Home Made Umeshuu

Home Made Umeshuuu (Plum Wine) May 2002 Edition (Japan: Umeshuu: Unknown abv)

Visual: Honeyed to apricot, and very viscous.

Nose: Marzipan. Plums. Sugar dusting and stewed apricots.

Body: Honey. Plums. Almonds. Marzipan. Very thick texture. Syrup soaked sponge.

Finish: Stewed banana and honey. Plums.

Conclusion: My first umeshuu review! Ok, there is a good chance some of you have never tried plum wine, so I may have to set the scene. Depending on the quality, these things can go from cloying level syrupy sweet and simple, to quite delicate and complex. They are often drunk with ice, and I tend to find that the cheaper they are, the more sickly they are without soda or ice. The higher quality I tend to prefer neat, and drunk by the measure.

This one is sweet and thick, but comes with sweet almond and marzipan in a delicate touch over heavy syrup sweetness. The plums are well defined, rich and full with a good character of the actual fruit, but despite that are actually a secondary note behind the marzipan. You find the fruit greeting you after the initial sweetness has worn down.

That sweetness in the front, rather than being fruity, is closer to honeyed, though not quite to the level to give the impression of mead. It wavers close to being sickly, but relies on the delicate marzipan to make it less syrupy sweet. It doesn’t make it less sweet, but gives a less cloying nature to it that makes it very easy to drink.

A surprisingly delicately touched, fruity and lovely umeshuu.

Background: So, something a bit different here. My friend came back from visiting his wifes family in Japan, and brought back some home made uneshuu with them. They offered me the chance to do a review, and in the style of Beowulf Mead, I decided to give it a shot. Made in 2002 and drunk tail end 2013, this was a treat to be offered. This is a bit of a simpler review than normal as I am nowhere near an expert on umeshuu, so can’t do my usual comparisons (not that I’m an expert on beer and whisky either, but I do my best!). I only had my phone camera with my so the photo is a tad more rubbish than usual. Many thanks for the kind chance to try this umeshuu. どうもありがとうございます