Kikunotsukasa Shuzo (菊の司酒造): Innocent 40

#drinkingjapan #drinkjapan #Japanesesake #iwate #imnocent40 #kikunotsukasashuzo

Not too long ago we were in Iwate Prefecture, where we missed this gem. Fortunately, we picked up a bottle of Kikunotsukasa’s Innocent 40, “a non-filtered, non-pasteurized, non-hydrated,” high-end daiginjo sake, with 14% abv. Forty refers to the rice polishing rate or seimaibuai (精米歩合). Contributing to the Iwate influence, terroir, if you will, are Yui no Kaori (結の香), a local sakamai (rice for sake) and a homegrown yeast known as “Giovanni’s Shirabe (ジョバンニの調べ)” and a kyokai yeast, K901. This is a junmaishu that is, as Kim Carnes might put it, “[as] pure as New York snow.” What? New York snow? No, that simile just doesn’t work, does it? Let us rephrase it: “As pure as Mount Iwate snow.”

The nose is simultaneously yeasty, fruity, and sweet; in other words, there is much complexity here. The beverage glides across the tongue, enveloping it in a delicious sweetness that lingers long, and this is not an exaggeration. It was one of the longest finishes that we have ever experienced.  We think it might be appropriate to end this entry with a simile: Innocent 40 is as welcome as a soft down pillow at the end of a long hard day.

1“Bette Davis Eyes,” Kim Carnes.

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