Let’s start with two eye catching points which standout even before tasting this unique
The first is its beautiful name; the three Chinese characters composing its name
stand for ‘love’, ‘rice’ and ‘fascination’ and in English it is called by its phonetics ’I MY
ME’. Beautiful! Isn’t it?! I find it very poetic!
The second is it’s splendidly designed which not surprisingly won the “Tochigi Design Award
2017”. The small-scale bottle is indeed very pleasant for the eye, not only for its shape and
golden color but also for the tiny pieces of ume (Japanese plum) which are floating
majestically inside the bottle and look like tiny golden flakes.
On their website, Nishibori Shuzo (Tochigi prefecture established in 1872) states its
brewing philosophy as follows:
Free and open-minded sake brewing
For their I MY ME series, it is said on their website: ‘A series of a new category that challenges the potential of sake, centered on 100% of ancient rice, pure rice sake’.
The fact that this UMESHU contains some Junmai sake as well (which according to Nishibori’s website combines two types of ancient rice; red and green) might explain the very unique taste it has.
‘I MY ME’ has a very condense and reach flavor and a lingering aftertaste. It offers a sophisticated drinking experience as it keeps changing inside one’s mouth. As was already stated it contains junmaishu made from an ancient rice and ume (plum) which were cultivated in Japan only.
As written on its label it is recommended to slightly shake, the bottle before drinking for the
fruit components (plum) to disperse/scatter in order for the drinker to enjoy the whole treat.
It contains 12% alcohol and has a thick textured and intense flavor with high viscosity and
a long finish with a subtle aftertaste.
I tried this unique umeshu in three different ways: at a room temperature, with a cube of ice and even slightly warm. I can attest all three ways were enjoyable and satisfactory.
All kind of sweet and deserts
Ice cream (even puring it on top of a vanila icream )
Digestif (before finishing with espresso )
Ume (cultivated in Japan only)
Words and photos by Anat Parnass, all rights reserved ©