Drinker’s Note
Taiheizan Natsu-Junmai & Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu By Kodama-Jozo

Written & Translated by Mayuko

One sweltering summer day of 2018, when I was back in Japan on vacation, I was visiting a sake brewery called Kodama-Jozo that is located in Katagami City of Akita prefecture, Japan.

I had gotten to know the brewery only a few months before I visited there. At the very same time when I knew the brewery, I happened to hear that it would hold a tour open to the public to show around the inside the brewery. Would there have been any ways for me to not join it? No way. I immediately applied for it.

While I was attending the tour, two sake bottles with fancy labels grabbed my eyes and didn’t let go: “Taiheizan Natsu Junmai” and “Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu.” I almost fell in love with them in a flash.

A few days later, after I got home with the two sake bottles, I remembered that an employee of the brewery had said, “if you don’t drink alcohol very often, you may easily notice the difference of the taste of each sake,” which led me to try comparing them.

By the way, here are some more details about the two sakes:

Taiheizan Natsu Junmai
– Rice-polishing rate: 59%
– Rice for sake making: Miyama Nishiki 100%
– Alcohol content: 15%

Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu
– Rice-polishing rate: 60%
– Rice for sake making: Akita shu Komachi 100%
– Alcohol Content: 15%

I put them in the fridge over night and enjoyed dinner with them.

What surprised me the most is that both of them are amazingly light bodied and have little aftertaste, which is really a good news for those who are not big fans of alcohol irritation. These sakes do have their own unique tastes, but the tastes are so humble and naturally soak into your body.

Comapared to Taiheizan Natsu Junmai, which tastes slightly sweet, Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu is sweeter, yet still not too sweet.

Taiheizan Natsu Junmai is a refreshing light bodied sake for any type of dish, whereas Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu shows a little more richness of flavor; the more you drink it, the more the flavor catches you.

To sum up,

Taiheizan Natsu Junmai is for those who:
– Are basically not big fans of alcohol and hesitate to taste it.
– Love a light bodied one.
– Would like to enjoy simple and clear taste with any type of food.

Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu is for those who:
– Are basically not big fans of alcohol and hesitate to taste it.
– Love a light bodied one but also would like to enjoy its richness and aftertaste.
– Would like to appreciate the slowly changing flavor.

Besides sake, Kodama Jozo produces various items, such as miso, shochu, and amazake (literally means “sweet sake,” produced with low-alcohol proof or alcohol-free.) at its brewery. For your information, I recommend you try amazake pudding.

In addition, what made this experience of mine more memorable are the people I met there.
Everyone who works there is very passionate, genuine, and really confident with what they do and sell, and more than anything, they love sake.

This actually added an extra goodness to the experience of having a good time with my company over Taiheizan Natsu Junmai and Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu. I still can remember how much we unwinded that night as if it happened last night.

How blissful it is to have good sake in life! They have made me realize and feel admiration for the spectacular history and hardworking people behind the scenes.
Furthermore, I actually realized that the new value comes up if you purely enjoy what is in front of you.

We are entering a new era in the long history of Japan next year; a Japanese era called Heisei is ending. Having enjoyed Taiheizan Natsu Junmai and Peaceful Mountain Junmai-Shu will be one of the good memories of the very last summer of Heisei for good.