The puns are getting to me.
The Mainichi Shinbun newspaper investigates the “for glasses only” sake to find out what makes it so popular.
The long-established Hagino brewery in Kurihama city, Miyagi Prefecture produces two lines of sake: Hiwata (日輪田, field of the sun) and Aki no Tsuru (秋の鶴, autumn crane).
One product in the Aki no Tsuru line is Megane Senyō – “for glasses only”. The name comes from the fact that all the brewery workers who make the sake wear glasses. It has generated orders of around 10,000 bottles in Japan and overseas.
2017 was its third year in production, and even if you don’t wear glasses, that’s okay – it comes with a set of fake paper glasses for you to use. 8th generation brewery owner Yōhei Satō expects it to be taken up by young people who aren’t familiar with sake.
Sake Day, set to 1 October by an industry association, is also Glasses Day in Japan. Satō comments that the smiles of those who drink the sake they made provides them with all the encouragement they need, while the eyes behind his glasses are firmly fixed on next year.
The Sake Tsujimura site, which stocks Megane Senyō, has a “search by flavour” box in the sidebar of the site where you can enter a value for each of the nine aspects they list. (Recently introduced to a sake app.)
- 華香（上立香） kenkō (uwadachika) – defined as fruity, flowery aroma – orthonasal aroma
- 含香（戻香）fukumika (modorika?) – defined as the aroma that spreads through the mouth and nose after drinking – retronasal aroma
- 酒香 shuki – defined as 0: none, 3: normal sake aroma, 5: unique, peculiar aroma – aroma/bouquet
- 熟成香 jukuseika – defined as aroma from proper storage – aged notes
- 老香（ひね） hineka (hine) – defined as particular aroma of old/stale sake – oxidised/stale smell
- キレ味 kireaji – defined as clean, clear taste and short finish – short finish
- ピリ味 piriaji – defined as spicy notes on the front of the tongue from young sake – spicy
- 酸味 sanmi – defined as depth or juicy flavour – acidity
- コク味 kokumi – defined as mellow flavours such as sweetness or body – body
Megane Senyō‘s ratings are
- Orthonasal: 3
- Retronasal: 4
- Shuki: 0
- Aged: 0
- Stale: 0
- Finish: 2
- Spicy: 3
- Acidity: 3
- Body: 3
- Original article (Japanese, Mainichi Shinbun, 29 December 2017)
- Hagino brewery (Japanese)
- Sake Tsujimura site listing for Megane Senyō (Japanese)