March 15, 2019

Tokyo hop March 2019: drunken onion, episode 6

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About 20 minutes after we rushed out of the restaurant after dinner, I opened the sliding door to Tamanegiya (酒たまねぎや) and apologized to Master for being late.  This has been my one obligatory stop on each trip to Tokyo over the last 10 years, and I wasn't going to change that just because this was going to be a short trip!  I made sure to bring The Dining Austrian with me this time, because he had to cancel on me last minute a few months ago.

There was a group of locals sitting at the table by the door, filling the place up with smoke.  The bar counter was completely empty on this Friday evening, so the 4 of us sat down at the far end and away from the smoke.  Master served us each a small bowl of stewed fish head with ginger, as usual.

Since we arrived rather late, I decided to forgo my usual vertical tasting of Isojiman Nakatori... and pick out a few sake that I had never tried before.

Hatsukame Daiginjo Yuzuki (初亀 大吟醸 遊月), 28BY - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 35%, limited to 100 bottles.  A bit sweet on the attack, but more spicy than expected.  Still very clean.

Hatsukame Ashinaya Organic (初亀 足名屋 オーガニック), 29BY - sweet and starchy nose with a little bit of floral notes.  Very subtle and elegant on the palate, with a long and dry finish.

Gikyo Junmai Daiginjo Tae (義侠  純米大吟醸  妙), 29BYseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 30%. Nose was kinda muted, but the palate was much more complex, with a spicy attack and good intensity mid-palate.

Apparently the brewery's owner passed away last month, so I drank a glass in his honor.

Juyondai Junmai Ginjo Dewasansan Unpasteurized (十四代 出羽燦々 角新 純米吟醸 生酒), 30BYseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Nose of banana.  Very soft.

Bijofu Yuzu Liqueur (美丈夫ゆずリキュール) - it's been a while since I last had this.  Gotta be done.  Over crushed ice as always.  Still love that amazing citrus.  I needed to introduce my friend to this.

I asked Master early on how long we should stay tonight, and he let me know that he wasn't going to be kicking us out at the official closing time of 11:30 p.m. After a couple of rounds and some good conversation - which included telling Master how The Compatriot decided to hydrate himself with the bottle of sake Master had given us - we were treated to a horizontal tasting of Isojiman's Junmai Daiginjo Blue Bottles.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Saito (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津西戶),  29BY - fermented, starchy, pretty rich and intense, kinda spicy.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Tsuneda (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津常田),  29BY - less starchy rice, more fermented, not so spicy, a little more elegant on the nose.  My favorite of the three.

Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo 40% Tojo Akitsu Furuke (磯自慢 純米大吟醸40 東条秋津古家),  29BY - a bit more starchy, smooth and soft on the palate.

We had a blast. Master was as hospitable as ever, while my friend and his son marvelled at not only the sake collection but also the contents of that wine fridge.  I'm glad I got to introduce this place to my friend, and hopefully he can find time to enjoy a few glasses on his frequent visits to Tokyo.

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