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Yuki No Bosha
Founded in 1903 and managed by the fifth-generation son, Kotaro Saito, the Saiya Brewing Company has won eleven gold medals and three silvers from 1990 to 2005 at Japan’s National New Sake Competition. This makes it the fourth most-awarded brewery at the competition. The Saitos were also the first brewers to produce a certified organic sake in Japan.
Yuki No Bosha, “Cabin in the Snow,” is a celebration of the northern Akita region of Japan, one of the most important sake-producing areas. Yuki No Bosha sakes demonstrate a great balance between fruitier and spicier notes. The brewery primarily uses indigenous Akita Komachi and Gin No Sei rice, but also utilizes Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo for some daiginjo’s. The makers of Yuki No Bosha also produce the prestigious Yuri Masamune brand.
The makers of Yuki No Bosha are masters of their craft. The proof is in the many national and regional awards they have won, but the source is their toji, or “brewmaster.” A veteran of the esteemed Sannai Toji guild, Toichi Takahashi has been a brewmaster for thirty years, twenty of them at the Saiya Shuzouten.
The Saitos produce five daiginjos on a regular basis and others as special releases depending on the year. Although Akita is known for its “AK-1” yeast, the Saitos use proprietary yeasts developed in house: at last count, they were using twenty-five different strains.
Akita and Sake
Rustic, rugged and rural, Akita is cherished by the Japanese for its lively festivals, tranquil winters and delicious sake. Its renowned matsuri, or “festivals,” include Namahage Sedo (Demon Mask), Kamakura (Winter Igloo), Tsunahiki (Tug of War), Odaiko (Giant Drum) and the Kanto Lantern Festival. Home to fifty-one breweries and ranking fourth in total sake production, Akita is one of Japan’s most important sake-producing regions. The people of Akita are so proud of their sake that they refer to their region as bishu okoku, or “empire of beautiful sake.”
Akita-style sakes are earthy and layered.
Akita Komachi means “beauty of Akita” and is both a reference to the fair ladies for which the region is known as well as its cherished local rice of the same name.
This daiginjo has upfront notes of white pepper that fade into dried apricot ... more