Episode 75 Show Notes

Episode 75. This week, the Sake Revolution is running on flower power! We’re talking specifically about “hana kobo” or flower yeast. Yes, that is yeast for fermentation that is isolated from an acutal bloom and propagated for use in sake. While not something every brewery does, this is a delightfully scented niche in the world of sake. Backed by a research institute at Tokyo’s Nodai University, there has been a true blossoming in the understanding and use of these special yeasts to make some unique and delicious sakes. John and Timothy dive nose first into a prime example of flower yeast style sake: Amabuki’s Strawberry-blossom Junmai Ginjo Nama from Saga Prefecture. As with all hana kobo sakes, you can bet this one has an extraordinary bouquet. But do we smell strawberries? Listen in this week as we try to learn the language of flowers.


Skip to: 00:19 Hosts Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy


Skip to: 02:54 Sake Education Corner: Flower Yeast/Hana Kobo

From Amabuki Brewery on Sake Yeast:
“Yeast is essential in sake brewing. Although yeast is the general name for the microorganism that serves a vital role in producing alcoholic fermentation, the type of yeast typically used in sake brewing is sake yeast, which is cultured from a strain extracted from sake mash. However, at Amabuki, we use flower yeast, a type of yeast that has been extracted from flowers.

Flower yeasts are full of individuality, and each type of flower yeast has its own, clearly distinct flavor and aroma, such as the fruity and sharp profile of abelia, or the sophisticated fragrance and robust flavor of marigold that create a profile perfectly suited for warmed sake. Flower yeasts offer a wide variety of profiles, from soft and richly florid aromas to strong and deeply flavorful tastes, creating a vibrant and colorful atmosphere to soothe the souls of those who partake of Amabuki.”


Skip to: 13:46 The Language of Flowers

Strawberry Blossom. Meaning in the language of flowers: “Respect and love, happy family, foresight, “you make me happy”. © Amabuki Brewery


Skip to: 14:28 Sake Introduction


Skip to: 19:54 Sake Tasting : Amabuki Strawberry Junmai Ginjo Nama

Amabuki Strawberry Junmai Ginjo Nama


Acidity: 1.8
Brewery: Amabuki Shuzo
Alcohol: 16.5%
Classification: Junmai Ginjo, Nama
Prefecture: Saga
Seimaibuai: 55%
SMV: +1
Rice: omachi

View on UrbanSake.com: Amabuki Strawberry Junmai Ginjo Nama


Skip to: 33:53 Show Closing

This is it! Join us next time for another episode of Sake Revolution!


Announcing Patreon

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.

  • Sake Enthusiast

    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.

  • Sake Otaku

    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 75 Transcript


John Puma: 0:21
Hello, everybody. And welcome to sake revolution. This is America’s first a sake podcast. I’m your host, John Puma from the Sake Notes. Also the admin over at the internet sake discord, and on this show, I’m a guy who is not the sake samurai. That would be this.

Timothy Sullivan: 0:42
And I am your host, Timothy Sullivan. I am a Sake Samurai. I’m also a sake educator as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And every week, John and I will be here tasting and chatting about all things sake and doing our best to make it fun and easy to understand.

John Puma: 1:01
We are back, we are fresh off of our trip to Kimoto or our imaginary imaginary trip to Kyoto. and I hope everybody had a good time there and got some pointers that they can use the next time they are in Kyoto. What are we doing this week?

Timothy Sullivan: 1:16
Well, John, you are a graduate of the sake education corner, school of sake education. So I want you to

John Puma: 1:26
I prefer to think of education as ongoing. I don’t think I’m necessarily a graduate. I think that education never truly stops, but please continue.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:34
well, after 70 plus episodes, you’re, you’re a graduate and in my

John Puma: 1:38
Oh, thank you.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:40
I have a question for you. We’re going to be tackling. Uh, topic today related to sake ingredients. And I want you to think back to some of our earliest episodes when we talk about what goes into sake for ingredients. And I wanted to know if you. could define for our listeners what Kobo is.

John Puma: 1:59
Oh, uh, Kobo is the yeast is the, one of the most important things that go into your sake

Timothy Sullivan: 2:07
So, what is the, what is the sake yeast do?

John Puma: 2:10
Uh, what does the sake yeast do? The sake yeast helps to, convert sugar into CO2 and alcohol

Timothy Sullivan: 2:21
That’s right.

