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Sake

Asahi Wakamatsu from Tokushima

asahi wakamatsu

What is the smallest kura I’ve ever had sake from? I was trying to think of all sake I had in the past and their annual brewing production in my mind when I heard Nao-chan from Asahi Wakamatsu say that their annual yield is about 30 koku.

At Takase-sensei’s July benkyokai at Mitsuya, we had a great opportunity to try seven sake from a family-run brewery in Tokushima–literally a family-run business with a couple and 2 daughters running the whole show. Since the older sister is going to be leaving the family sometime soon, the younger daughter, Nao-chan who graduated from the Department of Fermentation Science at Tokyo Nodai 2 years ago will be the next in line to carry on the family business/tradition that has been passed down for 300 years.

“30 koku”-it was like a bomb went off or something.

After a few second of complete silence, I heard people muttering around me, “30 koku?”. Mitsuya syacho-san stood up and did some quick math to translate how many 1.8 L bottles 30 koku is. “3000 issho bin (1.8L bottles)”. Again, I heard a wave of “Eeee……!”, “Sugeee!” from the benkyokai members: long lasting sounds of pure surprise and maybe a tiny bit of doubt. Then, someone said “So that means 7 bottles out of 3000 they make a year are here?”.

Those echoes of “Eee” turned into sincere calls of “UMAI!” when we had the first kanpai with Junmai muroka nama genshu (unfiltered, undiluted, unpasteurized). Looking at just the numbers on paper, Asahi Wakamatsu’s sake from this year is super dry with a nihonshu-do ranging from +7 to +12. They are dry, but high acidity with deep rich flavor which I am often tricked into thinking almost sweet without being really sweet, if that makes sense, make their sake so good. We started from 3 types of Junmai muroka nama genshu from this year, continued with 3 kinds sake aged for 2 years, each one with a different process. Then finally, a Junmai muroka nama genshu which had been aged for 4 years. Although they were all from the same brewer and of the same grade, junmai, each bottle a had very distinctive feel and flavor. I liked the second one brewed this year with Nihonbare rice from Tokushima.

Asked what types of food would go well with their sake, Nao-chan said, “Yakitori, Yakizakana, but not with delicate and light foods, such as white fish or sashimi”. I thought their current sake actually went well with the sashimi we had that day. On the other hand, the aged sake was definitely better off with something with more substantial flavor.

This is actually my first sake from Tokushima. I don’t know if Asahi Wakamatsu is typical of the Tokushima style, but certainly the evening was a great introduction to both Tokushima sake and family-run brewers.

nao-chan from Asahi Wakamatsu

The next generation of Asahi Wakamatsu

Sake: Asahi Wakamatsu

Aged sake

Discussion

5 Responses to “Asahi Wakamatsu from Tokushima”

  1. Whoa! That’s amazing! I wish I’d been there…In the wine world, they would be calling Asahi Wakamatsu “boutique” to the maxxxxx!

    Posted by melinda | August 14, 2007, 10:18 am
  2. Hi Melinda, what’s maxxxxx??? Wine world has such nice sounding terms, doesn’t it?

    Posted by Et-chan | August 15, 2007, 7:29 am
  3. Girl, you should know, you lived in CA!

    Posted by melinda | August 19, 2007, 10:13 am
  4. D’oh!

    Posted by Et-chan | August 20, 2007, 12:03 pm
  5. I first tasted sake from this kura two years ago at Nihonshu Bar Yoramu. Tonight (10-31-2015) I found it again in Nagoya-shi. Complex! Sublime! To the maxxxx :-) I enjoy jizake from far away places very much and I am glad you enjoyed it, too, eight years earlier! Ha!

    Posted by Gordon Heady | October 31, 2015, 11:41 pm

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