15 Years Old" and finally "Dassai Koshu."

D: As expected from Dassai. It embodies "koshu." It's like an beginners guide to koshu. Like Toshiyuki Nishida (actor)"
Sakegaeru: What do you mean, Toshiyuki Nishida?
D: I mean it has good character.
Sakegaeru: Definitely a koshu. The sake is mature. I can feel the "Dassai" DNA. But mature koshu usually has a round touch, and this is lacking that. It feels rather sharp.

The label says simply "Ingredients: rice (domestic), koji (domestic rice), seimai buai (polishing ratio) 50%. It doesn't indicate at all what kind of sake was aged or for how long. It must mean "don't trouble youself with the details, just enjoy the Dassai koshu."

I looked online and found an entry indicating that "Dassai Koshu" is "Aged "Dassai Junmai Ginjo 50" and is a blend this sake of various ages. The rice used is Yamadanishiki."


By Sakekaeru
A former journalist for a local newspaper agency. Registered domicile, address, age: Unknown. He likes to drink sake that he has never tried before. Usually keeps a sake warmer at his favored izakaya restaurant. He believes that saying "I will start with a beer" at a drinking party is disrespectful to beer and sake, so it should start with sake. He prefers rich sake with a sour taste. Each year, he drinks over 500 different kinds of sake.

translated by Kodensha
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