John Puma: 2:22
ha.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:23
In my classes, I often call yeast the engine of fermentation. It is a microorganism that eats sugar and gives off alcohol and CO2, and we need yeast to make beer, wine and sake. So for alcoholic, fermentation, Kobo or yeast is where it’s at.

John Puma: 2:44
Right. I think it’s safe to say that without Kobo, without yeast, we don’t have any kind of booze.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:50
that’s right for.

John Puma: 2:51
a horrible world. I would not want to live in.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:54
Yes. So we’re going to be talking about Kobo today, but not just any Kobo, a very special type of,

John Puma: 3:05
Not your momma’s kobo.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:06
not your mama’s Kobo. We’re going to be talking about a special type of yeast. We could call it a boutique type of yeast maybe. And it is

John Puma: 3:17
see what you did there.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:20
It is called HANA. Kobo

John Puma: 3:23
And hana my currently, um, paused training in Japanese means flower.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:32
flower.

John Puma: 3:34
Right? So wait, is it so no, this is not possibly literal flower yeast.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:44
It’s F L O w E R flower as in bloom. Yes. flower yeast. These are strains of yeast that are isolated and propagated from different types of blossoms and flowers. And over the years, these have been isolated and refined and used in sake production. This is a very specialized type of yeast. Not every brewery does this. This is more specialized and unique. I thought it would be fun today to talk about and to taste a sake that is made using these hana Kobo or flower yeasts.

John Puma: 4:30
Um, now, so there are specific sake, yeasts, that, are recognized as being sake, yeasts, so you’re saying that some breweries. We’re not going to bother with that. We’re we have these, we have these azaleas and we’re going to go with that with, with those.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:49
It’s not quite

John Puma: 4:50
I don’t think it’s literally Azalea use guys. I’m being sarcastic.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:53
It’s not like they go in the garden and pick a flower and make it in their living room. Uh, there is a program from the Tokyo University of agriculture in Japanese that’s Tokyo, nogyo daigaku, which is contracted. As Nodai. So Nodai University is the Tokyo University of agriculture. And for people in the sake business, graduating from Nodai is a very prestigious degree to have a degree in sake brewing from the Tokyo University of agriculture, and they have a flower yeast program.

John Puma: 5:33
Oh,

Timothy Sullivan: 5:34
So they have like a dedicated program to isolating and developing flower yeast

John Puma: 5:42
So, they’re there actively promoting this and in a way, or they want more people to be exploring this.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:50
Absolutely. They’ve isolated over 20 different yeasts from flowers, from all over the country. So there are about 20 that are in use at the moment, and it is not something that is easy to do. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patients to isolate east off of different blossoms, then grow it in the laboratory. Test it, refine it. And make sure you get a yeast that produces. Alcoholic type of fermentation with a delicious result. So the scientists and the academics at Nodai University have been working for years and years to develop this flower yeast program. And there’s a number of breweries that kind of have a specialization in flower yeast. They may not use flower, yeast for everything, but there’s a several breweries that are really well known for producing some sake using these flower yeasts and wouldn’t, you know, it, a lot of the brewers who run these breweries are graduates of Nodai University.

John Puma: 6:59
I, yes, I think they call that seeding. Uh, you, you have, you educate them on, this new idea, and then they go and use it out in the world. Uh, and it seems to be, it seems to be working for them though. And I do imagine that this is something that’s going to be very specialized. And so if your brewery is going to be doing it, they’re probably going to be, really going for it because it is. It’s something that’s going to give a little more character a little bit. It’s going to distinguish your brewery apart from others. I would say,

Timothy Sullivan: 7:28
Let’s talk about that. What do you imagine flower yeast would give to the sake? Just hearing that on surface, like, oh, it’s made with. Cultivated from flowers. What do you think that’s going to bring to the sake? How’s it going to be different from regular yeast?

John Puma: 7:44
well, for a thousand, Alex, I’m going to say floral.

Timothy Sullivan: 7:49
What is floral?

John Puma: 7:51
What is without you see, I got it wrong and I did not put it in the form of a question,

Timothy Sullivan: 7:56
right? So you’re saying you think it’s going to bring some floral aromatic.

