This is truly old school brewery from Gifu prefecture was founded in 1868. They like to say "Nothing has changed from the beginning." One of the smallest breweries in Japan, they're making only a few thousand bottles a year and most of it is sold locally in large format. This is their "small size" - a still hefty 900ml. Without access to modern technology, the entire process is extremely labor intensive and slow. The locally procured rice is milled in-house, a practice which normally would never happen in a brewery this small. Yamada Shoten use a locally produced varietal called Hida Homare, which gives an incredible and unique flavor. The nose is savory and almost nutty with subtle hints of exotic smoke and clove. While this isn't a fruity, pretty daiginjo that some people are after, it's not as hard to love as some of the funkier Namas out there. The palate is weighty, but very dry and complex with the savory notes playing perfectly off the soft, fruity backbone. Easily one of the most fun things to drink on the shelf and one of my favorite bottles (aesthetically) in the store. A little bit wild and absolutely delicious, the ultimate pairing for umami-rich foods like grilled octopus, pork belly or miso glazed fish.
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