Among countless types of liquors around the world, there is an extraordinary characteristic that only sake holds: 'umami'.
It was more than 20 years ago when I encountered an "aged sake (koshu)". I cannot forget the shock when I first put it in my mouth. It had an unimaginable color and flavor compared to those of refined sake, but I certainly felt delicious when I tasted it. Then I have strongly come to believe that 'umami' is the origin of sake and its highest form is in aged sake.
According to the literature, aged sake must have existed since Japanese sake was born, and it was considered to be the best sake during the Edo period. However, this tradition had been vanished by unreasonable Liquor Tax Act in the Meiji period.
"We want to revive this aged sake somehow."
This was how our challenge had started.
Today, there is a common understanding that sake with 'umami' is pure rice brewed sake (Junmai). However, when pure rice sake is matured for long time, it is impossible to remove negative impact of hiochi lactobacillus.
When we were tearing our hair out, it was the people at wineries, brewing grapes, who gave us a great encouragement. They said: "For elegant Champagnes, sugar is added at the end of the process to adjust flavor."Also, adding a bit of alcohol clearly showed results in controlling bacteria. This alcohol itself also gets aged over a long time and generates good flavors. Furthermore, making use of the best of climate and natural conditions of Akita, we re-engineered the process of tank storing and have largely refined our know-how on aging techniques. In 2007, after going through all the trial and error, we had come to produce sake beyond sake, named "Yamabuki", shining in golden color as it matures over time. In 2009, we have made an entry of Yamabuki to the "International Wine Challenge (IWC)" competition for the first time under sake category. IWC is held every year in London and is one of the largest competitions in the world of its kind. In this competition, Yamabuki won Trophy, the highest award, over Junmai and Daiginjo. We are proud to be able to brew such world-class sake, after devotedly pursuing what is core to sake, 'umami', trying to reach beyond what exists now or what is considered to be generally accepted.
The product line of Yamabuki has 8 varieties as listed below, mostly blended with various aging periods, and a non-blend variety with a single aging period.
Yamabuki blend: Using new sake as a base, blending other aged sakes ranging up to 20 year old.
Yamabuki 6 years: Using 6 year old sake as a base, blending other aged sakes ranging up to 20 year old.
Yamabuki 10 years: Using 10 year old sake as a base, blending other aged sakes ranging up to 20 year old.
Yamabuki 15 years: Using 15 year old sake as a base, blending other aged sakes ranging up to 20 year old.
Yamabuki 20 years: Using 20 year old sake as a base, blending other aged sakes ranging up to 20 year old.
Yamabuki Gold: Using 10 year old sake as a base, blending other aged sakes ranging up to 20 year old, the IWC 2014 Gold medal winner. It has been winning the IWC gold medal 5 times in a row.
Yamabuki 1995: Blended aged sake from the year 1993, 1995 and 1998, the IWC 2009 the Champion sake winner (the highest award in sake category).
Yamabuki 1976: Finely aged sake made in 1976 (non-blend).
Please sit back and enjoy the color, the aroma and the taste beautifully melted over time, with your favorite glass.