Have you ever wondered where the yeasts come from, these unicellular, tiny fungi that are essential for fermentation? If you follow our publications or WSET trainings, you certainly know that the brewer has several possibilities to obtain them. Either from a commercial source, therefore bought from specialized organizations, with pure strains whose behavior and aromatic profile given to sake by their use is perfectly known. Either from a wild source, with yeasts isolated from the environment and preserved at the brewery. They are then exclusive to the brewer and allow him to give a unique style to each of the sake he produces.
A somewhat different case is that of brewers who do not add yeast to their fermentation tanks, relying on the yeasts naturally present in the brewery atmosphere to ferment the rice. This ancestral way of doing things is relatively rare nowadays. We will come back to this subject in a future paper].
But before they end up in the commercial circuit, or in a brewer's test tube, it goes without saying that the yeasts all have a natural origin. As they need sugar for their survival and development, they are commonly found on fruits, vegetables, honey, but also on flowers, especially in spring. By relatively simple technical processes, it is possible to extract them from these sweet elements. And this is precisely what the Amabuki Shuzo Brewery does by isolating from the flowers of its immediate natural environment, heterogeneous yeast populations that it uses for the production of its sake. This gives a very personal touch to its entire range!
ABOUT AMABUKI SHUZO
Amabuki's brewery is located in Saga Prefecture, northwest of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's major islands. In addition to the use of yeast from flowers, it uses fresh water from the nearby Sefuri Mountain, and Omachi rice grown locally without pesticides, using the "aigamo" method. This way of cultivation consists of leaving ducks free in the rice fields to feed on weeds and insects, thus avoiding the use of any kind of treatment.
TWO EXAMPLES / TWO SAKES
The rhododendron & Amabuki Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo
The rice used is Omachi worked according to the Kimoto method. From an aromatic point of view, we have a very fruity nose, with apple and pineapple. Of course we recognize the fruits in the mouth, they express themselves on slightly lactic and spicy tones of nutmeg and mint. This sake has a good acidity and a relatively discreet sweetness, which are characteristic of Kimoto sake and Omachi rice respectively.
In terms of associations, it will go wonderfully with your cooked meat or fish and, a rare thing for a sake of this category, the producer advises to try it also hot!
Marigold & Amabuki Yamahaï Junmaï
The nose is floral and fruity, with banana and brown sugar. More cereal and lactic notes of bread, malt and yoghurt mingle with it. On the palate, there is a beautiful elegance and a lot of amplitude. A very expressive mouth, with a marked acidity typical of a Yamahaï.