John Puma: 8:02
right? I’d say, that some characteristics, of the flower will come through. And I think that that would most prominently come through in the aroma.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:11
John. I think, you’re very much on the right track there. I would say that one of the goals of brewing sake with hana Kobo or flower yeast is to produce more engaging and dialed up intense aromatics. So I think that’s one thing they’re after is, more developed aroma.

John Puma: 8:30
okay. that sounds very interesting.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:33
Yeah, so, they’re aiming for more developed aroma and maybe a little bit more acidity. But it’s not all fun and games. There are some pitfalls with brewing using hana Kobo as well.

John Puma: 8:48
Ah, pitfall. So, so yeast isn’t just yeast and it all acts the same way.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:52
that’s correct. Yeah, I’ve read that Honda Kobo is a little bit more delicate. So collecting it for off of a flower, you don’t have this endless window when flowers are blooming. So the window to collect samples for. Propagating yeast off of different blossoms when you’re trying to develop a new use, that window is very small. When you have a yeast isolated and your brewing with it, it does much better when you do low and slow fermentation. So low temperature for a longer period of time. So this yeast, I think you could describe it as a little bit more delicate than maybe some other types of more hearty sake yeast.

John Puma: 9:39
Right. And, and that’s why this requires a lot more expertise because you’re dealing with something that is more fragile or perhaps volitile.

Timothy Sullivan: 9:47
Yes. Yeah. So, it’s also interesting because. Brewers can bring in a sense of place to their sake. Almost a sense of terroir where, you know, they might have a type of flower that grows in their region. And if a yeast is cultivated off of that flower, then they can produce a sake influenced by this local blossom, this local bloom. And that is something that I think a. lot of brewers are really fond of that go to the trouble, to work with this type of hana, Kobo

John Puma: 10:21
excellent. So, during this, uh, They’re making yeast, they’re cultivating yeast from flowers. I imagine this isn’t going to be something that all flowers are necessarily suited for or, or desired for. What are some examples of what are they going for? What are they making sake yeast out of?

Timothy Sullivan: 10:40
Well, I mentioned there’s about 20 that Nodai University. Worked on and there’s a few different, types of flowers that, uh, I’ve heard of that are used for making this type of flower. Yeast. One is the rose, uh, vine growing rose is, is one flower. You may have heard of a rohadendrun. Yep. So that’s one that’s used, there’s a very lovely pink pale Japanese flower called the pink nadeshiko which is a very small pink blossom. Uh, believe it or not, the sunflower is also used Yeah.

John Puma: 11:29
Contemporary, everyday run of the mill sunflowers, just some flowers,

Timothy Sullivan: 11:34
Yep. Just some

John Puma: 11:34
like the one in the song.

Timothy Sullivan: 11:36
Yes.

John Puma: 11:37
Okay.

Timothy Sullivan: 11:38
Yeah. And that produces a very, uh, deep and complex flavored sake. That’s that one is not as pretty as other flower yeast I’ve had, if you can imagine. And. Flower that you may know a begonia that’s very common. That’s been used to make a hana Kobo as well. And marigold is another really well-known flower.

John Puma: 12:04
Yeah, these are, these are all very popular flight.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:07
Yes. Yeah. And there’s one blossom in particular that we’re going to talk about today because we brought a sake for tasting and the next flower we’re going to talk about. Is the flower that is used to make the yeast in the sake that we’re tasting today. So this is a very delicate, small flower, and it is the strawberry. blossom. Did you know strawberries had flower? Yes.

John Puma: 12:39
Well, every fruit, yes. Has to have a flower. I mean it, because that’s what it’s part of a plant. but I so strawberry, as you say, I happen to really like strawberries.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:51
Yes. So we’re going to put a photo of the strawberry blossom in our show notes. If you want to check it out, it is a very small white flower with five pedals and it flowers briefly. And The sake that we have today uses yeast that was cultivated from strawberry blossoms. So really interesting and unique. And have you ever heard of the language of flowers?

John Puma: 13:22
Um, I’ve, I’ve never had a conversation with one.

Timothy Sullivan: 13:28
Well, there’s a language of flowers, meaning that if you give somebody a certain flower. And assigned meaning to different flowers. Like a rose can be a symbol of love, romantic love feelings.

John Puma: 13:44
That one, I know.

Timothy Sullivan: 13:46
Okay. And there is, uh, the language of flowers for strawberry blossoms as well. So they symbolize respect and love a happy family. And the message. If you give somebody strawberry blossomis, you make me happy.

