Episode 48 Show Notes

Season 1. Episode 48. Genshu is known commonly as the heavy hitter in the world of sake. Sometimes called “cask strength” or “high alcohol sake”, what we are really talking about here is sake that is undiluted with water. Usually, this gives us a sake clocking in at around 18-20% alcohol. Most sake is brewed to this level and then water is added at the time of bottling to bring the alcohol level down to about 15%. When this addition of water is skipped, then we get “genshu”. One misunderstanding about Genshu is that it is just one thing – namely, a high alcohol bull in a china shop. Tim and John discover that Genshu has a lot more nuance than that. There are both lower and higher alcohol sakes that qualify as Genshu. For those classic high alcohol sakes, John tries his on the rocks – a fun way to engage with Genshu. Whether the alcohol level is high or low, be sure to give genshu sakes a try… Or as genshu sake brewers say – live to dilute another day.


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


Skip to: 00:59 Sake Education Corner: Genshu


Skip to: 15:50 Sake Tasting Introductions


Skip to: 18:16 Kamikokoro Toukagen Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu Shiboritate Nama

Kamikokoro Toukagen Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu Shiboritate Nama

Brewery: Kamikokoro Shuzo
Alcohol: 16.5%
Acidity: 1.4
Classification: Genshu, Nama, Shiboritate, Tokubetsu Junmai
Prefecture: Okayama
Seimaibuai: 58%
SMV: -11.0
Brand: Kamikokoro (嘉美心)

View on UrbanSake.com


Skip to: 25:00 Tamagawa Yamahai Junmai Genshu “Red Label”

Tamagawa Yamahai Junmai Genshu “Red Label”

Alcohol: 20.0%
Classification: Genshu, Junmai, Yamahai
Prefecture: Kyoto
Rice Type: Kitanishiki
Seimaibuai: 66%
Brewery: Kinoshita Shuzo
SMV: +3.5
Importer: World Sake Imports
Acidity: 2.6

View on UrbanSake.com


Skip to: 33:42 Show Closing

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

Episode 48 Transcript


John Puma: 0:22
Hello everybody. And welcome to sake revolution. This is America’s first sake podcast. I’m your host, John Puma from the sake notes. Administrator over at the Internet sake discord. And the guy on the show who in case you haven’t heard is not a Sake Samurai.

Timothy Sullivan: 0:40
I am your host, Timothy Sullivan. I am a Sake Samurai. I’m also a sake educator and I’m also 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: 0:59
Wonderful. Wonderful, Tim. I think we are a little bit overdue, correct? Correct me if I’m wrong. I think we’re overdue for a visit to the sake education corner. Do you have any, topics that we might be able to chit chat about?

Timothy Sullivan: 1:13
So I’ve got a great idea for what we can talk about today. Let’s go full bore, full strength and talk about one of my favorite styles of sake genshu

John Puma: 1:25
Ooh. you say full bore, full strength, you mean

Timothy Sullivan: 1:29
full strength

John Puma: 1:29
cask strength,

Timothy Sullivan: 1:31
you know what genshu is? Right? So what’s, what’s our everyday definition of genshu.

John Puma: 1:37
Genshu is non diluted sake. when I am describing genshu to people, sometimes I say things like cask strength.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:47
Okay. That’s a term borrowed from the world of whiskey and

John Puma: 1:51
Yes.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:51
Right,

John Puma: 1:52
right, right,

Timothy Sullivan: 1:52
And what does that mean in the world of whiskey and spirits.

John Puma: 1:55
Well in the world of whiskey, it means that it is higher in alcohol. Um, because it’s not diluted by, uh, water.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:02
That’s right. In that sense, you can use this term cask strength to define a genshu in a way, but it’s a little bit misleading because we don’t use use casks, wooden casks to age our sake. So I find it’s, it’s a okay way to explain it as in layman’s terms, but I tend to avoid the term casks strength, barrel strength. Some people also say barrel proof and

John Puma: 2:32
Ooh, I like that. That’s a, that sounds like a very expensive bourbon.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:37
But when it comes to sake again, they’re a little bit misleading. So the way I define genshu generally is no water added or undiluted with water. That’s usually what I say, undiluted with water. Yeah, but let’s, let’s look at the word genshu a little bit more closely. So shu, we know what that means, right? shu

John Puma: 3:00
is a drink, but

Timothy Sullivan: 3:02
you mean sake, Yeah. So there’s a few ways to say sake in Japanese. One of them is Shu. S H U you can say Junmai shu. You can say genshu there’s a whole bunch of shus.

