Choshu Shuzo is now well into the middle of its first brewing season, and toji Fujioka Miki has shipped out several batches of sake so far. I missed the last Tokubetsu Junmai, so I got hold of this third Junmai Ginjo to see how it has progressed since its first batch.
Tenbi The First brought a bright, vibrant nama with fruity aroma and flavors. It was a good sake, and showed some character and originality beneath a veneer of nama vibrance.
This sake strikes me as a bit more subdued. It still preserves some touch of the nama carbonation, but has much less of the typical distinct nama flavor. However, there seems to be much less of the ginjoka going on here. It is a mellow flavored sake with subtle notes of vanilla, banana, and sweet rice.
I am very curious what this indicates for the brewery as it goes forward, because this is rather unlike other Yamaguchi brews. It strikes me as more tanrei than most, with a very light, clean feel to it. Yamaguchi sake tends toward the hojun, or rich, with a lot of amino acid content. If Choshu Shuzo continues down the lighter path and continues its current level of success, it could bring a definite feeling of change to the local brewing industry.