Sake Story - Urakasumi Honjozo
All because of a coupon!
There is a sake on the shelves at True Sake, that made a long journey from a great little izakaya in Tokyo to SF. How? Well let's just say it's a whale of a story! And it's true to boot.
I had heard about an amazing little restaurant that specialized in whale sashimi. (I'm sorry for those who just checked out!) So upon further inspection, I realized that the owner specialized in great sake with an emphasis on aged brews (koshu).
Their website had a coupon that stated "if you bring this coupon in for dinner receive a free cup of sake." So we did and we did! I went with a friend and after standing under a 5 foot whale penis that hangs over the main floor - nope had no idea it was a penis until somebody sort of chuckled and motioned to it in a "that kind of way" way - we were shown to our seats. The place was really cool. Dark and smoky, wood walls - hand written signs everywhere - really old school. And there were large refrigerators filled to the brim with sake! Yes!
So when our server came up to us we said that we had a coupon! I know how coupons work in America - they don't! So I was curious to see if it worked in Japan. She smiled and said that she would be back. Lo and behold she returned with the coolest looking gold foil wrapped bottle, and proceeded to pour us two cups of cold sake. Yes! So when I looked at the bottle more closely I noticed that it was a brew from Urakasumi - one of my favorites - from Miyagi prefecture. The sake was a nama genshu honjozo and drank with a pop!
I quickly said let's call Saura-san the owner of Urakasumi (a very close friend) and tell him that we are drinking his brew. We didn't connect, but he replied via email saying that we must be at "Taruichi" - the restaurant! (http://www.taruichi.co.jp/ ) I told him that I was drinking a free cup of his sake. He did not know about the coupon, but was quite pleased. So I asked him if he would consider sending this brew to the US. He said sure!
So when I got back to the States I called on my importers to see if they could source this incredible brew. They did and the rest is history! Now there is one caveat - the brew they sent is not nama, which is okay because it drinks far more balanced and structured than the nama. But it is still a genshu - it still has the amazing gold wrapper and the bottle label inside still looks like an image from the old TV show Miami Vice - very retro!
Of course I get freaked out saying the word exclusive - but the only way to taste this superb honjozo is to get a bottle from True Sake and we only have a limited amount! And please note that this is a sake drinker's honjozo - catch my drift?
Urakasumi "Misty Bay"
From Miyagi Prefecture.
SMV: na Acidity: na
The nose on this dynamic genshu (19%) has a collection of aromas from grains, steamed rice and minerals to butterscotch, burnt sugar and roasted caramel. Talk about a round and smooth brew that is very large in presence. Beefy, chunky, immense - take your pick, but enjoy the chewy rush of rich flavors and feelings. A deep and profound sake that has layers of brown sugar and caramel tones that float on a fleshy fluid. Smokey rice elements present themselves closer to room temperature.
WINE: Pinot Noir/White Burgundy
BEER: Belgian Ales
FOODS: Anything off of the grill, salty and savory fare, meats, fowl and game.