John Puma: 3:19
There’s a whole bunch of

Timothy Sullivan: 3:20
Amelda Marcos

John Puma: 3:21
I’ve heard ginjo shu.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:23
Ginzo shu. Exactly. So this suffix shu means sake and gen- is the first part of that. So the Kanji or the Japanese writing for gen-, that means source or origin or sometimes beginning. So origin. So it’s like, you can think of it almost like the beginning point of what sake will be. So it’s the origin or source, and that is. The meaning behind the Kanji. So it’s kind of like the origin, sake is a way of, one way of translating gen- shu. But again, the meaning is no water added. And of course, John, what is the fallout of no water added? What kind of sake does that give us?

John Puma: 4:09
Well, uh, often it means that it’s boozy. Not always, but often

Timothy Sullivan: 4:17
Higher strength sake now. Do you know that there are limits legal limits on what sake can be?

John Puma: 4:25
I have heard that there is a maximum and I have heard that that maximum is, uh, correct me if I’m wrong. 22%.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:33
That is correct. So 22% is the highest level by law in Japan that a sake can be highest alcohol level you can

John Puma: 4:45
Hmm,

Timothy Sullivan: 4:45
and do you know what the lowest number is?

John Puma: 4:48
I, I don’t actually, what is the lowest

Timothy Sullivan: 4:50
1%.

John Puma: 4:52
No really?

Timothy Sullivan: 4:53
So if you brew a sake, it can not be lower than 1%. So 1% to 22%, that’s the legal range for sake. Alcohol percentage in Japan?

John Puma: 5:06
That is an extraordinarily generous range that I wanted to say. I’m still, I have my head around the 1%. Uh, I don’t think I’ve ever had any 1% sake. Tim, have you ever had any 1%

Timothy Sullivan: 5:17
No, I never have.

John Puma: 5:19
Oh,

Timothy Sullivan: 5:20
I’ve never seen one. I don’t know if they’re out there. Yeah.

John Puma: 5:22
I don’t, uh, I don’t think there’s probably, I don’t think there’s a lot of demand but that this would be like the o’doul’s of sake though. It’s like, you know, you can drink it and then drive or something.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:36
we’re here to talk about the other end of the spectrum.

John Puma: 5:38
Oh, fantastic.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:40
So let’s talk about when water is added to sake during the production process. So when you finish brewing your tank of sake, you press it and you separate the alcohol from the unfermented rice, and then you have freshly pressed sake and that sake can be many different alcohol percentages, but usually it’s a little bit higher. The average, I would say, when it comes out of the press is like 17, 18%. So that’s high for the average product you could buy in the store when it comes to sake, right?

John Puma: 6:13
Typically.

Timothy Sullivan: 6:14
Yeah. So the reason isn’t that they brew at a higher level is because when you store sake for six months before bottling, it’s safer to have the alcohol percentage be higher. There’s less chance of spoilage of the sake, because you’ve got more alcohol in there and that’s going to kill off any, you know, wild bacteria or wild yeast that might get in there. And when it comes to bottling after let’s say six months of aging, what they would do is they would add water right before or at the time of bottling and bring that alcohol level down. Generally the average is about 15% and that’s something you’ve we see a lot of right. about 15, 16%.

John Puma: 6:57
Do we know why they landed at that number.

Timothy Sullivan: 7:01
The explanations I’ve heard from people is that that’s the alcohol percentage that the customers demanded. Like that’s what the market wants. Yeah.

John Puma: 7:12
All right. Well, that’s interesting so that the people have spoken and they want 15 to 16% alcohol. Most of the time.

Timothy Sullivan: 7:19
that’s

John Puma: 7:20
That’s very interesting. Cause I feel like sake is alcohol is a tiny bit higher than the closest. Beverage, that’s really comparable to it. That’s wine and wine. I have seen wines that are 15, 16, but I want to say that wine is more of a 13 or so as like a rule of thumb 11 to 13.