John Puma: 14:05
Oh,

Timothy Sullivan: 14:05
Isn’t that nice.

John Puma: 14:06
nice. I’ve never heard that before, but.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:09
Yeah. So there’s a different language of flowers for all different types of blossoms. So I thought that was interesting. And, uh, John, do you want to introduce the brewery and the sake that we’re going to be tasting today with this flower yeast situation?

John Puma: 14:28
Sure. Sure. So the name of the brand is the same as the name of. Brewery, which is something we haven’t had a little while. I think this is Amabuki Shuzo and the brand is Amabuki and this is made in Saga Prefecture which is in Kyushu, and this is their amabuki strawberry yeast, junmai Ginjo Nama. Um,

Timothy Sullivan: 14:57
Junmai Ginjo is our classification grade and Nama. Again, that means.

John Puma: 15:03
not pasteurized.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:05
Absolutely not pasteurized.

John Puma: 15:08
Right. this one is using omachi rice. Oh, this is going to be fun. the alcohol percentage is 16.5. The seimaibuai or the remaining rice after milling is 55%. The acidity is 1.8. And the sake meter value that gauge of your dry to your sweet is plus one. So pretty neutral. I want to say.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:35
Yeah. So it’s going to be interesting to see what this strawberry blossom yeast brings to the party, but we have to remember, we also have the unpasteurized situation going on as well.

John Puma: 15:49
Yeah.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:50
Yeah. And the omachi rice situation

John Puma: 15:53
There’s a lot going on here and without having a tremendous number of descriptors, it’s still like the omachi is going to be a curve ball, the strawberry blossom. He’s going to be interesting. And the Nama is going to bring something to.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:06
Just want to say one thing about Amabuki that separates this brewery from other breweries that are using hana Kobo or this flower yeast. Amabuki is a brewery that went All in. all chips on the table.

John Puma: 16:24
All. in. So this is a, this is th this is their thing.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:27
this is their thing. every sake that Amabuki brewery makes uses hana Kobo. So it goes without saying that Mr. Kinoshita, the president is a graduate of Nodai university as well.

John Puma: 16:44
Well, of course he is.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:45
Of course he is, but he drank the Kool-Aid so to speak at Nodai

John Puma: 16:49
You drank the kobo

Timothy Sullivan: 16:50
and he drank to go. And, uh, he, he has devoted his brewery to the exploration and investigation of what this hana Kobo can achieve. So I think that’s fascinating. Every sake they make has a different flower. So they have a sunflower, they have a begonia. Uh, they have a rose, so it’s, it’s very interesting. And you and I are going to be tasting the same sake today. We’re going to be tasting their strawberry blossom. So should we get into it?

John Puma: 17:23
Yes, let’s get into it

Timothy Sullivan: 17:27
Okay. So John, before we crack this open. We have to describe the bottle. So this is a blue glass bottle

John Puma: 17:39
So this is the one in the blue bottle.

Timothy Sullivan: 17:41
This is that one in.

John Puma: 17:43
Um, I do want to make reference to our episode on sake labels. Uh, it was specifically an episode on cute sake labels, but this, is a striking bottle is a very striking and very nice bottle. And it has a little bit of, of, of cuteness on it too. the, the Nama Kanji is actually shown in a silhouette of a little strawberry and really.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:07
yes, And the label is pink

John Puma: 18:11
and the label is pink and Amabuki does the thing where they have a really nice. Really artistic looking Kanji and the labels are all different colors. So you really know right off the bat. If you’ve had this one before, if you liked it and you want to have it again, it’s very easy to keep track of Amabuki sake is when you’re a foreigner who doesn’t necessarily understand all of the lingo.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:38
Yep. So if you find Amabuki and the label is Pink with the blue bottle, that is our strawberry blossom yeast. Yes.

John Puma: 18:47
Pink who knew that that was going to be the strawberry one,

Timothy Sullivan: 18:50
think pink, John.

John Puma: 18:51
thinking pink. Um, all right. So we’ve got this in the class and I’m going to say, first off, the pinkness is only labeled deep. There’s no pinkness in the sake. Uh, it is, it is quite. And I think there’s a tiny bit of off whiteness to it. What do you think?

