In the photo above you see the traditional "Kimoto" method of brewing sake that produces the smooth, dry character of Kiku Masamune's sakes. The process requires at least four weeks to complete. Kimoto is difficult-to-accomplish in a stable, consistent manner and has been passed from one generation of sake brew masters to the next at Kiku. Today only a few of the 1000 sake brewers in Japan use this Kimoto method. The sake-brewers themselves are considered a sort-of Shinto priest, and must reside at the brewery during all the fermentation. They sing traditional sake brewing songs while making the brew. This is a tradition worth traveling to experience.
circles on the inside bottom. The white color highlights differences in sake color.
If there is turbidity, the edges of the two blue concentric circles become blurred,
enabling detection of slight differences in turbidity. Breweries and analysis
laboratories look very carefully for turbidity in sake while it is in storage, as this
can indicate either inadequate filtration or contamination by lactic acid bacilli.
the same as for wine tasting.
(1) Observe the appearance, including color and clarity.
(2) Evaluate the uwadachika (orthonasal aroma) by bringing the vessel up to
the nose and smelling the aroma given off directly by the sake.
(3) Take about 5 ml of sake into the mouth, spread it around on the tongue,
breathe in air through the mouth and mix it with the sake.
(4) Evaluate the fukumika (retronasal aroma), which is the aroma that reaches
(6) After expectorating the sake, quietly sip more sake and allow it to pass
down the throat in order to evaluate the aftertaste.
It is important to evaluate both the orthonasal aroma, which is the aroma
sensed when the vessel is brought near the nose before tasting, and the
retronasal aroma, which is the aroma sensed while the sake is in the mouth.
The entire tongue should be used to evaluate the taste. This is because the tip of the tongue is sensitive to all tastes, and the back of the tongue is sensitive to acidity and bitterness.