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記録ID: 4862582 全員に公開 無雪期ピークハント/縦走 関東

J.S.A. SAKE DIPLOMA International EXAMINATION 2022 (qualified)

情報量の目安: B
-拍手
日程 2022年10月15日(土) [日帰り]
メンバー
天候Cloudy followed by sunny spells
アクセス
利用交通機関
電車
(Note) I dared to write this record in English so that climbers, I mean future examinees or sake loverrs abroad, may be able to find information on the examination.

The examination venue (in Tokyo) was Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa. It is five minute walk from Shinagawa station. It should be noted that there are a few Prince Hotels in Shinagawa. Make sure in advance the route to the right one.
コース状況/
危険箇所等
The examination is comprised by a written examination that is equivalent CBT examination of the domestic examination, tasting and short essay examinations. As I was qualified for the written examination last year, I had tasting and short essay exam this year.

The tasting examination was 40 minutes long. There were six beverages. Four of them were 'seishu' and two were spirits (shochu or awamori). As the examination of tasting 'seishu', examinees were required to mark specified number of expressions for appearance, aroma, palate and type (special disgnation) listed in the answer sheet.

In addition there were four questions about the 'seishu' served, which were as follow:
1. Choose the item(s) made from Yamada Nishiki.
2. Choose the item(s) made from yamahai or kimoto starting culture.
3. Choose the item(s) made with cerulenin resistant yeasts.
4. Choose the item(s) with brewer's alcohol added.

The questions on the tasting of spririts (shochu or awamori) were ingredients and the pressure of distillation.

The short essay examination was 20 minutes. There were two questions:
1. Explain the water of Nada and Fushimi in detail (it might have been 'explain the difference of water of Nada and Fushimi in detail').
2. Explain the sweet potato ('imo') shochu including the GI and varieties of sweet potatoes used for it.
その他周辺情報The data on beverages were presented in the website of JSA days later.
Item#, Category/Special Designation, Rice Variety
1, Junmaishu, Gohyakumangoku
2, Ginjoshu, Gohyakumangoku
3, Junmai Daiginjoshu, Yamada Nishiki
4, Junmaishu, Yamada Nishiki
(Nos 5 an 6 were shochu or awamori)
Item# Type Distillation Method
5, Kome shochu, Vacuum
6, Awamori, Atmospheric

Notes, why 'Awamori' is independently categorized from other 'shochus'?
According to the Japanese law, or more precisely, Fair Trade Code concerning the labeling of Awamori, any Awamori has to be a spirit that satisfy following criteria:
1. Rice has to be used to make 'koji'.
2. Black koji mold has to be used to make koji
3. The must has to be made from rice 'koji' only, which is referred to as '100 % koji-brewed' or in Japanese 'Zenryo koji jikomi'.
4. Single distillation has to be employed.
Now you will understand why there is no GI 'Awamori' but 'Ryukyu'. Awamori does not mean shochu made in Okinawa prefecture, but GI Ryukyu is defined as Asamori made in Okinawa prefecture using water of Okinawa.


If you are interested in the details of examinations I had, please see:
2021 International (failed)
https://www.yamareco.com/modules/yamareco/detail-3641712.html

2020 Domestic (qualified, written in Japanese)
https://www.yamareco.com/modules/yamareco/detail-2648950.html

2019 Domestic (failed, written in Japanese)
https://www.yamareco.com/modules/yamareco/detail-2060571.html
過去天気図(気象庁) 2022年10月の天気図 [pdf]

装備

備考 Admit card, pens/pencils and eraser.
Watch of any kinds, not to mention any digital tools, are forbidden to set on the desk during examination. The time remaining is announced by the staff.

写真

A week before the examination, I paid a visit to Matsuo Shrine in Fuchu, Tokyo. It is a satellite of Matsunoo Taisha (松尾大社) in Fushimi, Kyoto, which is regarded as 'Japan's first shrine for sake-brewing'. (see p140 of the textbook). The sake bottle in the picture is an elegant sake, 'Sawa-ya Matsumoto) made in Fushimi.
拍手 /こっそり拍手|詳細ページ|元サイズ|▶ 類似写真を探す
A week before the examination, I paid a visit to Matsuo Shrine in Fuchu, Tokyo. It is a satellite of Matsunoo Taisha (松尾大社) in Fushimi, Kyoto, which is regarded as 'Japan's first shrine for sake-brewing'. (see p140 of the textbook). The sake bottle in the picture is an elegant sake, 'Sawa-ya Matsumoto) made in Fushimi.