Timothy Sullivan: 19:25
Yeah. I mean, I see just this, the slimmest bit of a haze in there. Remember this is an unpasteurized sake. So there, there is probably no charcoal filtering here, um, Nama, and muroka usually go hand in hand. So it’s not indicated on the bottle, but I’m would venture a guess this may be a muroka or non charcoal filtered as well.

John Puma: 19:50
You’re absolutely right. About those going hand in hand though.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:54
All right. Well, it looks beautiful in the glass. Let’s give it a smell.

John Puma: 19:58
Whew. And that, that Nama.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:01
It is a Nama unpasteurized aroma.

John Puma: 20:05
Yes. The, there is a very distinct aroma that you get from a lot of unpasteurized sake. And this is, it

Timothy Sullivan: 20:13
how, would you.

John Puma: 20:15
I always have a hard time. Tim, how would you

Timothy Sullivan: 20:17
You know it? you know what, when you smell

John Puma: 20:19
it when I say I know what I know it, when I smell it, it’s it’s oh, this is Nama. It’s very much like that. I have a hard time describing it, but I know it when it’s in my nose.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:29
So it is a little bit difficult to describe what a Nama unpasteurized sake smells like, but it’s bold. It’s strong. And it has a little bit of a, rich, concentrated aroma. It’s the opposite of what light and airy would be.

John Puma: 20:52
Very much.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:54
Yeah. So it’s, it’s rich, it’s concentrated. This has a little bit of fruitiness going on. So there there’s some concentrated fruit. Uh, not tropical airy, breezy fruits, but more rich, a little bit heavy Very much. a classic unpasteurized aroma going on here. Really interesting.

John Puma: 21:18
it, is, it, is there.

Timothy Sullivan: 21:19
When I smell this Nama aroma, it leads me to think like, oh, I’ve got something rich and impactful coming my way. When I sip on it

John Puma: 21:28
Absolutely

Timothy Sullivan: 21:29
Yeah. All right. Well, let’s see. oh my gosh. Juicy, fruity.

John Puma: 21:39
juicy sweet fruity. You know, acknowledging that there’s a difference between sweet and fruity. This is both their hand-in-hand and this, the Nama aspect of it is, is really just bringing it forward. It is so big. The, uh, all of those, um, all those flavors are dialed up to 11, the juiciness, the fruity.

Timothy Sullivan: 22:03
it’s rich too. Do you know, when you, when you have cotton candy and the cotton candy gets a little wet and it gets really concentrated.

John Puma: 22:13
yes, I think I

Timothy Sullivan: 22:14
like, yeah. It’s like if regular fruit is like regular cotton candy, when you have. dried fruit or fruit roll-ups or something like that, it’s a little more concentrated. And if you get cotton candy wet, or it comes in contact with moisture, it gets really concentrated and focused in flavor. It’s kind of like Nama or unpasteurized sake does that as well, where it takes the fruit flavor and really condenses it and concentrates it. There’s nothing here to mellow it out or loosen it up and you get a full focused blasts of that.

John Puma: 22:48
Totally. It’s a really nice trick they’re doing here where you’re just getting that, you know, that blast and a little bit of everything in here and it’s, And we mentioned earlier that there’s so many different factors, this yeast, this, the fact that it’s a Nama, the, the omachi rice, which I think the omachi rice, at least to me, I don’t notice it as much. I feel like it’s a little underrepresented. It’s like maybe overshadowed by these other things, but maybe that’s necessary to make this happen the way it is. Uh, you know, maybe there is something going on that the omachi is bringing to it. That is just being interpreted differently., also at 16.5, this is a little bit higher in alcohol than what we usually have. Not, not tremendously, so, but just a notch and it’s presenting as juicy and fruity and wild. This is, a really exciting sake,

Timothy Sullivan: 23:41
Okay, John, I have a really important question for you, do you taste strawberry?

John Puma: 23:49
Um, not really. I know, sorry. I really want to, I want to taste strawberry when I have this, but I don’t, I do taste like, you know, um, non strawberry fruits and it is juicy and it is, you know, it is big and different. But I don’t get specifically strawberries.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:11
Right.

