Mooka, Tochigi Prefecture – Brewer: Hiroyuki Tsuji – Founded 1743
Tsujizenbei sake is from Tochigi and is surrounded by amazing local wells and one of the top rice growing regions of Japan. Mooka has a humid subtropical climate with hot humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation is heavy in the summer wet season, especially from July to Sept and is noticeably dryer in the winter months Dec-Feb.
The well water for this sake is drawn from the original wooden framed well that is the centerpiece of the brewery. The owner of the brewery is 16th generation and is committed to improving his sake every year. Tradition meets a more modern flair at this brewery. Ask him about his love of motorcycles.
This brewery is especially famous for the techniques they use to age their sake. While most other breweries refrigerate and age their sake at temperatures with minimal variation, Tsujizenbei is more about variation of temperatures. This brewery has five different refrigerators all with different temperatures that help the sake to mature at its individual pace. The resulting qualities of this unique process create exceptional sake with umami, balance and round mouthfeel.
This subtle sake has a bright citrus, lemon lime character, hints of marshmallow and a slight herbal quality. Dry and medium light bodied with classic melon notes and quite dry in the finish.
A delicate sake with aromatic notes of lilac cantaloupe and lily. The all natural brewing process gives a dry, full round mouth has a strong earthy feel with notes such as mushroom, caramel and a hint of mint. (brown bottle)
Tsujizenbei Junmai Daiginjo Tobingakoi
This is a rich, dense, slightly off dry sake with a nose of lychee, jasmine, fennel pollen and citrus rind. The high milling rate and purity of the water used in making this sake is showcased by the complex mouth feel of anise, melon, pear and citrus.