The young brewmaster of Azumatsuru is not just a hope of own brewery but also that of entire saga prefecture. After coming back to the brewery at the age of 28, the quality of his sake has been improving every year. After having this interview, I was strongly convinced his new sake must surpass the sake of this year.
Q. How is Hiyaoroshi in this year?
The acidity was very high in the fresh sake nouveau phase so that I dared to mature in the room temperature. It was the right decision. In addition to the matured mellow texture and rich taste, which are the typical feature for good Autumn limited sake, you can enjoy the nicely tightened middle and aftertaste.
Q. Authentic sake of Saga is the mostly sweet type, however, what’s attractive of Azumatsuru is its sweet but clean taste. How do you try to produce this cleanness?
There are several factors, but the main is lower alcohol content, less than 16.5% in unprocessed phase. After sake yeast dies out, the amount of amino acid, which causes off-taste, increase.
By keeping the alcohol content lower, we are trying to save sake yeast as much as possible to make the amount of amino acid smaller.
Alcohol is stress to sake yeast. Sake yeast starts to die over 15%. Normally, unprocessed sake has higher alcohol content like 19%. For marketing sake, water is added and make the alcohol content lower.
Q. You came back to your brewery had been closed for 20 years at the age of 28. What made you restart the brewery?
I was not good at sake. When I met very delicious sake, it was very shocking. I came to strongly think that I want to produce such a delicious sake in my own brewery.
Q. After coming back to the brewery, do you have something special experience?
We use the local rice “Saga-no-hana” for Hiyaoroshi and try to produce the ideal taste with controlling the maturing temperature and timing of pasteurization and so forth.
Hiyaoroshi is the most delicate sake in all the pasteurized sake.
Q. Please tell us your recommendation how to enjoy Hiyaoroshi
Room temperature is the best to enjoy the well-balanced taste of sake. This label has very elegant flower-like aroma so that it’s great to enjoy with the wine glass.
Q. Did you have any new special challenges on brewing in this year?
To produce good sake, it’s essential to process ingredients carefully. In this year, I will study the better way to steam rice and produce sake which has more profound and richer taste.