Episode 76 Show Notes
Episode 76. Another week, another brand profile! Join us as we travel up north to the very top of Honshu – to Aomori Prefecture. Located a stone’s throw from the coastal shoreline, Hachinohe Shuzo has been crafting sake in Aomori since 1775. More recently, two brothers have taken over at the Brewery, Hideyuki and Nobuyuki Komai and they began steering their small batch “Mutsu Hassen” brand in exciting new directions. With tweaks to the traditional sake brewing orthodoxy, such as using white koji and shortening the length of the shubo yeast starter process, the Komai brothers have created exciting new sake flavors that don’t stray too far from tradition. Listen in as Timothy talks about his 2013 visit to this brewery and his literal run in with both a sugidama (hanging cedar branch ball) and a minor typhoon. And completely unrelated to Squid Games on Netflix, there is way more squid talk than one might expect.
Skip to: 00:19
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy
About Hachinohe Brewery from Mutual Trading Co:
“Hachinohe Shuzo; a microbrewery in Aomori prefecture that selects local rice and yeast and brews with the famous water of Kanizawa, Hachinohe. Their aim is to produce a modern sake that is delicious yet safe for the environment and personal health. They use 100% white koji in their moromi base giving their sake a fresh, straight-from-the-brewery character.”
Find Hachinohe Shuzo on Social Media
Mutsu Hassen Isaribi Tokubetsu Junmai
Brewery: Hachinohe Shuzo
Classification: Tokubetsu Junmai
Importer: Mutual Trading (NY)
Brand: Mutsu Hassen
View on UrbanSake.com: Mutsu Hassen Isaribi Tokubetsu Junmai
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.
This is it! Join us next time for another episode of Sake Revolution!
Now there is a new way to support Sake Revolution. Join us on Patreon! Patreon is an online platform that allows you to support your favorite creators by subscribing to a monthly membership. At Sake Revolution, we’re offering two tiers, each with its own perk. If you enjoy our sake podcast, if you are able, please consider supporting this labor of sake love! See below to learn about our Patreon support levels.
Have you ever wanted to sip along with us as we taste our sakes on the podcast? Now you can! As a Sake Enthusiast patron, you’ll get the inside track and know in advance which sakes we’ll be featuring on the show. This allows you to get them on hand and sip along with us while you listen.
As a Sake Otaku supporter of the pod, you’ll get access to all the Sake Enthusiast intel along with access to a monthly live zoom Sake Happy Hour taking place the first Weds of every month at 9pm ET (6pm PT). Visit with us live on zoom! Come with all your questions and suggestions and enjoy a relaxed and fun Happy Hour with with us as we all sip sake together!
Episode 76 Transcript
John Puma: 0:21
Hello everybody. And welcome to Sake Revolution. This is America’s first sake podcast. I’m your host, John Puma, sake advocate at large, the administrator of the internet sake discord, the guy around here who does not do the sake samurai.
Timothy Sullivan: 0:42
And I am your host, Timothy Sullivan. I am a Sake Samurai, sake educator, as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And every week John and I will be here tasting and also chatting about all things sake and doing our best to make it fun and easy to understand.
John Puma: 1:00
Excellent. Excellent. So, uh, Tim, I think it’s about time for us to get branded once again.
Timothy Sullivan: 1:07
Yes, we’re doing another branded episode and we’re going to focus on one specific brand from a great brewery
John Puma: 1:16
Yeah, I’m a, I’m a minor fan boy
Timothy Sullivan: 1:20
John Puma: 1:21
minor, you know, I’m not crazy, but I. I own a t-shirt and an apron, but, you know, I I’m a big fan. I like their stuff. I think they make really good sake. and I would love to get over there one day. before I ask you, if you’ve been there, let’s talk about the name of this brewery and the brand.
Timothy Sullivan: 1:41
Sure. So the brewery name is Hachinohe Shuzo and they were founded in 1775 and they’re located in Aomori Prefecture. Do you know where that is?