感想/記録

(Fourth try)
This is my fouth time to have an examination of Sake Diploma. I had twice for domestic qualification and twice for the international one.

Two years ago, in the preparation of domestic examination of Sake Diploma, I thought, as an examinee, that I had established my style for the tasting examination of Japanese sake and actually I was qualified. However, in the examination last year, I was too much self confident that I manipulated to minimize the risk of loosing point. In the end I failed.

So I decided to trust my first impression and not to manipulate the answers even if I would be confused by the character of the beverages.

(Making a guess before examination)
When I entered the examination room, the beverages were already served on tables. I sat my seat and watched the items carefully to make a guess. They appeared:
1. Gold or yellow caused by maturation.
2. Nearly colorless green
3. Rich and refreshing green, might be young
4. Refreshing green but paler than no3. It was a typical sake color.

So, no1 could be made with yamahai or kimoto starting culture.
No2 might be added with brewer's alcohol.
Of course this first guess might be corrected after tasting them.

No5 looked slightly cloudy, but not quite sure.

(Exam started)
As the examination started, first I turned the last page of the answer sheet to know the questions to be answered. This is crucial and should be done before tasting, because the questions include keys to conclude the type of 'seishu' including special designation. The questions were.

1. Choose the item(s) made from Yamada Nishiki.
2. Choose the item(s) made from yamahai or kimoto starting culture.
3. Choose the item(s) made with cerulenin resistant yeasts.
4. Choose the item(s) with brewer's alcohol added.
The questions on the tasting of spririts (shochu or awamori) were ingredients and the pressure of distillation, atmospheric or vacuum.

Q2-4 were regular questions that had been asked every year. Q1 was important. At least there is one beverage made from Yamada Nishiki.

Then I tasted nos 2-4 first to get the first impression for each item.
2. Slim and refreshing, implying Tokubetu Honjozoshu of Hakkaisan, (made from Gohyakumangoku, of course).
3. Gorgeous and round item presenting numeros aromas of fruits, presenting a hint of cerulenin resistant yeasts.
4. Round and rich with acid, but somewhat thorny after flavour, implying kimoto starting culture.

No3 was quickly concluded that it was made from Yamada Nishiki. But I was now quite sure whether No4 was made from Yamada Nishiki.

Then I tasted no1. It was well matured with a lot of spice and mushroom aromas. However, the first attack was rather straight and slim. I concluded it was 'Tengumai', which is a famous sake in Ishikawa prefecture, made from Gohyakumangoku.

At this stage I concluded as follows, based on my first impressions:
No1 Junmaishu madde from Gohyakumangoku using yamahai starting culture, possibly Tengumai (天狗舞).
No2 Tokubetsu Honjozoshu made from Gohyakumangoku, possibly Hakkaisan(八海山).
No3 Junamai Daiginjoshu made from Yamada Nishiki using cerulenin resistant yeast.
No4 Tokubetsu Junmaishu made from Yamada Nishiki using kimoto starting culture.

(Confusion)
But the after flavour of no4 confused me. The thorny after flavour might have come from brewer's alcohol. Then the confusion propagated, where I found no1 felt like honjozoshu, or no2 presnteed a hint of junmaishu.

Then I tried no4 on and on until the glass was almost empty. In my first expression it had been made from Yamada Nishiki. But the item no4 was, unlike sake made from Yamada Nishiki I had had before the examination that had been mild and elegant, the sake no4 presented pronounced acidity and body.

In the end I had returned to my first policy, first impression is most important. Last year I hedged risks to lose points, but I had failed. So this time I believed my first impressions and defiied any confusing information.

Thus the answers to Q's were
Q1 Yamada Nishiki: Nos 3 and 4
Q2 Kimoto or yamahai starting culture: Nos 1 and 4
Q3 Cerulenin resistant yeast: No 3
Q4 Item with brewers alcohol: No 2

(Comments were automatically given)
Usually examinees took most of the time for filling tasting comments. But I did not spend much time for comments. In preparation I had categorised seishu in several groups and made comments for each of them.
For matured seishu, for example:
the color is gold and yellow;
the aromas include spciees, mushrooms, soy sauce, Japanese cypress;
palates include:
round and rich sweetness,
fine acidity,
bittterness with umami;
rather long after flavrour with richness
etc.

