Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake – An Expert’s Review



Let’s dive right into the heart of Japanese sake culture. Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake, that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? But don’t be intimidated by its name. Each word has its own significance in describing this exquisite brew.

Kitajima Namamoto refers to the brewery where this unique sake is produced. Located in Japan, it’s renowned for crafting some of the finest sakes known to mankind. The term ‘Junmai’ indicates that our featured sake is pure rice wine, made without any added alcohol or sugars – a true testament to traditional brewing methods.

‘Aiyama’ is the variety of rice used in creating this particular type of sake. This strain of rice, distinguished by its larger grain size and minimal processing, contributes significantly to the distinct flavor profile of Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama.

Now we get to ‘Unfiltered’. In most commercially available sakes, there’s a filtration process employed to remove bits of rice and yeast left over from fermentation. However, with unfiltered or raw sake such as ours here, these elements remain intact providing an extra layer of complexity and depth.

So when you hear “Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake”, you’re hearing an ode to centuries-old brewing traditions – authentically Japanese yet globally adored!

The Brewing Process of Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake

Steeping the Rice

In the brewing process of this exquisite sake, it all kicks off with carefully steeping the rice. This isn’t your everyday meal staple we’re talking about; it’s a special variety called Aiyama, known for its fragrant aroma and superior taste. After thorough washing to remove any bran left from milling, our cherished Aiyama rice is soaked in water. It’s not a haphazard affair, though – there’s an art to controlling the soaking time precisely, ensuring that just enough moisture penetrates each grain.

Koji Mold Cultivation

Next up in our process comes the cultivation of koji mold. Now you might be thinking, “Mold? Really?” but trust me on this – it’s absolutely crucial! This little fungi works wonders by breaking down starches into fermentable sugars. Our brewers painstakingly sprinkle spores over steamed rice and let them work their magic at controlled temperatures. The result? Sweet-smelling koji-rice that plays a pivotal role in giving our raw sake its distinct character.

Saccharification and Fermentation

Then comes saccharification and fermentation—two processes happening simultaneously in one tank—a phenomenon aptly named ‘multiple parallel fermentation.’ It’s here where things get interesting! We add yeasts along with more steamed rice and water to the koji-rice already inside the tank. As yeasts go on a feeding frenzy consuming sugars produced by koji mold, they excrete alcohol and carbon dioxide – thus begins fermentation!


Finally, after waiting patiently for about 20-30 days (yes, good things take time), we arrive at pressing—the final stage in our brewing journey. Here we separate our now-fermented mixture into unrefined sake (moromi) and lees (sakekasu). The pressing method we use for Kitajima Namamoto Junmai is traditional and manual, ensuring that the quality of sake remains uncompromised. After all this meticulous process, what you get is a raw, unfiltered sake that’s as authentic as it gets!

The Unique Qualities of Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake

When it comes to the world of sake, Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake stands in a league of its own. There’s something unique and intriguing about this beverage that captures the attention of sake enthusiasts across the globe.

Aromas and Flavors

Upon uncorking a bottle, you’ll be greeted by an array of enticing aromas. Notes of ripe pear, fresh melon, and creamy vanilla waft from every pour, creating a sensory experience that’s as delightful as it is complex. It’s not just about the nose though—the flavors are equally captivating. On your first sip, you’ll taste subtle hints of tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, balanced beautifully with earthy undertones reminiscent of forest mushrooms or wet stone. This delicate interplay between sweet fruitiness and rich umami makes for an unforgettable tasting experience.

Texture and Mouthfeel

I can’t talk about Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake without mentioning its texture and mouthfeel—both integral aspects contributing to its overall charm. Unlike typical filtered sakes, this unfiltered variant has a boldness in texture that adds another layer to its appeal. It’s silky yet slightly viscous which gives it some weight on your palate. This velvety smoothness combined with gentle carbonation results in a rich mouthfeel that lingers long after each sip.

Food Pairing

Now let’s get into food pairings—a critical aspect when enjoying any kind of wine or sake properly! I’ve found that this raw sake pairs wonderfully with an array of dishes due to its well-balanced flavor profile. Its sweetness complements spicy foods like hot pot or Thai curries brilliantly while its umami notes offer depth when paired with savory items such as grilled fish or roasted vegetables.

So whether you’re a long-time sake lover or new to the world of Japanese rice wines, I highly recommend giving Kitajima Namamoto Junmai Aiyama Unfiltered Raw Sake a try. Its complex aromas, well-balanced flavors, and unique texture are sure to provide an experience unlike any other.

Overall, I’ve found this exploration fascinating – one brimming with taste bud tingling experiences! So go ahead: pour yourself a glass and let your senses do their magic. You might just find your new favorite sake.

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