John Puma: 1:56
Oh, it’s, it’s a very, very north, but not quite Hokkaido. Uh, I’ve I’ve actually come to the realization that I really like sake from Northern Japan. Uh, from like, uh, Akita and Aomori, that whole area, that region really has something special going on. I find myself liking a lot of stuff from up there also couldn’t help, but notice you said 1775. So this place is Just barely older than United States.
Timothy Sullivan: 2:24
Just barely. Yes. And, um, Aomori is the Northern most Prefecture of Honshu, which is the main island of Japan. So if you go to the very north as far north, as you can go on the main island, the entire top cap of the island is Aomori and it sits directly opposite of Hokkaido. Oh, Hokkaido is the last frontier and that’s across the water.
John Puma: 2:52
It is quite the frontier though. Hokkaido. having said that if I’m not mistaken, the brewery here, Hachinohe Shuzo is, is based in Hachinohe city, which is a major city in Aomori, and not tremendously difficult to get to from Tokyo.
Timothy Sullivan: 3:10
Right. Yes, you can get there. And, uh, they have direct train lines. You can zip right up the Honshu island and get right up there.
John Puma: 3:19
Can tell I’ve, I’ve got, I’ve been researching this, like I have plans. I’m going to go there. one day, uh, now to get, just to get the, just to get this question out of the way, Tim, have you been to Hachinohe Shuzo?
Timothy Sullivan: 3:32
I have been there.
John Puma: 3:34
Son of a bitch.
Timothy Sullivan: 3:36
I actually, I was interviewed for a Japanese magazine. I’ll put a picture in, in the show notes,
John Puma: 3:43
Timothy Sullivan: 3:44
I got invited to visit the brewery and I actually did a photo shoot there.
John Puma: 3:50
You did a photo shoot Hachinohe Shuzo
Timothy Sullivan: 3:52
I did a, photo shoot.
John Puma: 3:54
I like how I’m like, I’m kind of a fan boy and you’re like, I’ve done a photo shoot. there.
Timothy Sullivan: 3:59
It sounds crazy. but they invited me. Uh, it was part of a promotion of a few different breweries and they asked me as a sake samurai to go up there. I met with the brewery, I did a tasting and we did a little photo shoot outside and it was really, really fun. So I have great memories from visiting this brewery.
John Puma: 4:20
That’s a wonderful, did they, did they let you have the sake before the. photo shoot though?
Timothy Sullivan: 4:25
I think we did a little before and a little after, so I worked out great.
John Puma: 4:28
my assume the after I was wondering before it was also part of it. Uh that’s that’s
Timothy Sullivan: 4:33
I do remember one thing from the photo shoot is that it was pouring down rain and they really wanted the shot of me outside. They have a very historic building at Hachinohe shuzo though. So the, the brick storehouse is a national, tangible cultural property. And it’s very historic looking very beautiful. And they wanted a shot of me outside, but it was pouring down rain. So the poor photographer was out in the rain and they said, okay, you, you stand under the awnings. So there was like a, the roof kind of came out a little bit and they’re like, okay, turn this way. And they’re like, okay, back up a little bit. And they had a giant sugidama, you know, those, um, those Cedar balls that hang outside
John Puma: 5:19
the, the, the, the spherical bush.
Timothy Sullivan: 5:21
yes. So as these giant Cedar balls hang outside of sake breweries as a symbol of the sake industry. And they said back up, back up and I backed up and my head hit the sugidama from behind. And all this water came down on me.
John Puma: 5:38
So they put you underneath the awnings, so you wouldn’t get wet. And then you found the sugidama by with your
Timothy Sullivan: 5:43
head with my head
John Puma: 5:44
and got wet. Anyway.
Timothy Sullivan: 5:46
and the photographer took a picture of me, like getting the water dumped on me and which was not in the article. But, uh, I do have that picture.
John Puma: 5:55
He nailed the moment. That’s great.
Timothy Sullivan: 5:58
So the brand name for the sake, is Mutsu Hassen
John Puma: 6:02
Um, so, so do we know like, “Mutsu Hassen”, do we know what this means? Because when I take the Kanji and the brand name, and I put it into Google translate, it translates It as eight immortal.
