Nakano Shuzo has been around since 1874 in Kitsuki City, Oita Prefecture, holding strong in a castle town that's like a living piece of the Edo period. Back then, the streets were lined with sake breweries, but one by one, they closed down. Nakano Shuzo is the last one standing, a bit far from the castle town but sticking to its roots. The whole crew here is all about making sake that the locals love and can brag about.
Their signature sake is called "Chiebijin," a name that goes way back and is a nod to the founder's wife, Chie. You can only get it at specialty sake stores all over the country.
Chiebijin has always been about "gentle sweetness and beautiful acidity." It's the kind of sake you can enjoy cold, at room temperature, or anywhere in between. But the Nakano Shuzo team wanted to add a twist—a sake you could warm up. So, they tried their hand at kimoto production. It's the only one in the Chiebijin series that's recommended for heating.
This pure rice sake, brewed with No. 7 yeast, has a great taste that goes deep. When you warm it up, the flavor changes, bringing out more richness. You can have it chilled, at room temperature, warm, or hot.
Here's the unique part: it's the only sake in the Chiebijin series that's a blend with sake from the previous year. It's like an upgrade for your taste buds.
And when it comes to food buddies, it's game for spring rolls with cured ham and cheese, grilled squid with butter, and even sakekasu with cream cheese. Nakano Shuzo's Chiebijin isn't just a drink; it's a journey through flavors, connecting tradition with a bit of experimentation.