John Puma: 24:12
Do you get strawberries? Okay.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:15
I think when people are introduced to this sake and you say, oh, this is made with yeast from strawberry flowers, they sip it. And they’re like, oh, strawberry flavor. I love it. And there people can be very suggestible when it comes to flavors and I don’t get overt strawberry flavors here, but there is a fruitiness and there’s an aroma that is indicative of. Floral yeast, hana Kobo, and the expression of this yeast, the alcohol that this yeast microorganism is producing is unique and interesting and nuanced. And I think that’s really the focus. It’s not one for one, you use yeast from the vine rose and then your. sake smells like a potpourri of rose. no, it doesn’t work that way, but, but, uh, it’s all about the nuance and the layering of the aromatics that you can get with hana Kobo. I don’t know if you agree, but I think this is one of the really standout examples of flower yeast that I’ve had.

John Puma: 25:31
I really like it. one thing I’m noticing on this, I really want to get out there. So the finish is long. This is a very long finish and, the longer it goes, it kind of, I get a lot more of an impression of. Candied fruit in the back, like it kind of in the back of my mouth. And it’s really interesting. It’s just, it’s, it’s that, it’s the residuals from that juicy start, I think just kind of slowly, you know, working their way through your palate and slowly as you’re not drinking anymore, as it, as it’s working its way down to the back of your throat, that it’s still kind of playing around. They’re still getting that impression from it. And it’s so interesting. It’s so different.

Timothy Sullivan: 26:19
Yeah. I call, that candied aspect to some sweeter fruity sakes I call it like the fruit roll-up effect, you know, it’s like that, that really concentrate almost jammy,

John Puma: 26:30
Almost. Yeah, but I’m only getting that kind of, well, it’s in the beginning. It’s very juicy. And then the finish I’m getting that really it’s the feeling I have after I eat a fruit rollup or something like that, that residual sugar sort of situation. And it’s, it’s not unwelcome at all. It’s very nice. Um, now this is big and bold and fruity and, but also has nice depth to it., what kind of food are you going to put in front of this sake?

Timothy Sullivan: 26:57
Um, that’s a great question. This has a lot of variables going on. We have the hana Kobo aspect. We have the Nama aspect. We have the higher alcohol. We have the omachi rice. So there’s a whole lot, whole lot of cooks in this kitchen. And

John Puma: 27:14
That’s a really good way to put it.

Timothy Sullivan: 27:15
yeah, so for me, honestly, what stands out most prominently kind of juts itself to the front of the group is the fact that this is a Nama sake like that for me, that really stands out in front. So, I would want to pair this as I do with other types of nama sakes and this has a little bit of sweetness to it as well, and that little bit of a juicy characteristic., so there’s a few things that I really like with these sweeter juicy namas that may be a little bit surprising if you have these with something that has a little bit of heat to it, a little bit of spice, believe it or not. there’s. uh, Cooling effect for sweetness on spicy things. So that’s something I really like, you know, one thing that just, this just popped into my head, but if you had like a little bit of mild cheese on a cracker with maybe jalapeno jam or something on there, just something with, you know, not overtly spicy, but just something with a little picant, a little hint of something spicy and you sipped on this cooling, juicy, lightly sweet fruity sake. That sounds like a really good pairing to me. And I always recommend namas as like something to. Greet your guests with this is not a sake. You could probably drink all night with every course of the meal, but as a way to get people started, have something really impactful and juicy and fresh and say, try this in a wine glass. When they, the moment they walk in the door, like that’s something I really love to do with namas as well. What do you think about that?

John Puma: 28:56
I think that’s a really good idea. this definitely falls into that category of something that you can’t really just sit on the couch and sip all night. It’s not going to just disappear. It’s deliberate. You have to be, you have to want it like this is this. Okay. There’s a lot going on. You can’t just kind of forget about it and sip it. Ideally. It’s so impactful.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:20
It’s got some weight

John Puma: 29:21
yeah, it, definitely does. I think that your idea about greeting guests with it makes a lot of sense makes a really great impression. Also, and guests met wherever we had guests. That was nice.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:33
These, these are, I’ve been having a lot of fantasy dinner parties in my head, but

John Puma: 29:39
I’m still waiting for your house warming.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:41
yes,

John Puma: 29:43
He’s going to be moved. You’re going to be moving out by the time you have that.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:48
Coming eventually. Yeah. So, uh, Yeah, so, um, I think this amabuki strawberry yeast sake is such a cool and interesting sake and a great first step into the world of exploring flower yeasts. So much going on so many ways to approach this sake and just really, it’s a crowd pleaser too. I’ve been at events where this sake has been served and people are like, wow, what is this? You know, it’s, it’s so impactful and, you know, easy, easy to wrap your head around the flavor cause it’s right there in your face. And so approachable and. Um, really engaging and then the story about the yeast and how they did that. It’s just, it’s really, uh,