Timothy Sullivan: 6:15
John Puma: 6:16
cool name now. Well, another thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of their branding, including like, uh, merchandise they make, and their website uses the, the Arabic numerals 8,000, which is “Hassen” would make sense. So like Mutsu8000.com is, like their website. and so like wondering, like, it’s a go both ways or they go into that at all with you when you were there? Or are they busy showering you with rain and sake? sake?
Timothy Sullivan: 6:52
Well, to be honest, I didn’t know a lot about the eight immortals, so we didn’t, I didn’t know enough to ask that question even, but I think the most I know about eight immortals is that it has something to do with Chinese mythology
John Puma: 7:07
Timothy Sullivan: 7:08
it may be the original source of their brand name. I’m guessing. But Matsu Hassen can also mean Mutsu 8,000, as you said, if you translate it literally. So they probably thought that would be a more modern take. So there, when you visit their brewery, all the brewers wear these t-shirts that say 8,000 on them, which I think is so cool. You have one of the t-shirts right?
John Puma: 7:29
I do have one of the t-shirts
Timothy Sullivan: 7:31
Okay. More, more than a minor fan boy, major fanboy.
John Puma: 7:35
Well, I’ve never had my photo taken in front of the brewery, so I don’t know how fanboy I am.
Timothy Sullivan: 7:40
to Touche, Touche Puma. Yeah. So Matsu 8,000 I think, is their modern translation of the brand name. I think it’s super cool. I’m down with the 8,000.
John Puma: 7:53
Now, um, Sake Revolution, historians may recall that we once did actually have a Sunday from this brewery on the show before, but it was not the Mutsu Hassen brand.
Timothy Sullivan: 8:03
John Puma: 8:04
It was their Otoko Yama brand. That it was a one cup that was super, super dry.
Timothy Sullivan: 8:10
John Puma: 8:11
I think we’ve mentioned as like a footnote that they also had this other brand. And here we are talking about that
Timothy Sullivan: 8:16
Yeah. So their original old school brand was. Mutsu Otokoyama. And when you, when you go into this brick warehouse that I was talking about their original brewery building, there’s a beautiful old sign on the wall that says Otokoyama. So that was their like original brand. And it’s a very traditional, earthy, dry sake, as you said, but this is another case of two brothers taking on the reins of a brewery with the older brother being in charge of the management of the company. And the younger brother is the Toji in charge of the brewing. We’ve heard this story before, haven’t we
John Puma: 8:51
I feel like we ha I’m getting deja VU all over again. Definitely. Uh, definitely a tale that has been told. And I think that’s a really cool tale. Every time we’ve told that story, it has had a very happy
Timothy Sullivan: 9:04
Yes. It’s very
John Puma: 9:04
So Yeah. So please.
Timothy Sullivan: 9:06
Yeah. So Hideyuki Komai Mr. Komai Hideyuki is the older brother and he is managing the brewery and then Nobuyuki Komai is the toji the younger brother. And they’re both super cool, super engaged and taking their brewery in new directions and really reviving it for a new generation. So we. People like this in the industry. We’re so excited to hear that.
John Puma: 9:32
yeah. And I think that this Mutsu Hassen and brand is. Super modern getting popularity, both in Japan and overseas, because we have been seeing it coming over here. We see it. I’ve seen it in other countries as well. And I do see it a lot in Japan when I’m there. We’ve seen this happen before where younger people take over a company, they make some changes and then they kind of give a little bit of rebirth and revitalization to their, to their Brewery.
Timothy Sullivan: 9:59
Yeah, I think there are a few differences. So w one thing to be aware of is that the Komai brothers. I kept up their original brand. So they have not changed everything at their brewery. They have a new direction for a new brand that they’ve created, which we’re going to taste today, but, they’ve honored their previous generations by keeping that Otokoyama brand going. And another thing that’s different, you know, we’ve talked about many other breweries being inspired by wine culture and then going off in a direction. At that really, uh, creates a sake that is truly inspired by wine flavors. And I think that they’re creating new flavors at Hachinohe Shuzo, but it’s not trying to be wine in any way. Wouldn’t you agree?
