We carry quite an interesting variety of sakes, and one question has popped up. What is Yamahai?
Yamahai is the short form for "yama-oroshi haishi" It was introduced in the early 1900s as a simplified version of the kimoto method, the tradition laborious process of making sake since ancient times. The difference with modern methods is that it doesn't add in lactic acid, which halves the fermentation process and protects the sake from stray bacteria.
As yamahai sakes require additional labour and time, few sake breweries make them, as stray bacteria and wild yeast cells can easily ruin a whole batch if not kept in check. The results however, can be stunning. Yamahai sakes generally have more acidity, and add a smokey sweetness and distinct wild flavour. It is deep in flavour and has a deep finish. It goes very well with savoury sweet food.