John Puma: 30:36
Yeah, it is. It is.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:38
We’ve been tasting the strawberry blossom, but they have a whole of different, different flowers. They have apple blossom. They have, oh, we didn’t do the bouquet, pun. Like

John Puma: 30:54
you, you made

Timothy Sullivan: 30:54
has a

John Puma: 30:55
a similar point at the beginning though. I

Timothy Sullivan: 30:57
well, okay. This brewery uses. Sunflower begonia Marigold, apple blossom, a Rose. Eylea Eylea. Uh, there’s a, a beautiful flower called queen of the night, which almost looks like a Lotus blossom. And there’s another. Beautiful flower called the Marvel of Peru that they use. It’s beautiful. So you can visit the amabuki website and see all the different flowers. And they explained the language of the flowers to tell you the message that each different flower, uh, gives you. For example, the sunflower is I only see you, it’s a symbol of adoration and devotion.

John Puma: 31:43
Hmm.

Timothy Sullivan: 31:44
Like you’re the sun of my solar system.

John Puma: 31:49
Okay.

Timothy Sullivan: 31:52
so John, do you think you’re going to be exploring more? sakes that use flower yeast?

John Puma: 31:57
Um, probably. So I am. Already very familiar with the amabuki line and they make some fantastic sakes and they’re very unique for the most part. A lot of Amabuki sake. He doesn’t taste like other sake. And I really liked that. We got to explore one of the reasons why is they’re using ingredients that very few other breweries really do. And I think that’s interesting. And I think that’s what, one thing that really sets them apart from the crowd.

Timothy Sullivan: 32:27
Yeah, but there, there are some other breweries that deserve an honorable mention. Maybe I could just mention a few brands that they are not completely a hundred percent devoted to flower yeast, but they’re using, uh, flower yeast for some of their sakes. So if you want to explore beyond Amabuki, there’s a Harada Shuzo in Gifu there’s Raifuku breweryin Ibaraki, tenju in Akita Tenryo in Gifu Rihaku from shimane and there’s also Tajima from Fukui. So these are all breweries that I believe are connected to, uh, Nodai university and have some of their products using flower yeast. So if you see any sakes from these breweries and you want to explore flower yeast more, be sure to check them out.

John Puma: 33:18
Yeah, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a brave new world out there with flower yeast. Go try it out. Go have some sake.

Timothy Sullivan: 33:25
yes. A new era is blossoming in.

John Puma: 33:29
Uh, he got pun in everybody.

Timothy Sullivan: 33:37
Mission accomplished. Well, John, that was so much fun who knew that yeast could be so interesting.

John Puma: 33:47
Well, we are, they used to be interesting. I just didn’t realize that you can get it from a flower.

Timothy Sullivan: 33:53
Who knew you could get yeast from a flower? I think that is super interesting. And, uh, I’m going to be seeking out more hana Kobo sake for sure. All right. Well, it was great tasting with you. Uh, it was really fun tasting the same sake again and talking about this Amabuki strawberry. Uh, so thanks so much, John. And I also want to thank our listeners very much. for tuning in and listening again this week. We really do hope that you’re enjoying our show. If you’d like to show your support for Sake Revolution right now, the best way to help us out would be to consider backing us on Patreon. We’re a listener supported show without advertisements, and we really rely on our patrons to help us bring Sake Revolution to you every week.

John Puma: 34:40
And. In lieu of backing us on Patreon. There are a lot of other ways you can support us., listening to the show right now, you’re supporting us, telling your friends and supporting us. And of course, uh, writing a very, very glowing review. Now be honest, write a review on your podcast platform of choice. Let people know what you think of the show, and that will get the word out about what we’re doing over here.

Timothy Sullivan: 35:04
And as always to learn more about any of the topics or sakes or flowers we talked about in today’s episode, be sure to visit our website, SakeRevolution.com for all the detailed show notes.

John Puma: 35:17
And for all of your burning sake or flower questions, uh, we have an email address for you. Please send those emails to us at [email protected] You send the emails, we will read the emails and they really do influence a lot of our show ideas, believe it or not. so until next time, please remember, do not forget to keep drinking sake and Kanpai.