John Puma: 10:48
Right. I think that one of the through lines and a lot of our other episodes on. Have been wine influence and here we’re not getting that here. They’re just making a more modern style sake, but they’re not going for that, that wine influenced high acidity, style. They’re just doing their own thing. And which is again, there’s there’s room for that. I think plenty of room for that.
Timothy Sullivan: 11:14
Yeah, one thing we can talk about is the tweaks that they’re making to their production method. They have taken the standard production flow and they’ve made these little changes here and there that produce unique twists on the sake that come out of it. So it’s really interesting to see. What they’ve changed and what types of things they experiment with in their production method that produce slightly different sake. I mean, these aren’t, these aren’t sake that are so unusual. You’re like, is this even sake? Hey, what am I drinking? That’s not like that at all. They’re very delicious. Very yummy sake. But they do do things in the production method to take it in a new direction.
John Puma: 11:58
Right? Um, one of the things I’ve always noticed about there about this brand is. It doesn’t I don’t go like, well, I’ve never had anything like this before it is, they are familiar notes. They are ideas I’ve tasted before, but I just liked their take on it. And that’s like consistently I liked the, the, the way they go with it and I enjoy their riff on familiar ideas. Does that make
Timothy Sullivan: 12:23
yes. Yeah. Yeah. it’s unique enough, but it doesn’t stand out like, oh my God, what is this weird stuff? It’s really, it’s delicious sake, but it, it does have a twist to it, which I really like. And there’s one, one major thing that they do, which I think, you know, what it is that separates this brewery from most other breweries. And it has to do with their Koji.
John Puma: 12:47
Yes, that is right. They like to play around with white koji.
Timothy Sullivan: 12:54
Yes. And we’ve talked about Koji on the show before. Let me just give one minute of background on this. So Koji spores. It’s a type of mold that we use in sake production. It’s grown on a substrate of steamed sake, rice, and This molded rice is then put into the mash. And that’s how we break down starch into sugar in sake. And what most people don’t know is that there’s multiple kinds of Koji spores, and most sake breweries are going to use what’s called Ki Koji or yellow Koji. So that’s for 99% of the places that is the standard Koji strain that they’re going to use. There are other types of Koji for other beverages. Shiro Koji or white Koji that you just mentioned is normally used for making shochu.
John Puma: 13:43
yes. I have heard that. I’ve heard that from, shochu people,
Timothy Sullivan: 13:47
Yes. They’re out there.
John Puma: 13:49
They are out there. they’re they, they’re they’re out there. they’re blazing a trail of distilled spirits in their wake.
Timothy Sullivan: 13:56
they might be listening right now.
John Puma: 13:58
they might be, and I hope they are. now. having said that, yeah, white Koji typically associated with shochu. I do see it occasionally brought up in the sake world, but not with any regular.
Timothy Sullivan: 14:10
Yes, you do see it occasionally, but it’s a very unique choice to choose white Koji. And one thing that you want to look for is that white Koji produces a higher citric acid. So it makes the sake. More acidic in a certain way that you don’t get with the yellow Koji. So just something to be aware of. So when we taste the sake, we’re going to taste today that uses the white Koji. We can look at the acidity and see if we can get any, uh, information off of that at
John Puma: 14:41
nice. Now, another thing that’s come up a lot in our branded series has been an increased focus on local, uh, stuff, local yeast, local rice. are they doing the same thing? Is Hachinohe Shuzo under the guidance of the Komai brothers. Are they, are they taking that up as well?
Timothy Sullivan: 15:01
Yes, they make it very clear and all their materials that they are dedicated to local local ingredients. So all of the rice that they use is from Aomori Prefecture and they’re very, very dedicated to locally grown ingredients. So that’s also true for this brewery.
John Puma: 15:20
nice. Nice. I don’t know if it’s five minutes away. Nice. But you know, we’ll see, I don’t know. It’s the mountain it’s, it’s cold over in, uh, inAomori. I, it might be a little difficult to travel. We’ll have to give them, we’ll give them 15 minutes right away from them, from the brewery to get to the rice
Timothy Sullivan: 15:35
Yeah, well, they, they use Aomori rice and yeast. So and water, all local. So it’s a
John Puma: 15:43
Timothy Sullivan: 15:44
focus on that for this Brewery.
