The term "mutemuka" can be roughly translated as "a sake made with pure intentions or without ornamentation." Mutemuka's signature Sake is made from two varieties of rice the brewery grows organically. For their Moto [starter mash] they use Kaze Naruko a strain of 'Sake rice', but the majority of the rice used is Hino-Hikari a prized 'table rice'. Sake made with table rice tend to be more robust and richer in palate weight due to the proteins, fats and amino acids that become involved in the fermentation. The 'Mutemuka' is initially aged for about half a year at room temperature before release resulting in a beautifully full-bodied Sake. Mutemuka has dominant aromas of yeast and fragrant rice and a rich palate with notes of Jasmine rice and white radish with an earthy, savoury taste. This Sake has great food matching applications because of it's unique savoury palate. Perfect with salty snacks or ingredients like coastal greens or oysters; seafood dishes; or hard cheeses like Tête de Moine. - Matt Young
K≈çchi Prefecture comprises the southwestern part of the island of Shikoku, facing the Pacific Ocean. Shikoku is the smallest and least populated of the four main islands of the Japanese archipelago. K≈çchi has a warm, humid climate with its annual rainfall the highest in the country except for Okinawa. It snows in the mountains, but generally it has fine days even in winter, although the temperature can drop to three degrees below zero at night, and there can be a large temperature changes during the day.
K≈çchi is famous for its many rivers and the Mutemuka brewery is located close to the source of the Shimantogawa, Japan's purest river. Founded in 1893, Mutemuka's owner became a pioneer of organic farming when he refused to spray chemicals even against strong opposition from his neighbouring farmers. The regulations governing organic Sake are extremely complicated. Each rice field must be certified organic which is a 3 year process of analysis and random inspections. After the field has been certified organic the rice can then be used for organic Sake production, but inside the brewery additional regulations also apply to production, from what instruments are used to how the tanks are cleaned. All breweries wanting to be recognised as organic must also keep detailed records at all times. Organic rice paddies are generally less than half the density of regular fields so yields are about 50% lower and the production costs are generally 25% higher, so it takes a dedicated brewery to make organic Sake. It is rare to see a brewery certified organic even if they practice the principles due to the lengthy and costly procedures, but Mutemuka Shuz≈ç are certified 'organic' for rice cultivation.
- Matt Young