Timothy Sullivan: 7:39
Yep. 11 12% is pretty average for wine and sake. The average is definitely 15.5%. The majority of sakes on the market are in that range. So when you skip this step of adding water to the sake at the time of bottling, generally you have what’s called a genshu again. That’s the no water added sake, but. They couldn’t leave well enough alone. And did you know there is an exception to this rule. You can add water to sake and still call it a genshu.

John Puma: 8:16
uh, wait a minute, Tim. Uh, you just told me that that means that it’s no longer a genshu.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:23
There’s an exception. One exception.

John Puma: 8:26
What does the exception, when is a genshu not a genshu.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:29
a genshu is not a genshu. When you add 1% or less of water. By volume. So if you add a little bit of water that adds up to less than 1% of the total of the batch, you can add a little bit of water up to 1% and you can still call it a genshu by law.

John Puma: 8:51
what kind of impact is 1% water going to have on your alcohol level, in a sake?

Timothy Sullivan: 9:01
Well, it can, adjust it by about 1%. So if you, if you’re coming in at 16.5 and you want to maybe bring it down to 15.5, you can add a small amount of water again, about 1% total. And still legally sell that as a genshu, if you want. So there isn’t this little loophole, if you want to add a small amount of water, but otherwise anything over 1% addition of water, you can not call it a genshu any more.

John Puma: 9:32
that’s interesting. one whole percent is, is not insignificant. If you’re bringing, if you’re trying to bring it down,

Timothy Sullivan: 9:38
Yeah. You could be drinking a genshu. That does have a little bit of added water, but that’s just because they couldn’t keep things easy and simple for us. They had to, for some reason, go in there and monkey with the rules. But

John Puma: 9:51
it’s messed up, man.

Timothy Sullivan: 9:52
yeah, but it’s good to know. It’s good to know.

John Puma: 9:55
It’s good to know. It is good to know.

Timothy Sullivan: 9:57
Do you, do you like genshu John? Is it something you enjoy drinking?

John Puma: 10:00
Um, its not something I look for. It is something that it’s just another thing on the label to me. It’s not something I really chase after. It’s not something that I go out of my way for, but it’s also not something that turns me off when I see it. It is, it’s just a factor and I don’t think it’s something that really influences flavor a lot for me.

Timothy Sullivan: 10:22
Oh,

John Puma: 10:22
I mean, there are a few notable exceptions, uh, one of which I’ll be tasting in a little bit, but by and large, it’s, it’s not something that I really think about when I’m selecting sake or I’m tasting it. What about you?

Timothy Sullivan: 10:38
well, genshu is something I generally don’t chase after myself. It, for me, it has a pretty big impact on the flavor generally. Those higher alcohol percentages. I feel like you can really feel them. And it’s a little bit difficult in my opinion, to bring balance and nuance to sake that has such a high alcohol percentage.

John Puma: 11:03
I could see that.

Timothy Sullivan: 11:05
Have you ever gotten into trouble with, a genshu?

John Puma: 11:08
Okay. Um, I mean, I’ve gotten in trouble with many sake’s Um, some of them happened to be genshu

Timothy Sullivan: 11:16
I just think a genshu can hit you a little hard sometimes, especially if it’s like a super smooth high alcohol genshu Sometimes you can be sipping on it.

John Puma: 11:24
super smooth, Remember that balance problem. You’re talking about a moment ago. That’s that’s not present and that is a Testament to the craft. And I think we owe it to them to drink that sake But I do understand what you mean, but that’s also where I sit on it is I’ve had so many a genshu that don’t taste boozy and that have just a really great balance to them. So, so that’s why it doesn’t really, factor in for me that much, because it can be meaningless to the flavor, uh, in a way, uh, of course it can be very meaningful as well, but that’s why in my head it’s another thing to look at, but it’s not something I really focus on, but I know people who do, I’m married to one. I think genshu is a, is a traditional factor in crazy style. If I’m not mistaken.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:17
Genshu is one of the key components of crazy style.

John Puma: 12:20
it’s a, it’s a, it’s a key performance metric. Okay.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:26
No, I think it’s important to recognize and say for our listeners also that there’s all different levels of genshu

John Puma: 12:33
Oh yeah.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:33
when you brew sake you can brew it up to the upper limit and then water it down or not. Or you can brew sake in its original state. At a lower percentage, you could brew sake to 15 or 16% alcohol add no water to it. And that can still be a genshu, even though it doesn’t reach the stratospheres or the upper upper levels of, of high alcohol. So genshu is a term that has a pretty big range. I’d say from like 16% up to 22%.