John Puma: 15:46
Nice. Nice. And they make use of the white Koji in a, in a variety of their, of their sakes.
Timothy Sullivan: 15:52
I think they use it for a number of their sake.
John Puma: 15:56
Oh, wow. Um, that’s, that’s interesting. I like, I like it when they do little things a little bit differently.
Timothy Sullivan: 16:03
yeah. And they also do a few other things. They also. Use a little bit higher temperature for their fermentation. And I think they have a much shorter shubo time because they’re using this higher acid Koji. So I think that the shubo or that yeast starter step in sake can be a little bit shorter because they don’t need, um, that to be quite as long. They also have that going on as well. So again, it’s like all these little tweaks to the production process and you come out with something that’s very much a delicious sake, but it has unique characteristics to it. So very interesting and fun to taste knowing what’s kind of going on behind the scenes.
John Puma: 16:47
nice. And, uh, as this tradition, I imagine we’ve got some sake from them. The trace tastes
Timothy Sullivan: 16:53
John Puma: 16:54
Oh, fantastic. that’s where I need to hear.
Timothy Sullivan: 16:56
So, John, do you want to introduce the sake that we’re going to taste from Hachinohe Shuzo.
John Puma: 17:02
I would love to Tim. So, today we are going to be tasting the Mutsu Hassen Isaribi. Now Isaribi I, I Googled this. I was doing a lot of Google translating tonight. translates roughly into like kind of “fishing fire” or like that. I’m going to, I’m going to ask you what that means in a little bit, but first I’m going to go through a little bit more, of the, details on this. So, it’s a Tokubetsu Junmai. The rice is milled down to 60% of its original size. The sake meter value is plus eight. So that’s. Dry to sweet. So we’re looking pretty dry right about here. And the acidity is 1.3, as far as the actual, rice information, just as rice from Aomori. So that goes right in line with them using local stuff. Uh, and one thing we know about this particular sake is it does make use of that white Koji. We talked about.
Timothy Sullivan: 18:06
Yes. Yes. That’s right. Yeah. Well, let’s talk about this Isaribi for a second. So the brand name for the sake, as you mentioned is Mutsu Hassen Isaribi Tokubetsu Junmai and the Isaribi translated by Google translate was what fishing fire?
John Puma: 18:26
Something like that.
Timothy Sullivan: 18:28
John, I want you to look at the label and for the listeners at home, I’ll put a picture of the label in the show notes, but do you see across the top of the label? There’s all these little, uh,
John Puma: 18:40
Timothy Sullivan: 18:42
looks like little lights in the distance.
John Puma: 18:43
yeah. Yeah. So it’s the label is a, is a very, very Dark blue. Um, almost like a, like, like if it’s like, if you were painting the dusk, I think you would use this
Timothy Sullivan: 18:54
John Puma: 18:55
Uh, and then yeah. Little lights across the top. It looks like little dots of
Timothy Sullivan: 19:00
Little dots of light. Right? Well, Aomori, especially Hachinohe city is known as the place where the most squid is fished in Japan.
John Puma: 19:14
Timothy Sullivan: 19:14
And the way that they fish for squid is they use these bright lights at night on the fishing boats that attract the squid up to the surface. So they fish at night and they use these bright lights that are called Isaribi, they are fishing lights that attract squid to the surface in at nighttime. And that’s how they fish for. Squid. So the picture on the label is meant to represent viewing all the boats out on the water at night and seeing all the little lights off in the distance that they’re using to catch the fish. Yeah.
John Puma: 19:55
fishing. Fire. Okay. I can make sense. I can, I can see how that works.
Timothy Sullivan: 20:00
You can see where Google was going with that.
John Puma: 20:02
Yeah. Yeah. I, well, let me, Google’s always going to do it very, literally. Google’s not going to know that there’s a nomenclature that well, what they call this very specific thing done with this very specific circumstance. If you’re, if you’re looking to fix this very specific mollusk, so I get it, I get a little bit
Timothy Sullivan: 20:19
Yeah. So the, the taste of this sake, I think, is going to be inspired by the local seafood catch squid in particular, and meant to be something I think, to tie in with that and pair with that. So when we taste this, we can think. Pairing with squid. I’m just squid something you you eat. Is that something you’d like?
