現外 | GENGAI
Brewed and Bottled in Japan
A 25-year journey elevates an aged sake to greatness
Twenty years since the initial brewing process began in 1995, Gengai has aged into a markedly complex and dimensional miracle, with sweet, tart, bitter and umami weaving together in each sip. Gengai is the epitome of vintage sake - a bittersweet reminder that even unthinkable disaster can birth once-in-a-lifetime greatness.
A drink that defies both time and expectation
The product of the divine intelligence of nature and time, Gengai defies expectation and human engineering. At the same time, its very existence is thanks to the perseverance of defiant brewers in the face of misfortune.
Exceptional maturity brings complexity and harmony
A deep and alluring amber in color, Gengai entices with a mellow and multilayered aroma and flavor. On the tongue, a graceful sweetness and umami with a pleasing tartness. Sweet, tart, bitter and umami become one with a mature mellowness and clarity of flavor.
Gengai gives a confident aroma of caramel sweetness and chocolate with distinct maturity. Swirling the glass brings out the punch of lactic acid and a caramelized umami.
The confident aroma of Gengai juxtaposes its smooth and luxurious mouthfeel that spreads elegantly on the tongue like silk.
The finish is long, profound and rich - a befitting conclusion to Gengai’s long journey. On the tail, the finish brings a pleasing acidity and entrancing balance.
The unique clarity of Gengai’s flavors pair perfectly with the umami of high-quality meats and fish. The complex, mature aroma excellently befits grilled meats, pate and other rich dishes.
Singular character gifted by time
Patience and time
When aged under appropriate conditions, sake undergoes chemical reactions that imbue deeper, more complex flavors and entrancing colors. With long gestation, a vintage can also develop surprising clarity and dignified, regal flavors. These changes cannot be purposefully induced and the exact outcome of the aging process is something only time and nature decide.
A disaster-stricken brewery perseveres
January 17, 1995 - The Great Hanshin Earthquake nearly levels Kobe and devastates a local brewery, with only a few tanks of shubo surviving. An essential element in the brewing process, this shubo is not finished fermenting. With facilities to proceed in the sake brewing process in disrepair, the brewer squeezes this shubo into seishu - a primitive form of alcohol made from rice. The result is not fit for market, and the brewer, with no other options left, stores the batch - hoping time will save it. Twenty years later, the batch is rediscovered and has undergone a fantastical and miraculous transformation: Gengai.
A once-in-a-lifetime miracle
Twenty years after disaster strikes, the brewer discovers that the beverage resting in storage has developed a flavor that defies experience and expectations. This Gengai features a sharp and pleasing acidity, a persistent yet mellow sweetness, and a perfect balance of sweet, umami, tart and bitter. Mature and mellow, sharp and clear - Gengai’s flavors are a miracle in many ways.
Founded in 117 in Nadagogo, Hyogo Prefecture, Sawanotsuru is housed in one of the three major brewing regions of Japan. This brewery began as a purveyor of rice, before moving on to become a sake brewer renowned for its singular focus and attention to detail in bringing out the best in sake rice.