Wakamusume from Shintani Shuzo is a constant favorite of mine, for reasons that go beyond the bottle, and I’m doing my best to support them during the Corona crisis by buying a bottle every time I get the chance. I urge those of you who can to do the same–they can use every sale they get.
I don’t see this as a big ask, either, because not only are you supporting a true nano-brewery (they only make about 50 koku a year, or 9,000 liters), but you’re getting great sake, too. Wakamusume makes a variety of well-crafted, award winning sakes. It only makes sense to support their continued growth!
This particular one was a great example of Yamaguchi karakuchi sake. It hit +12 on the sake meter value, a measure of sugar levels that is commonly used as an indication of relative sweetness (a negative number)/dryness (a positive). As with most things in life, it’s more complicated than an single number could indicate, but when you get a very high plus or minus on a bottle, it’s usually a pretty good indication of the content.
This was a pretty good indication. Bunbun metal is a crisp, dry sake with a strong undercurrent of astringency. It offered a very mild banana aroma and the attack included a touch of tropical fruit, laid over a strong, clean umami note. It had a gently lingering dryness that translates to an excellent meal sake for lightly flavored or meaty meals. It cleanses the mouth and goes down very quickly without clashing or being overly weighty.
This was a sake that goes off like a firework. A tiny spark of aroma, followed big punch of flavor that quickly fades to a gently lingering puff of smoke.