John Puma: 20:39
not, I’ve used it as bait before. No, I’m not a big squid fan. Um, unfortunately, are you a big squid fan?
Timothy Sullivan: 20:48
I am a very big squid fan,
John Puma: 20:50
Timothy Sullivan: 20:51
I’ll give my 2 cents when the time comes.
John Puma: 20:53
This is nice. We usually don’t get the pairing portion of the, uh, proceedings until after we’ve tasted.
Timothy Sullivan: 21:00
John Puma: 21:01
Yeah. All right. So I think, are we ready?
Timothy Sullivan: 21:05
John Puma: 21:06
All right. 10. That was a hearty pour.
Timothy Sullivan: 21:18
I’m not joking around. All right. So we have our Isaribi Tokubetsu Junmai in the glass. There’s a little bit of shade of color to this, but pretty, very, very clear. Let’s give it a smell. Um,
John Puma: 21:39
Uh, Roma’s very pleasant.
Timothy Sullivan: 21:42
It’s very it’s light, but it’s fruity.
John Puma: 21:46
very nice, very, very pleasant, light, faint fruit. we haven’t used wafting from the other room in awhile, but it does make me think.
Timothy Sullivan: 21:58
Um, definitely, uh, melon aroma, honeydew, melon.
John Puma: 22:06
yeah. More, more, honey. Do I want to say like specifically a lot of people don’t like honeydew. I don’t understand. I think honeydew is really
Timothy Sullivan: 22:13
too. Yeah, right
John Puma: 22:14
I get, I get, so much shit for liking honeydew people like, Ooh, honeydew. Like what are you wasting your time for eat the cantaloupe. Well, I will also have the cantaloupe, but I will have the honeydew if it’s there as well. It’s part of a fruit salad. You have both.
Timothy Sullivan: 22:30
John Puma: 22:31
Timothy Sullivan: 22:31
So very nice. Very pleasant. Uh, lightly sweet, some fruitiness.
John Puma: 22:37
Yeah. I, I have to say that when we opened it up, I was bracing a little bit since I’m like getting ready for something that’s very squid friendly,
Timothy Sullivan: 22:47
All right. Let’s give it a taste.
John Puma: 22:48
Timothy Sullivan: 22:50
John Puma: 22:51
Ooh. Yeah, And there’s, there’s a, there is a complexity to this. This is nice.
Timothy Sullivan: 22:59
Yeah, it’s got some brightness to it. Um, now that I’m getting the finish, the finish is quite dry.
John Puma: 23:06
it is. But the F front is, a lot of fruit upfront, a little bit more than I was expecting. And then that it does transition into that dry finish in a really interesting way. I’m having a hard time really, um, expressing it. What are you.
Timothy Sullivan: 23:25
Yeah, it finishes dry, but it’s nice and light. You know, it’s not like one of those super dry sake where you sip on it and it burns your tongue from first sip to aftertaste. You know, this has a very light engaging, uh, attack kind of the first part of the taste. And then it, the aftertaste, the real finish is dry and crisp and kind of cleanses your palate. And, it’s really. not too heavy. So everything’s been kind of on the light and gentle side, which I really like. I really appreciate that.
John Puma: 24:01
think that. a lot of their sake is light and gentle, which again, this is why I’m a fan boy. It’s like, you know, that’s the kind of sake I like. And even this they’re like unusual different style of sake, they’re making still has a lot of those qualities that I really enjoy about their stuff.
Timothy Sullivan: 24:20
Yeah, it’s a good blending of just a hint of sweetness, a little bit of savory and dry finish for a light sake. It’s got a good amount of complexity there.
John Puma: 24:34
and I, I am now trying to think a lot about food when I’m having this. Since we did talk about that before. And my thought is I want something with a little bit of, uh, an oil or like a cause I want that dry sake to cut through it. I want the, you know, the dryness to cut through that a little bit. I think that too will be a good, uh, a good marriage. I don’t have a lot of squid because I’m not a big fan. So where does that fit in?
