Akishika Shuzō was founded in Ōsaka prefecture in 1886 and under 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 Tōji [Master Brewer] at Akishika and his belief and skill in creating quality sake shows in every bottle. Akishika Shuzō 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. Two of these rice are the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of sake rice – Yamada Nishiki and Omachi. From 2011 onwards Oku-san has grown all of his rice organically. 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 Shuzō 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 Shuzō have a cult status in their local area, so when Oku-san does release sake they sell out exceptionally quickly.
Ōkarakuchi is the dry-style of sake from Akishika Shuzō. The word ‘kara’ means ‘dry’ in Japanese and in this case ‘Ō-kara-kuchi’ means extra dry palate. This sake has an intensely spicy bouquet with hints of honeydew melon and lychee. The palate on the Ōkarakuchi certainly possesses a mineral-like dryness that lingers with balanced acidity.