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Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery 807 Obuse, Nagano 381-0294 TEL: 026-247-2011 FAX: 026-247-6369
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Let's Consider the Future of Oke.

Brewing and storing sake in wooden Oke barrels became quite rare during the period of quick development after the war in the 20s and 30s of Showa, being replaced with enamel or synthetic resin and metal tanks. Compared to metal tanks, Oke barrels require considerable time and effort to use. It is not very efficient. However, it brings out a unique flavor not present in tank-brewed sake. Furthermore, the sake takes on different unique qualities depending on the type of rice used, and the way it is brewed in the Oke barrel. It is interesting that until the sake is actually made, one cannot be sure exactly how it will taste.
Oke barrels have four seasons. In spring they are aired out and dried beneath the sun, in autumn the cooper comes, whittles down bamboo, and refits the hoops around the barrel, and finally they are used for brewing during the cold of winter. Unfortunately, this has become a rare sight in recent times. Oke barrels made from locally-grown trees are used in sake brewing for several decades, then used for another 75 to 150 years in making miso, then finally are used in making soy sauce. There was a culture of "Oke recycling" as the barrels passed from craftsman to craftsman.
It is a shame that coopers are disappearing and brewers experienced with Oke are becoming scarce. We want to preserve and continue the culture of Oke. We want to enjoy the unique sake that is born from that culture as well as the adventure in brewing it. Now Oke are extremely rare.

  It has a faint woody fragrance and a refined rich flavor. It is fresh but mellow sake with a myriad of flavors. Oke brewing gives sake quite a few distinctive characteristics.

Even when drank chilled, sake does not have a sharp coldness, but instead a vague warmth, part of the deliciousness of sake. When drank at room temperature or body temperature the true nature of Oke-brewed sake emerges. It expands into a profound and complicated taste, full of flavor, body, and sweetness.
Sake goes well with not only light, simple food, but also rich cuisine that one might enjoy red wine with, creating a delicious synergy.

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