I often get asked what my favourite Sake is.
For us at Black Market Sake this is like asking which of your 'children' is you favourite - ALL OF THEM!
However if there is one person who epitomises real 'craft' in the Sake they produce, that person is the incredibly humble Hiroaki Oku - Kuramoto & Toji [Owner and Master Brewer] at Akishika Shuzo. When I make the trip to see Oku-san each year it undoubtably the one visit I most look forward to. He oversees the production of some of the most exciting and high-quality Sake available in the market in Japan and there are few who reach his elusive heights of elegance, complexity and ageability.
It is with great pride that we are able to offer these exceptional Sake here in Australia.
Akishika Shuzo was founded in Osaka prefecture in 1886 and under Hiroaki Oku, the present 6th generation Kuramoto [Brewery Owner], this tiny brewery is creating some of Japan’s most exceptional and unique sake. Oku-san is both Kuramoto and also Toji [Master Brewer] at Akishika and his belief and skill in creating quality sake shows in every bottle.
Akishika Shuzo is one of only a handful of sake breweries that follow the ‘Château concept’ as we see in wine production with Oku-san contracting 20 local farmers to grow rice for his sake in addition to the rice he grows himself (over 25% of what he needs each year). Two of these rice are the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of sake rice - Yamada Nishiki and Omachi. Although Oku-san has grown all of his own rice organically for many years, from 2011 he has obtained certification for organic rice cultivation.
Oku-san only brews Junmai [pure rice] sake and as he doesn’t believe in carbon filtering his sake they are also all Muroka. All of the sake Oku-san creates are made with great structure, acidity and body and so are well suited to ageing. Akishika Shuzo have 2 years worth of production ageing at any one time, a massive investment particularly for such a small brewery. Oku-san only releases his sake when he believes they are ready. Sake from Akishika Shuzo have a cult status in the local area and also around Japan, so when Oku-san does release sake they sell out exceptionally quickly. We feel extremely privileged to enjoy them in Australia.