Hakurakusei, Junmai Ginjo
Type of rice: Kura no Hana
Rice Polishing: 55%
ALC: 16% alc
Brewery: Niizawa Sake Brewery
Founded in 1873, with the professed aim of delivering “the ultimate meal-time sake”, the brewery continues to hold itself to a support role, in deference to cuisine. Having a refined palate – which has itself landed him accolades in several tasting competitions – current fifth-generation Chief Operator Iwao Niizawa used his energy as both the first Head Brewer of his own firm and status as the outright youngest in Miyagi Prefecture – at the time – to reverse the declining fortunes of the brewery.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011, however, the brewery was completely destroyed, relying on his indomitable spirit and the dedication of both the brewery workers and an army of volunteers to carry out a miraculous relocation and rebuilding process in Kawasaki-cho, Shibata District, within the same year.
Just five years later, the brewery was awarded First Prize for its Atago no Matsu label in the 2016 Sake Competition – featuring the most extensive sake examination board in Japan – bestowing upon it the status of best in Japan.
Fully embracing the “ultimate meal-time sake” ethos, both aroma and sweetness are subtle and subdued, taking maximum advantage of the Kura no Hana variety of rice favored in Miyagi Prefecture.
Delicate at first, it proceeds to a well-rounded palate and neat aroma, before dissipating in a flurry that is unique to this sake. Without tiring the palate, savory notes gradually build from the third glass onward, commending it for any extended dining experience.
Food Pairing: anything goes, all rounder. Can handle high acidity types of food as well. e.g. ceviches.