John Puma: 13:07
Hm. Now I have a question and this might be getting a little too much into the weeds. Uh, but my understanding is that the alcohol percentage is going to change during the duration of the sake’s is, brewing.

Timothy Sullivan: 13:22
Oh, yes, absolutely.

John Puma: 13:24
Does that mean that the sakes that have the higher alcohol are brewed longer as a broad rule or, or shorter? In other words, like, does it, does the alcohol content increase over time or does it decrease over time?

Timothy Sullivan: 13:38
alcohol levels are going to increase over time and there’s a few ways that we can control how much alcohol is produced. One way is time, the other factor is temperature. So the yeast are going to produce more sake more rapidly at higher temperatures. If you freeze them out, they’re going to start shivering and put on their little yeast sweaters. And they’re not going to produce as much alcohol as quickly.

John Puma: 14:08
I want to see yeast sweaters now.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:11
If you bring the temperature of the mash down dramatically, you can even stop fermentation with low temperature. So temperature control is of the utmost importance for producing small amounts of alcohol. Over a long time, we call this brewing low and slow. So low temperature. Yeah, low and slow that produces the finest quality sake

John Puma: 14:36
a term I usually hear associated with like daiginjo.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:40
Yes.

John Puma: 14:41
For this low and slow.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:44
I thought you were going to say roasting a Turkey.

John Puma: 14:47
I mean, also that.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:51
Yeah. So there there’s a few methods that brewers have to control the finished amount of alcohol they get, but also the volume of alcohol they get. Over time, because you can, again, you can use the temperature and you can also use the length of fermentation

John Puma: 15:08
wonderful. I do hope that we both thought about this ahead of time and brought examples of genshus to taste today. Because if not, this is going to be a very short show.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:18
we’re going to do a high, low genshu tasting today.

John Puma: 15:23
Hmm. Excellent. Excellent. And which, which one do you have?

Timothy Sullivan: 15:27
I’m the low.

John Puma: 15:28
You’re the low. That means I’m the high and then, okay. Yes, I’m definitely the high.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:33
I hope you had a hearty lunch to soak up all this

John Puma: 15:37
I think this is one of the highest, isn’t it, Tim? Um, in fact, it’s getting close to that limit. We talked about earlier. that’s going to be fun. Okay, Tim, why don’t we start with the low,

Timothy Sullivan: 15:50
Yeah, let’s introduce our sake So the sake that I brought is a genshu sake from Okayama Prefecture. This is an unpasteurized sake is called Kamikokoro Toukagen Tokubetsu Junmai Nama Genshu That’s a lot. That is a big, long name.

John Puma: 16:14
there are a lot of descriptors in that title.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:16
Yep. And we’ll talk about all those in a little bit, but just as a brief introduction, this is a genshu at 16.5% alcohol. So in the world of genshu in the world of undiluted, sakes This is definitely on the low end. So this is the lower alcohol style of genshu And the rice milling rate is 58%. It’s on the sweeter side, SMV minus 11. And, uh, uh, the brewery name again is kami kokoro, which means the heart of God.

John Puma: 16:51
Great name.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:52
name. Alright.

John Puma: 16:55
as a matter of coincidence, Tim, I also have a bottle of the Kamikokoro Toukagen Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu Shiboritate Nama

Timothy Sullivan: 17:06
number.

John Puma: 17:07
in my hand right

Timothy Sullivan: 17:08
All right. So we can taste that one together when the time comes.

John Puma: 17:11
Yes. Additionally, I also have a bottle of Tamagawa red label, heirloom Yamahai genshu And this sake puts the G in genshu it’s capital G Genshu, because the alcohol percentage here is 20 to 21%.

Timothy Sullivan: 17:34
Yikes.

John Puma: 17:35
the name of the brewery is, uh, Kinoshita brewery. And, that is in, Kyoto.

Timothy Sullivan: 17:40
Yes.

John Puma: 17:42
I want to say it, this brand is very famous for their genshu

Timothy Sullivan: 17:49
Yeah. So. They do like spontaneous fermentation, wild yeast. They’re like on the cutting edge of all these hardcore brewing styles. Right?

