The taste of sake is not defined by only rice and water. Methods, skill and technology which brewers take are also very important to refine its quality and differentiate the taste.
Specially produced sake usually have what’s special in its name. It’s little maniac agenda, however, it also help you to understand the brewing method of sake more.
“Jikagumi” is the topic for this article.
Winter is the most exciting season in the sake world. There are various types of freshly produced sake nouveau. As you may know, nama sake is unpasteurized and unfiltered very fresh sake. However, there is further unprocessed super natural and fresh type of sake. Usually, those sake has this word in its name.
What is the speciality
Before explaining the theory, I would like to touch upon the difference of effects to our body by different kind of alcohol drinks. As I said above, every alcohol drink makes our body temperature down, which is caused from sudden rise of body temperature after drinking alcohol. The high calorie alcohol contains is very easy to burn in our body and the acetaldehyde which is produced on the way to decompose the alcohol makes our blood vessel wide and improve blood circulation, so that we feel very hot quickly.
However, this effect doesn’t last long. Moreover, the body temperature goes down rapidly after several hours and it is sometimes lower than what it was before drinking alcohol.
Is the said that distilled alcohol is easier to make our body cold than brewed alcohol does. Since distilled alcohol such as Whisky, Vodka and Tequila normally have higher alcohol content than brewed alcohol like Wine, Sake and Beer, its higher calorie burns more quickly and make our body temperature up more instantly.
After this step, sake is transferred to sake barrel and blended with another batch of same freshly produced sake to adjust its taste. Sake rests in the barrel for a while and wait the sediment like sake lees go down. Then, it’s bottled and shipped to customers.
For some of you have a good intuition, what “Jikagumi”（直汲み）or “Funazake（ふな酒）” mean might ring a bell.
Yes, those are the sake which is bottled directly from the sake cask. This is the sake which minimum adjustment of taste is even skipped. That is why I said super natural and fresh sake.
The taste of sake is different from the timing of pressing the moromi. It’s generally separated by 3 types “Arabashiri（荒走り）”, Nakagumi（中汲み）, “Seme”（責め）. I would like to touch upon this topic in another article.
When you visit a brewery in winter brewery season, lucky people can have a chance to drink just pressed sake which is directly ladled out from the sake cask. This sake reproduces the rare experience lucky visitors of brewery in winter season can have.
Taste and flavor
In the brewery season, brewery is covered with very unique aroma which comes from the moromi tank. It’s very comfortable fermentation aroma which is very fruity. Its special aroma is also confined in the bottle.
Its texture is also very interesting. Natural gas produced in the process of fermentation contains in the liquid, since it’s just bottled right after pressing. It’s like little sparkling sake.
Please don’t miss the chance to enjoy limited sake only for this season!