Jan. 25. 2017 posted by
Abysse Sake Using Burgundy White Wine Yeast Now in 300mL Sizes
Thanks to its growing popularity, Hananomai Brewery is widening the sale of Abysse, the sake fermented with the same yeast as the famed Burgundy white wine. After selling 10,000 720mL bottles since last spring, a commemorative line of 300mL bottles went on sale November 16.
The name “Abysse” means “deep sea” in French signifying the compatibility with fish that it inherited from its fruity yet complex white wine roots. Abysse is also infused with the versatility of sake, lending itself to pairings with a wider range of dishes, especially when served at different temperatures.
The concept of this drink by the brewery based in Hanamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, was to create a sake that could appeal to first-time drinkers by using the name recognition of Burgundy with a lighter taste and alcohol content than those of other brands.
For those who have yet to try this novel and sophisticated flavor, it’s now easier than ever to take the plunge into the Abysse.
- Name: Abysse
- Yeast: Burgundy
- Alcohol: 12%
- Volume: 300mL
- Price: 630 yen
- Release Date: November 16, 2019
Sake-Themed Start-Up Wins Environmental Social Innovation Award
Naorai, a startup based in Hiroshima Prefecture, won the Environmental Social Innovation Award at the 7th Goodlife Awards, held by Japan’s Ministry of Environment.
They were selected from a field of 243 companies across the country for their efforts in reclaiming farmland on Mikado Island in the Seto Inland Sea. This remote island with only 20 inhabitants is also home to abandoned but pristine agricultural land suitable for growing organic lemons. These same lemons are used in Naorai’s Mikado Lemon Sparkling, a sparkling liqueur with a sake base made from Hiroshima’s own Senbon Nishiki rice.
This is part of a growing movement in Japan to take advantage of land that has been abandoned in rural areas with dwindling populations unable to cultivate it. These areas are also typically free of agricultural chemicals, due to their long stagnance.
Naorai is also currently holding a round of crowdfunding to gauge the demand for drinks made with organic rice. The product up for funding is called Jochu Purified Spirit, which is a specially distilled form of sake with an over-40% ABV that Naorai is calling “a completely new type of drink.”
Naorai’s business model helps remote rural communities get back on their feet while also tapping new markets, providing products that fill a market niche while giving back to the community and remaining environmentally friendly – a winning innovation that netted Naorai this year’s award.
- Name: Mikado Lemon Sparkling
- Type: Sparkling Lemon Liqueur
- Lemons: Organic Mikado Island Lemon
- Rice: Senbon Nishiki Rice
- Alcohol: 5%
- Volume: 750mL
- Price: 6,600 yen
- Name: Jochu Purified Spirit
- Type: Distilled Sake
- Alcohol: 41-45%
- Volume: 700mL
- Price: 7,000 yen
Traditional Japanese Confection Made with Rich-Tasting Sake Lees On Sale
Yokan is a Japanese variation of gelatin that’s both vegan-friendly and dates back centuries. It’s representative of the wider world of wagashi Japanese treats, pleasing to the eye and typically made with traditional, craftsman methods.
Now, confectioner Toraya has crafted a Yokan that utilizes the sediment leftover from sake brewing, known as lees, for a completely new take on the traditional snack. Called Masu no Tsuyu, it was made with the help of Masudashuzo in Toyama and their highly regarded Masuizumi Daiginjo Kotobuki Platina sake.
Batches of this premium sake destined for Toraya’s use don’t undergo the full squeezing process, ensuring extra sake flavor remains in the lees. The lees are then aged for several months to further deepen flavors before use in creating Masu no Tsuyu.
This careful production with fine ingredients means that Masu no Tsuyu can only be sold in limited quantities at the Toraya Tokyo Midtown store in January and February of 2020 while supplies last. For sake fans who have never tasted yokan there has never been a better time to try it.
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