John Puma: 17:57
Oh yes. Most, most definitely. this particular sake is that ambient yeast, style.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:04
That’s amazing. Talk about, yeah, that’s going to give you some funky flavors for

John Puma: 18:09
Oh yeah. Most definitely. Um, but I think that maybe we should start low and work our way up.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:16
All right. So I have my bottle of the Kamikokoro and I’m going to open it up and let’s give it a pour. Now, when I see this in the glass, it has a little bit of a not rosy color, but just a hint of, of color almost for me. It has a little bit of a pink, pink tinge to it. I don’t know if you see that as well.

John Puma: 18:48
um, my doesn’t come across any come across pink, but it is off white for certain

Timothy Sullivan: 18:54
Okay. Um, so let’s give this one a smell, and then we can talk about some of the characteristics of this sake So

John Puma: 19:03
Hmm. This aroma.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:06
Yeah, this is super fruity and juicy.

John Puma: 19:12
it’s also like really unique. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a sake that smells exactly like this. This is very, very interesting and yes, it is fruity, but. It’s a different take on it.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:25
One of the unique characteristics of this sake in particular is that they use a yeast that is cultivated off of peach, white peach, which is a famous fruit for Okayama Prefecture. So this uses white peach yeast, and I feel that that imbues the sake with some hints of fruitiness. That are really unique and a lot of aromatics come from the type of yeast that is selected. that’s a really unique point about this sake sake.

John Puma: 20:04
That’s a very nice.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:06
Yeah. It’s lovely the aroma is just beautiful for me. It has gentle notes of melon and green grape and. Just super soft, tropical fruits as well. Of course a peach and let’s give it a taste. All right. So this has a wonderful sweetness to it, I think. And I’m not a huge fan of sweet sakes This is SMV minus 11. Again, that’s our measurement of sweetness or dryness generally. And minus 11 is relatively deep into the sweet territory,

John Puma: 20:48
Yeah. I want to say that this might be the, lowest, SMV we ever had on the show. I think, uh, I’m not sure if we’ve had anything lower than minus 11.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:56
But it doesn’t read disturbingly. Sweet. Of course their sweetness there. But I find it’s balanced well with this, just a touch higher alcohol. So let’s talk about the genshu aspect of it. Normally, as we said earlier a genshu as 17, 18, 19%, but they bring this in naturally at 16.5%. So that tells me this is probably brewed, low and slow. As we were talking about where they don’t let the alcohol get too high. They brew over a longer period of time and it’s a fresh press Nama. So they don’t do any aging per se, on this as well. So all those things together bring a good counterpoint to the residual sugar that’s there. Really good balance. And even though there is sweetness there it’s really pleasant. It’s really enjoyable. And it’s a fruity type of sweetness, not a cotton candy or bubble gum or anything off putting it’s very gentle, very fruity and just lovely. So if you like sweeter white wines, I think this would be right up your alley.

John Puma: 22:05
This is, this is weapons grade drinkable. Like this is a sake you can really lose track of. I believe the word crushable is something you’ve enjoyed using Yes. Um,

Timothy Sullivan: 22:19
Crushable yeah. Easy drinking capital E capital D. Yes. Weapons, grade, easy drinking. I like that. Yeah. It is super approachable, really gentle. And even though it’s sold as a genshu you don’t get anywhere near that classic genshu territory. So it’s really soft. It has a softness to it.

John Puma: 22:45
Yeah, I would say that if I were that person who saw a genshu as a big boozy, sake and I tasted this, I might be disappointed that it’s not that it’s not that.

Timothy Sullivan: 22:57
Yes. Yeah. If you’re chasing a traditional 22% genshu you’re not going to find it here, not with this sake

John Puma: 23:04
Absolutely not.

Timothy Sullivan: 23:05
One other thing I think we need to mention is that often a genshu and Nama or unpasteurized go together, you very often find them together. Don’t you.

John Puma: 23:16
Yes, definitely. especially those like early season namas are often nama genshu because it’s kind of just giving you that, this is from the press into the bottle as much as we can do.

Timothy Sullivan: 23:27
Yup. As fast as you can from the press right into the bottle. I ain’t got time for that. No time for water, no time for

John Puma: 23:34
that.

