2016.07.22

The Roots of Brewery Rice 雄町 OMACHI -Theme of Sake in August 2016

 BAMRestaurant
As you may know, sake is basically produced with only rice and water. To differentiate the taste and express the uniqueness, the choice of ingredients gives very large effect to the result.

That is why there are about 90 kinds of brewery rice. Each of them has own special feature. Some of you might hear a famous brewery rice “Yamadanishiki” which is called the king of brewery rice.
Because of its 2 features such as easy to brew and well-balanced taste, lots of breweries were attracted by this excellent brand.

However, currently other brewery rice is attracting those breweries which is chasing their own unique taste. The brewery rice is called “雄町 Omachi” which is an ancestor of Yamadanishiki and has its history for more than one century.
It is also said that the root of brewery rice. About 40 kinds of brewery rice is native to Omachi.

Nowadays, the potential value has been reconsidered and some sake freaks called “Omachist” drink sake made with Omachi willingly have appeared.

I am going to interpret why Omachi attract brewers and sake lovers here.

What's Omachi

Omachi is the only pure-line brewery rice still growing after being found over 100 years ago. It is said that about 40 kinds of brewery rice including major brand Yamadanishiki and Gohyakumangoku have originated in Omachi. This fact proves the greatness of this brewery rice.

omachi


However, it is a troublesome rice to farmers, since it’s very easy to fall down due to its height can reach 160cm, which is one of the highest rice, and heavy ears. Farmers need tremendous time to sustain its stem. More over, Its sick tolerance is very weak and easy to get spoilt.

ears

Ears are hanging due to its weight and height


Since its high hurdle to grow, Omachi only account 3% of brewery rice’s total production quantity. Besides, 90 % of Omachi is produced in Okayama prefecture where is the origin of Omachi.

That is why the price is super expensive and it is sometimes called “Visionary brewery rice”.

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Brewer's point of view

As its production is super hard, brewing is also quite a difficult and requires toleration and skill. Since it is quicker to absorb water than the other brands, brewers need to be very careful about the time to soak rice in the material processing step.

When brewers produce shubo in the barrel. high concentration is also required, because its grain is very soft and very easy to melt.
The more rice is melted in the barrel, the sweeter the taste is, so that sake produced with Omachi can be easy to become too sweet without skill and concentration.

soak

Soaking Rice

These difficulties encourage those brewers to challenge producing sake with Omachi.
Omachi has unlimited potential and expresses the feature of its brewery very well. Some brewers say “Omachi is the only rice admired by all brewer”.

Contrary to Omachi, Yamadanishiki is excellent and doesn’t require much concentration and workload to brewers.  Even so, brewers are eager to touch Omachi.

I remembered my mom’s word “The child with the troublesome is prettier“. It might be human’s nature…

melt

Rice melting in Shubo barral


Character of its taste

There are mainly 4 key features of sake made by Omachi.

1. Well-rounded

To compare with other brewery rice, its taste tends to be richer and milder. The texture is thick and well-rounded. Because of its full-body taste, it is able to pair with western food with strong taste.

2. Complex umami

As mentioned above, it is very easy to melt, so that sake tends to contain the wide variety of umami. This variety is different from the environment of each breweries. Thats is why said that Omachi expresses the feature of brewery very well.

3. Long lasting after taste

Thanks to its complexity, we can enjoy several waves of taste coming one after another. The wave continues to its after taste. Until sake goes through our throat, we can enjoy the transition of taste.

4. Transformation in matured

What well-rounded rich taste and complex umami mean is sake contains various components inside. By maturing, each component changes its character and mutually interacted. The taste sometimes goes to unexpected direction.

azusa


There are typical features of Omachi. As I repeat several times, Omachi expresses the feature of brewery very well.

SAKEMARU’s 2 limited sake made with Omachi have also very different taste. Let’s give a try and find your favorite Omachi sake. You will be attracted by its deep world and might become an “Omachist”…

2 labels made with Omachi

tsuru


1.東鶴 AZUMATSURU TOKUBETSUJUNMAI OMACHI ARABASHIRI NAMA

Its liquid looks slightly yellow and thick. Its color syncronizes with its label design and looks very yummy. The aroma is gently fruity like apple.
Once you taka a sip, juicy umami blooms in your mouse. The umami is smoothly shifting to mild sweetness which stands the key feature of this brewery.

Clean sourness comes after the sweetness and refresh our mouse. Omachi is the great brewery rice to express the feeature of brewery on the sake's taste.

I can see young brew master's challnge through drinking this label. The taste of typical Saga's sake is very rich and sweet. It's very delicious for first a couple of glasses, however it's easy to get bored with the rich taste.

Contrary to this typical ones, I never got bored with drinking this label. I believe the subtle sourness makes this happen. This lable must be acceped both biginner and core sake freaks!

Polish rate:60%
Alcohol content:16.5%
SMV:±0
Acidity:1.7

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ao


2.青天井 AOTENJO JUNMAIGINJO NAMA

This label is exclusively produced for SAKEMARU members!!
95% of Omachi brewery rice is produced in Okayama prefecture. It's very rare and expensive for breweries in other area.

Also, there are some enthusiasts called "Omachist" love sake brewed with the rice. Omachi doesn't attact only consumers, but also brewers. Most of brewers quite eager in brewing say "Omachi is the subject all the brewer wants to tackle".

It looks very clean and transparent. As soon as openning the bottle, fresh floral scent starts to waft through the air.

Attack is sharp and clean. The taste is very plain at a glance, however the soft umami and sweetness is gradually showing its face. Complex after flavor is also the unique point of this label.
We recommed to drink in chilled with wine glass.

Polish rate:60%
Alcohol content:14%
SMV:+4
Acidity:1.4

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