Junmai 'Ao label' 30BY (Tokkuri)
Bentenmusume (辨天娘) is one of the smallest breweries in Japan. It is a tiny Kura tucked away in the mountain forests of Wakasa town, in Tottori prefecture, owned and run by the Ohta Family – who all pitch in to help make saké in the winter and are out in the fields growing rice in the summer. They are dedicated to making traditional 'Shoku-chū shu'.
The brewery is very family-centric, and even their sake tanks are named 'first daughter', 'second daughter' and so on, with each treated like their own child. Each bottle is single origin – the rice they use is all grown locally in Wakasa town, and on each sake bottle, alongside the ingredients, is the name of the farmer who grew the rice. Wakasa is surrounded by beautiful mountains with lush green forests, and is blessed with crystal clear water and excellent rice fields.
This unique little 'Ao label' Junmai sake is a beautiful blend of the remaining rice of other Bentenmusume sakes (so this bottle doesn't have a rice name or a farmer's name). It exudes delicate rice aromas with hints of melon and citrus, and on the palate you can catch rich rice and malt flavours, with glimmers of melon. The flavour is clean, leaving a brief zingy aftertaste around the edges of your tongue. Can be enjoyed at different temperatures, but it's yummiest warm – 40–45˚C – when the aromas becomes warm and ricey, and the flavour more mellow. For okan (warm sake), prepare a saucepan with 10cm of nearly-boiling water, pop the cap off the sake and place it in the saucepan for 3-5 mins. Voila. AND you can use the empty bottle as a tokkuri after you finish it :)