Timothy Sullivan: 23:36
And you just, you get the purist expression of sake right from the press freshly squeezed. And that is very much what this tastes like. And that fruitiness, when, you know, having worked at a sake brewery, when you’re stirring the vats right before they get pressed, the aromas that waft up from these fermentation vats can be super fruity and intoxicating in more ways than one

John Puma: 23:59
I was about to say,

Timothy Sullivan: 24:02
Really engaging and fruity and juicy. And when you get that in the glass at home, that’s something really special for me because you, you get that impression of the freshly pressed sake right out of the fune right out of the press. It’s so, so engaging and so delicious.

John Puma: 24:21
Yes. Yes. Yes

Timothy Sullivan: 24:22
All right. Well, I think we’ve got a winner here. Ding, ding, ding. We both love the sake

John Puma: 24:27
we do. We absolutely do love the sake And I want to say that until recently. I had never had this okay. Before. So, um, actually as we’re recording this, we are less than 24 hours from my having first tasted this and it is such a tremendous surprise. And so, so delicious.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:45
All right, John. Well, we found a winner with Kamikokoro. That is our lower alcohol example of genshu Let’s slide over to you. And we want to push the limit, put, push the pedal to the metal. Let’s push the pedal

John Puma: 25:00
the pedal is, this is floored right now. The alcohol percentage is floored this sake. Again, this is the Tamagawa Red Label Heirloom Yamahai Genshu And again, the alcohol percentage, this guy 20 to 21% So the rice variety here is kitonnishiki ton Shiki. acidity is 2.9 polishing ratio on that kitonnishiki is 66% sake meter values. Plus 3.5. No, I don’t think I’m going to be thinking this is very dry. and the, the yeast is listed as a house yeast. And that is because like, literally it’s the ambient heat in the house, uh, in the walls. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s, that is the most literal way to say house yeast ever. Um, and yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what we’ve got here. No, no, that was a very small, poor, because this is very powerful stuff. Hm. So despite this being so potent on the alcohol end of things, the aroma is not reflecting that the aroma is a very clean, very, I want to say fresh, like, uh, almost like, uh, uh, fresh cut grass, kind of aroma. And I, and I do get this on a lot of Tamagawa is, sake is, but if you let it linger, And you inhale it a little bit more, then the alcohol starts to trickle out and you start to notice that a little bit more. it’s it is 20% of can’t hide forever.

Timothy Sullivan: 26:50
When I do drink a super high alcohol sake I, it tends to hit you more on the finish, right? Like the, the back palate really clicked. Punches you in the face with that higher alcohol. So it may be smooth and a little deceptive upfront, but these higher alcohols I find really come through on the finish.

John Puma: 27:11
Now let’s take a taste. Whoa. Okay. So. The contrast here is extraordinarily stark. Uh, this is, uh, wearing its alcohol percentage on its sleeve. This is, this tastes very strong. This is something that I would want to have on the rocks. the taste is so funky, but also so powerful that my brain puts this in that I want to have this in like a rocks glass, or like a whiskey It goes into that realm for me, where it, where I’m more comfortable comparing it subconsciously to, to scotch or something like that. and I immediately am like, Oh, you know, Oh, water might open this up nicely. So they didn’t dilute it, but I’m looking to dilute it apparently. And it’s not saying that I don’t think this is good. This is fantastic. This is really well made, but I also add ice to a lot of my whiskeys. That’s a completely normal thing for me.

Timothy Sullivan: 28:11
let’s talk about that for a second. I think putting sake on the rocks, people out there might not know that’s a thing you can do. So let’s talk about that for a second.

John Puma: 28:22
let’s, for me, I first came across it from this very brewery. They produce a product called icebreaker and it is their, their summer genshu And it’s designed to be, and advertised as something, a sake that you can drink on the rocks. And I don’t think the alcohol percentage is nearly as high on that sake as it is on this one. And I have had that sake on the rocks. I’ve had that sake Um, straight and I do really like it on the rocks. It’s a very different experience. and I want to say that I’m going to have something very similar here. Now, fortunately, through the magic of modern technology, I do have ice in the house and I can make this happen. So I take this ice cube and add it to my, to my Tamagawa red label. I’m going to give it a little bit of a swirl. What the, let the ice really impact things in there.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:24
For relaxing times, make it Tamagawa Time. now the, the advantages to adding a nice big ice cube to a high alcohol genshu one, you keep it cold and keeping it cold, keeps it crisp. And two when the ice cube melts you, you dilute it just a little bit and you can bring it down and maybe. Round off a bit of harshness that you might get with a super high alcohol sake.

