Have you ever tried sake produced with the hard water? Matsuoka jozo is located in Saitama prefecture, North of Tokyo and brews sake with one of the hardest water in Japan. It's said that sake produced with the hard water tends to be full-bodied and drier, however, this label is unusual, very soft and gentle. This interview reveals the mysterious Matsuka bozo's brewing with using the hard water.

Q. How is Hiyaoroshi in this year?

Because the very hot period was short in this summer, the condition of "Hiyaoroshi" is very nice. The texture became very smooth and mellow and the taste got the particular softened umami.

Q. To Matsuoka zojo, what’s the meaning of Hiyaoroshi?

I believe "Hiyaoroshi" represents the Autumn season of my brewery and its a peak of deliciousness in a year. Pairing with Autumn seasonal foods, especially smoked foods should be fabulous.


Q. It's said that hard water is very difficult to control the fermentation due to full of nutrients. Are there any special techniques?

Controlling temperature is the key to success brewing with the hard water. By let yeast ferment in the low temperature, we can bring the particular aroma and umami out from the hard water. To make this happen, we precisely control the temperature of tank with using the computer.


Q. It's said that sake produced with the hard water tends to be full-bodied and drier, however, this label is unusual, very soft and gentle. Where does this speciality come from?

The sake produced the hard water is commonly called "Man of sake" and tends to be full-bodied and drier. However, our hard water doesn't contain any iron which makes the off taste. In stead of that, calcium and potassium are very rich in our water. Those components becomes nutrients for the sake yeast.
Besides, it's not scientifically proven but our water is very easy to drink even though its hardness is very high. Probably, this mildness and clearness form the particular texture of our sake.


Q. As same as brewing, we think the maturing should be inevitable to mostly rely on the nature process. Do you have something unforgettable experience?

Normally, sake tends to have the peculiar off-taste and aroma by being aged, however, our sake is good for aging because of the characteristic of hard water.
I had a chance to open a forgotten 10 years matured sake. Usually, it's likely to be Shaoxing wine, however, it was totally different and its aroma was like a very aged whiskey.
My eyes opened with this experience and started studying the aging of sake.

Q. Hiyaoroshi is the Autumn limited sake. Please tell us your recommendation how to enjoy Hiyaoroshi

It's great to enjoy with Autumn seasonal foods. Hot sake at 45℃ is the best to enjoy this label. Please enjoy!!