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Yucho pair

Sake Review: Yucho Shuzo Pair

Jan. 27. 2022
by Namazake Paul
Yucho Shuzo has produced sake for over 300 years in Nara, an area long considered to be the birthplace of sake in Japan. In the past decade, Yucho helped revive the ancient brewing methods made famous 500 years ago at the local Shoryaku Temple, Bodaimoto. Gose village, where Yucho is located, is surrounded by tall mountains, tall waterfalls and mighty rivers: all of which contribute to the bright, clean quality of their sake. The brewery is proud to use locally grown rice & fresh water from their deep wells in making their sake. They only use yeast #7 so don’t expect fruity Ginjo aromas here. Instead, a much more exciting ride.

Kaze no Mori 'Wind of the Woods’ Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu is my best selling Sake and this is a fresh batch.65% Polish on Akitsuho rice, 17% ABV, SMV +2.5. Carbonated and clear. The first impression is Cracker Jacks, then on further inspection we get mineral complexity. The palate is plush showing even more salted caramel but then also there’s green banana on the clean finish. Nice acidity too as this is a good example of yeast #7. Quite different than last year’s but still fun and a great value. 

Takacho 'Regal Hawk’ Bodaimoto Junmai Muroka Genshu70% Polish, Hinohikari, 17% ABV, SMV –25.Brewed with special Nara water and local Hinohikari rice via the original method of Sake called Bodaimoto, invented in Nara. Pours slightly cloudy with a lemon-lime tint. Strong aroma of browned butter. Dark brown sugar, molasses. Passion fruit. Tropical. Very pretty. The finish is long with nice acid and richness. This isn’t the wild ride it’s been in the past. A bit more focused, still fascinating though. Fans of Cel-24 don’t sleep. The 3% total acidity is roughly double your everyday Junmai Ginjo making it incredibly versatile. Pairs well with fried foods such as pork stuffed eggplant or fried chicken.Bodaimoto 菩提酛 dates to 700 AD and is particular to the Nara region. Monks would let a mixture of steamed and raw rice sit outside until it started to sour due in part to naturally occurring lactic bacteria in the special water of Nara, then use that water to start the sake brewing process. In this low pH environment, the raw rice actually malts (saccharification) whereas polished rice can’t.

For those who live in the States (some States are not available), you can purchase the pair from this link.