Timothy Sullivan: 25:03
We’ll squid is similar to scallops in that super fresh squid or scallops can have a bit of sweetness to them. And I think that that combined with the dry finish, just dip some fresh squid, sashimi in a little bit of soy sauce, and it has a great texture to it. It’s something that I love to eat. And I think that it would pair beautifully with this. So seeing the squid fishing boats on the label and that whole nod to the squid industry Hachinohe city,
John Puma: 25:43
didn’t think he’d be saying that one that I did. Yeah. But not to the squid
Timothy Sullivan: 25:47
industry. It really makes sense.
John Puma: 25:52
And how do you, how do you like your squid prepared?
Timothy Sullivan: 25:54
Well, if you. Super fresh. Like if I was visiting Hachinohe city. And you go to an, izakaya, they specialize in squid in that area. So you would get squid sliced into little sections as sashimi with soy sauce on the side. And it is super, super simple, but very delicious other places you’d go in Japan, you can get like squid legs that are deep fried. Those are really good.
John Puma: 26:23
Um, being, being Italian, I’m familiar with squid legs that are. But we bred them first.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:33
Yeah. So there’s all different preparations of, of squid, but, uh, I think the sashimi from Hachinohe is probably the best you can get. I mean, it sounds amazing.
John Puma: 26:44
I mean, it’s like, what is their thing? That’s what they do.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:46
John Puma: 26:48
Uh, and if I’m not mistaken, this brewery is like, kind of almost on the water. Right?
Timothy Sullivan: 26:52
Yes. It’s very close to, to the water.
John Puma: 26:55
Timothy Sullivan: 26:57
This is such a refreshing sake too. It’s something you can just go in for the next sip. Go in for the next step. It’s the lightness, the lightness to it. What is that funny?
John Puma: 27:10
No, because now I’m like, Yes. that, that lightness. Constant, sipping This has a place on the Puma couch where I had to sit there with and sip it and let the evening just kind of fall away.
Timothy Sullivan: 27:22
Now at the beginning we talked a little bit about the citric acid from the white Koji, and we were going to keep an eye on the acidity. I don’t think it’s overwhelming at all. I think it’s super well balanced. what do you think.
John Puma: 27:35
Acidity didn’t even enter into my brain when I was tasting this. I mean, I was really, I’m aware of, I’m aware of that lightness, that life fruit in the front, I’m aware of that transition into the dry, but I didn’t really detect that much acidity.
Timothy Sullivan: 27:50
John Puma: 27:53
Maybe I should try another cup.
Timothy Sullivan: 27:57
yeah. Again, I’m going to use this word. I always say. Integrated. So this is very well integrated. The sweetness, the minerality, the umami, the dry finish, the acidity. It’s all coming together.
John Puma: 28:13
barely notice the acidity. And, but that might be on purpose. All these different factors, interplay in a way that, nothing really blows you away. Everything is, as you mentioned, tightly integrated and it’s all there. It’s just not dominant.
Timothy Sullivan: 28:29
Well, don’t you think that speaks to the fact that this is not trying to be a wine or something it’s not?
John Puma: 28:35
No, I think this is something that sake does really, really well. Something a great sake does really, really well.
Timothy Sullivan: 28:42
John Puma: 28:44
This was a a nice little discussion about a brand that, that we’re both very fond of. And, you know, you’ve got some really good memories of, bonking your head on,
Timothy Sullivan: 28:55
John Puma: 28:56
on the seat and getting rained upon, uh, which I imagine was a lot of fun when you’re you’re you are going to post those photos,
Timothy Sullivan: 29:05
John Puma: 29:05
sugidama one, but the other.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:07
no, I’m going to, I have the Sugidama
John Puma: 29:09
You do have that. Oh, that’s great. Oh, absolutely. So folks, I haven’t seen this photo. I have to see this. This is, this is a, it’s going to make my, my week, to see this photo. so yeah, I am super excited to see that I desperately want to get over there and one. of these days and visit the brewery. Uh, it’s just, uh, I’m a, I’m a big fan and they make good stuff. So I definitely want to get.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:33
Yeah. And Aomori, I think is just indicative of so many places in Japan. You can go, they all have their local specialty cuisines, their local specialty. Uh, fish that they have their local specialty sake ways of brewing. And it just underscores to me how much there is to discover in Japan. So Hachinohe is a poster child for kind of off the beaten track kind of place, but really interesting and lots to discover.
