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Matsu no Tsukasa

I’m back in West Japan again, and yet another selection of good sake from a brewery located in a very quaint prefecture called Shiga. When I think of this prefecture images of Lake Biwa come to mind with its vastness and natural beauty. It is the largest fresh water lake in Japan and a World Cultural Heritage. I also think of the Tonda Bunraku Puppet Troupe which is regarded by the Japanese as an Intangible Cultural Treasure with its long historical roots dating back centuries.
Also, home to Toray, the prefectural Shiga based volleyball team with my favorite goddess Oyama Kana, add that to some great sake and a hot spring dip at Ogoto Onsen and this is heaven. Let’s not forget Enryakuji Temple and Hiyoshi Grand Shrine to top it off.
oyama
The sake of choice, and is what came highly recommended from other greats, is a sake called Matsuno Tsukasa, a Yamahai Jyunmai: Nama Genshu. Shiga grown yamadanishiki(organic), polished to 65%. Yamahai or Shikomi, is the method of preparing the yeast starter that involves natural lactic bacteria, but eschews mixing with poles. The end result is usually a gamey, wilder sake. (山廃). Yamada Nishiki rice is generally regarded as the best sake rice. Nama means unpasteurized and genshu means it’s undiluted and often times higher in alcohol content.
matsuno
(Her up against my wall)
The video presentation
The instruments for drinking today will be the Riedel Daiginjo tokkuri and sake glass. It’s good to see the coloration of the sake and whatever natural sediments left over from the tank in the glass. You get to focus exclusively on the sake itself.
riedel
And then lunch. Nice thick juicy pork cutlets and hot rice to go along with this sake.
katsu
The tasting profiles for the sake are as follows:
Tight well rounded flavor, dry, clean and floral finish. Clean smell, elegant, righteous nihonshu smell. Nothing artificial. The nihonshu-do is plus 3. Alc 17%.
All-and-all, a great sake skewed towards a more masculine taste.

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