One of the most exciting aspects of sake is the production method, especially when you begin to see the distinctions in flavour profile between modern methods like the Sokujomoto process and specialist methods like Yamahai.
The most ancient form of sake production is the bodaimoto method, which originated in the 14thcentury and can be traced to Nara. Sake produced in this style brings on unique flavours, which is definitely the case with Gozenshu 9 Junmai.
Why did I choose the bottle?
I’ve been on a mission to try as many different types of nihonshu as possible and boidaimoto style sake was brought to my attention through watching a video of Erika Haigh from Moto break down the different production methods and recommending Tengu Sake for their range of boidaimoto.
Gozenshu 9 is produced by the Tsuji Honten brewery of Katsuyama in Okayama Prefecture. The brewery was founded in 1804 and carries a rich history of producing junmai (pure) sake under a wide range of master brewers, such as the founder Yahei Tsuji, and more recently, Maiko Tsuji, the first female toji (head brewer) of Okayama.
This sake is made with Omachi rice, which lends to a creamier body than other types of nihonshu, making it immediately stand out. The Gozenshu 9 is so good that it won the ‘Best Sake With British Food’ at Hyper Japan 2014.
A delectable aroma of malt and chocolate wafted up from the glass. The first sip provided an earthy texture that unwound into notes of cereal and custard cream biscuit.
An underlying caramel flavour zipped in my mouth, creating an incredibly smooth drinking experience. Subtler notes of mango and banana were present in the aftertaste. A pleasant, sweet tang was left behind on the tip of my tongue.
There’s a beautiful complexity to Gozenshu 9 that marries earthiness with sweetness. Rustic, elegant and smooth, it turned me into a boidaimoto believer. Recommended drinking it chilled or at room temperature.
Seimaibuai/Rice Polishing Rate: 65%