John Puma: 30:01
Yeah. I will say one thing though, when I was originally looking to go to Aomori and I was looking to specifically, I wanted to go to Hachinohe, because I really liked this brewery and I was researching like flying to Aomori the airport in Aomori city. And then, all right, now I just need to get from Aomori to Hachinohe and. The buses and trains and everything you have to take from Aomori city to Hachinohe is like five hours or something like that. It was crazy. And I was like, this ha uh, that’s never going to happen. I’m not, I’m not going to make it to this. And then later on, I found out that, and I think we mentioned this, that kind of near the open of the show that you can just take a shinkansen from tokyo and it’s like four hours. So it is like faster to go halfway across the country, up the coast than it is to navigate the mountains in between the airport in Aomori city to get to Hachinohe, so I know which way I’ll be going.
Timothy Sullivan: 31:06
You’re going to get the Shinkansen with a bento box and a cup sake. I can see it now.
John Puma: 31:11
I think it’s got a four and a half, five hours, something like that.
Timothy Sullivan: 31:13
John Puma: 31:14
We’ll do it twice. I don’t care.
Timothy Sullivan: 31:16
Two or three, two or three cups.
John Puma: 31:17
Yes, absolutely. Uh, hopefully there’ll be, you know, hopefully with a destination of Hachinohe city, there’ll be some, Aomori sake on the train. That’ll be nice. Cause They do. the, the ladies with the cart do occasionally have local sake that they sell.
Timothy Sullivan: 31:33
John Puma: 31:34
but it really depends on where you’re going. So, um, one time when I was taking a, a train to, to Niigata to visit you, actually, I thought there was going to be a bunch of Niigata sake on the train,
Timothy Sullivan: 31:49
John Puma: 31:50
but the Terminus for this train was Akita. So it was All Akita sake on the train, also delicious, just a little different than when I was expecting.
Timothy Sullivan: 32:01
Well, I think, I think we have a solid mission accomplished here, discovering another brand and another exciting, interesting brewery. So if you’re out there listening to us, please look for Mutsu Hassen brand or Mutsu Otokoyama brand from the Hachinohe Shuzo and we hope that you will enjoy this Aomori Sake next chance you get.
John Puma: 32:29
Yep. Definitely. You will not. Be disappointed. You’ll not be sad that you tried this sake. It’s really good. It’s crowd-pleasing sake. I think
Timothy Sullivan: 32:39
All right. Well, John. Great to taste with you as always.
John Puma: 32:45
always, always. a pleasure, Tim.
Timothy Sullivan: 32:48
And I want to thank our listeners as well. Thank you so much for tuning in. We really do hope that you’re enjoying our show. If you’d like to show your support for Sake Revolution, the best way to help us out right now would be to back us on Patreon. We are listener supported show with no advertisements, and we rely on our patrons to help us bring Sake Revolution to the air.
John Puma: 33:13
That’s right. And we really do appreciate everything you guys do to help make that happen. if you are not one of our Patreon backers, we also really appreciate, uh, when you support us, by listening to the show by telling your friends by submitting reviews, all of these things really get the word out about the show. That is really what does it for us. We really, we kind of love that there’s people who actually listened to this thing that we do. it’s a lot of fun for us.
Timothy Sullivan: 33:37
Yep. And if you would like to learn more about any of the topics or the sake we talked about in today’s episode, be sure to visit our website, SakeRevolution.com for all the detailed show notes and all the embarrassing, funny pictures. You’re going to see.
John Puma: 33:55
I can’t wait for these photos. Uh, and if you have a sake question that you need answered, we have an email address for you to send them to, you can reach us at [email protected] and we’ll be waiting to hear from you. So until next time, please raise a glass. Remember to keep drinking sake and Kanpai!