John Puma: 29:51
Right off the bat, the aroma has changed, dampened a bit. Now the aroma is a little bit more of that. Very difficult to describe funkiness that I was tasting earlier, but now it’s kind of coming at me, on the nose, which is very interesting. And then when I sip on it, it is, it has gone from being this really kind of intense, really intense flavor that you’re thinking about a lot. You’re very cognizant while you’re sipping on it. Now it is light and refreshing. and that’s just from adding a single ice cube. But I think that a lot of sake doesn’t get along tremendously well with ice. I think it’s not something you wanna do with every, certainly not with every Uh, but I think that something like this where you’re hitting those extremes and also something that’s this funky and different, And interesting, having a little bit of ice in there really lightens it up. It mellows, it it’s a different experience. it is indestructable and it just changes and is delicious, no matter what you do. So out of the bottle, this is wonderful. I put an ice cube in it is still wonderful. Just a little bit different. If I warm this up, it’s probably still going to be wonderful, but it’s going to be a little bit different again. I probably wouldn’t want to warm up the one with the ice cube though. That would be a little weird.

Timothy Sullivan: 31:10
You know, I wanted to ask you one thing about your sake I was looking at the stats for both of our genshus here. Yours has an acidity of 2.9, which is high. My sake had an acidity of 1.4, which is just in the mid to low standard acidity range. So I know you’re getting a higher alcohol and you said the ice cube mellowed that out. Are you picking up on any like overt acidity in your sake as well?

John Puma: 31:39
I mean, there is it’s present, but it’s really well balanced even before the ice cube, the sake meter value on this. Is plus 3.5, whereas yours was minus 11. so I think that, you know, even though these, these numbers are very wild, like my acidity number is very wild. Your. sake meter value number is very wild, but they’re doing other things with the sake is to, to balance them out, to rein them in, in the manner that each, brewery knows how to do. And it’s again, a Testament to just like what these guys are doing and how, how they understand and know what they’re working with and are able to get what they want out of it. And that’s amazing. Like it’s, it’s one of those wonderful things about sake that is just, the numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

Timothy Sullivan: 32:28
Yeah, that’s such a good point. That’s really smart because you can’t look at one stats about any given sake you can’t chase that rice milling number. Oh, I only drank 30% milled or below, or, you know, or SMV minus 11 is too sweet. I’m going to hate it. If you live your life that way, you’re never going to find new, exciting sakes And Both of the sakes we’re tasting are just, like you said, such good examples of how you can play with extremes without going overboard. You still have balance. You still have yummy sake but you can try different extremes when it comes to a different parameters. It’s so exciting. John. I think that we’ve touched on some really interesting aspects of genshu sake one thing we can keep our eyes open for are delicious genshus in your local liquor store wine shop. They’re really worth checking out and you don’t have to be afraid of them. If you’re a bit wary of higher alcohol sakes you can find genshus that are lower. And if you do have a higher alcohol genshu you find that you love, you can throw an ice cube in there and really enjoy it.

John Puma: 33:36
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’m really preferring this with the ice cube. It’s wonderful. It’s really, really delicious.

Timothy Sullivan: 33:42
John, thank you so much. It was so much fun talking to you today about these fabulous genshus. 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. Now, if you would like to show your support for Sake Revolution, one way you can help us out would be to take a couple of minutes and leave us a written review on Apple podcasts. It’s a great way for us to get the word out about our show.

John Puma: 34:08
after it, you’ve posted your, shining review of our show at Apple podcast, please go and tell a friend and then go and subscribe and then tell your friend and subscribe too, and then every week when we publish a new episode, it will magically show up on your device of choice without any need for you to click any buttons or tap anything or anything like that.

Timothy Sullivan: 34:31
The best way to get an episode, no tapping. And as always, if you would like to learn more about genshu sake or any of the sakes we tasted in today’s episode. Please be sure to visit our website, SakeRevolution.com. And you can check out the detailed show notes right there on the website.

John Puma: 34:50
you have questions or comments that you would like us to talk about, we want to hear from you. Please reach out to us. Our email address here is [email protected] So until next time, please remember to keep drinking sake and Kanpai!

Timothy Sullivan: 35:14
Time for more genshu!