January 2014

Sake List – The TOP TEN Warming Sakes

Posted by Beau Timken in 2014, January, Newsletter, Sake List
Top Ten Hot Sakes Hot sake sucks right? No you freakin’ idgit! Bad sake makes for bad hot sake, but good sake makes for good hot sake! Get it? It’s cold this time of year and nothing warms the cockles like a warm cup of brew! Talk about therapeutic – when you are sipping on great warmed sake it’s like your doctor and masseuse are both working on your bod. Herewith are ten amazing sakes that drink superbly warmed for those cold nights, those hot tub sessions or those nights when you are making soups or stews.    

10) Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai
  • This is one of the dry warming sake old faithfuls! A can’t miss heating brew that speaks to those who like nice rice tones on a gentle dry flow. Easy and balanced and does well heated with food.

 

9) Tenzan Junmai Genshu

  • Generally fruit forward sakes don’t warm that well per se, but this undiluted and powerful brew comes to life with heat and releases all sorts of cooked fruit tones. Definatley speaks to those who don’t like hot sake because it’s too dry. This is perhaps a nigori drinkers hot sake!

 

8) Yoshinosugi no Junmai Taru

  • For those who have a taste for days gone by this cedar sake would speak to you in a very warm way! Good spicy cedar elements come forth with heat and the aroma is to die for. Great warming sake for those wanting to pair with exotic stews and dried meats.

 

7) Kirin Zan Junmai Ginjo

  • I was blown away when this amazing Junmai Ginjo arrived in the States two months ago because it drinks great chilled like all Niigata Ginjo sake, but on the back label it said that warming this sake is recommended. So I did and it is really really nice and speaks to those who are afraid of the booziness in hot sake. This guy drinks clean, dry and easy and look at that bottle!

 

6) Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri Junmai ”

  • You think it gets cold in Nagano Prefecture? You brrrrrrr bet your bottom yen, and don’t you think they would know a thing or two about drinking hot sake on frozen nights? This brew is a traditional warming sake from that region with a smoothness and array of flavors that does hot sake proud.

Top Ten Hot Sake 5) Harushika Nama Junmai Ginjo Genshu
  • Did you read that right? A nama in a top ten warming sake list? You bet! This bombastic extremely fruity nama warms up like a heated cocktail in your cup! Fat and smooth and extremely flavorful it speaks to all of those who like a sweetness in the their sakes – Yes I am talking to you nigori people. An amazingly complex but super easy drinking hot sake experience.

 

4) Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai

  • This is one of “those” kinds of warming sakes where the tuning fork sings in perfect hot harmony. A great feeling warm sake that tastes smooth and velvety in the mouth with a lot of heated umami to boot! Chewy and plump rich flavors coat the pallet in a warm winter blanket of goodness.

 

3) Suehiro Densho Yamahai Junmai

  • So you think all hot sake is jagged, edgy, boozy and acidic? What if I said the words creamy and soft to you? What if I told you that there was a sake that drank smooth like a sweet rice cocoa with lots of whip cream! Behold one of the smooth and gentle sakes for heating that speaks to all of those who are sick of the boozy and sharp hot sakes.

 

2) Kamoizumi Shusen Junmai Ginjo

  • Arguably one of the best warming sakes on the planet this baby is like drinking liquid amber. Think deep rich earth tones with a dash of shitaki and gentle sweet rice elements. For connoisseurs this sake is not only appreciated but valued as it is an amazing stepping stone sake to get people to actually like hot sake. It is the ultimate “See I told you would like hot sake” sake!

TIE) We have a tie for numero uno!

1) Kenbishi Honjozo
  • This pride of Kobe is a sake that was meant to be warmed. It was put on this great earth to take heat and to warm your insides. Liquid richness meets a gentle sweetness that flows in a lava-like movement across the palate. It is a very layered hot sake that has elevator levels of flavors that present themselves at different temperatures. About as solid as a warming sake can be, and that is alright with me.

 

1) Nihon Sakari “Gokun” Honjozo

  • Don’t take our word for it! This brew is a multi-gold-medal winner in the Japan warm sake national competition, and is considered the number one warming brew! It is soft and sweet personified with an amazing smoothness that lasts on the lips and tongue. Think about liquid nougat smooth and marshmallowy warmly passing over your palate, and you have captured the essence of this tremendous warming sake that is priced to perfection

*****Honorable mention goes to one of my absolute favorite warming sakes of all time – Nishinoseki Junmai from Oita Prefecture, which is one of the smoothest and most balanced warming sakes out there. It is perfection in warm liquid form. But, it is too expensive to carry in the store as just a Junmai sake. Sadly they have priced themselves out of our inventory, and that is a bummer! BUT – we could always special order some bottles for you if you have the heating fever!

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