Josh says: “Only about 10% of the industry produce Kimoto sakes. The mastery that Hatsumago have result in lots of creaminess, from the lactic acid in the process, without being too much. They pulverise the rice, releasing the lactic acid, meaning that there’s no need for any to be added.
There’s certainly an exploration of styles we’re seeing with sake drinkers, with movement from lighter styles to something richer. More people are exploring Yamahai and Kimoto sakes.”
When the brewery was founded in 1893, it was originally called Kinkyu. The name ‘Hatsumago’ (translated as the first grandchild) was adopted in the 1930s following the birth of the family’s first grandchild.
Hatsumago is recognised as a specialist in the use of the Kimoto brewing method, a traditional method where lactic bacteria are attracted to the fermenting mash. It results in sake which has additional depth, richness and acidity. It takes great skill to produce stable sake of high quality this way, and it took decades for Hatsumago to master it to perfection. These efforts have paid off with multiple awards including “Sake Brewer of the Year” 2018 by the International Wine Challenge.