I took only one minute or so for commenting each item.

(Shochu)
The questions examinees had to were the ingredient and distillation pressure(atmospheric or vacuum) for each spirit. My first Impressions were.
Nos 5 and 6 were both elegant style, without any pronounced aroma.
No 6 presented a subtle aroma of dried hay.
Thus I coucluded:
No5 was a Kome (rice) shochu distilled under vacuum pressure.
No5 was a Mugi (barley) shochu distilled under vacuuum pressure.

(Done)
Like last year I had several minutes before the end of tasting examination. I smelt the empty glass of no 4, feeling some 'ginjo' aroma, but I thought better of correcting my comments.

Then the tasting examination was over and the short essay examination started after 5 minutes.

(Rather easy short essays)
The questions for short essay were:
Q1. Explain the water of Nada and Fushimi in detail (it might have been 'explain the difference of water of Nada and Fushimi in detail').
Q2. Explain the sweet potato ('imo') shochu including the GI and varieties of sweet potatoes used for it.

These were rather easy questions, because examinees prepared these issues for written (short answer) examinations. As a matter of fact, I practiced explaining potato varieties during preparation. 'Yes', I voicelessly shouted.

I started with Q2 trying to write four varieties of sweet potatoes and typical aromas and organic compounds that produce the aromas.

I forgot the variety of orange flesh sweet potato, I wrote 'Beni-masari' which should have been 'Beni-hayato'. There is actually a variety called 'Beni-masari', but it is not usually used to make shochu.

Then I tackled against Q1, writing as many differences in sake made in Nada and Fushimi as possible. The short essay was over when I managed to write Otoko-zake and On-na-zake for sake brewed in Nada and Fushimi, respectively. Some seconds later the staff announced that the short essay examination had ended.

As always, while sheets were collected, I thanked and enjoyed all beverages, including spirits and even water, to show respect to them.

After the examination I found that I was rather careless in answering these questions. About Q1, for example, it is trivial for Japanese people that Nada and Fushimi are located in Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures, respectively. So I did not mentioned them in my answer.

Likewise I only mentioned 'GI Satsuma is the only GI for Imo shochu'. I did not mention Satsuma is Imo shochu made from water and sweet potatoes obtained in Kagoshima prefecture (except Amami and Oshima).


(The examination was over)
After the examination some of the examinees were discussing the items served in the tasting. Their conclusions were utterly different. For example, they said that spirits were barley shochu and awamori, while my conclusions were rice and barley shochu. I was utterly disappointed.

(Items were announced)
The data on beverages were presented in the website of JSA days later.
Item#, Category/Special Designation, Rice Variety
1, Junmaishu, Gohyakumangoku
2, Ginjoshu, Gohyakumangoku
3, Junmai Daiginjoshu, Yamada Nishiki
4, Junmaishu, Yamada Nishiki
(Nos 5 an 6 were shochu or awamori)
Item# Type Distillation Method
5, Kome shochu, Vacuum
6, Awamori, Atmospheric

It seemed that I correctly answered rice varieties, brewer's alcohol, and cerulenint resistent yeast.

(Epilogue)
5 PM, 1st of November, 2022, the examinees who passed the cesamination were presented in the website of Japan Sommlieer Association. I could check the result using my smartphone in th office, but I thought better of it. I would have shouted to see the result, good or bad.

I came home in the evening and accessed the website of J.S.A with scare. In the homepage of the website, there was the link to the "2022 Sake Diploma International <Exam Result announcement>". This is my fifth time to click the link of the result announcement, once for wine and four times for sake. It was scary to see the result but I had to.

I clicked the link, where I had immediately found my name and admit number among the list of 41 examinees who passed the examination. Yeeeeesssss. I shouted for some seconds, afterwards, I was quite relaxed.

The four year journey as an examinee of sake diploma, domestic and international, had finally came to an end. I quietly celebrated the success alone with 'Noguchi-Naohiko-Laboratory', a rich and fresh sake made from Gohyakumangoku.
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