Seasonal Sakes - The Fall "Draft" Hiyaoroshi Sakes Are Here!
Yes folks! The fall namas are here! Well, they aren't full nama-namas, but they are single pasteurized sakes that were built to compliment the amazing foods of Autumn. Fall is the season of food in Japan and these sakes were produced with this in mind, so each sake is a food friendly bandit that is great with cuisine and tasty on its own.
This year we have four different "Hiyaoroshi" to choose from and they are all unique in their own special way. If you want a bold mouthful of fruity flavors offset with a plump acidity then jump on the Denshin. Looking for a crisp and clean fall experience? Then take a dive into the Sawanoi. If smooth and rich is your speed, Urakasumi never disappoints. And lastly if you are all about balance and harmony, then the Wakatake is the hand that you want to hold.
Denshin "Aki" Hiyaoroshi
From Fukui Prefecture. Junmai Nama Genshu. SMV: +6 Acidity: 1.3
The nose on this Fall released sake with killer packaging (see the Japanese maple leaf under the cap tape?) is a collection of blueberry, melon, banana, peach, and sweet nuts aromas. This smooth and semi-fruity hiyaoroshi has a vastness that speaks to big wine drinkers on account of the elevated acidity and "attitude." Hints of ripe pear, rich peach, and banana jump up front with a smooth beginning and long fleshy finish. There are peek-a-boo views of Sweet Tarts and tangy chewy candies awash in a plump and happy fluid that coats the palate and announces that this brew is not only smooth but powerful as well.WORD: Brash WINE: Zins and Spicey Whites BEER: Spicy Ales FOODS: The whole deal. This sake is a food friendly beast! $32 / 720ml
From Miyagi Prefecture. Nama Tokubetsu Junmai. SMV: +1 Acidity: 1.5~1.6
This brewery was significantly damaged in the earthquake and it's great to see their Fall release in this very fridge. The nose is a collection of steamed rice, grains, molasses, and brown sugar. Like a favorite shirt or pair of pants this brew feels good on the palate. Not as rich as year's past the smoothness is unmistakable. There are so many savory and rich elements but caramel and vanilla come forth first. Semi-thick with a sweet-nut personality there is gentle creaminess that is both bright and round. A mid-sized glass captures the best side. WORD: Smooth WINE: Pinot Noir/Soft Whites BEER: Round Ales FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, oysters, grilled fare, gentle pastas. $35 / 720ml
Wakatake Onikoroshi "Aki No Ki-Ippon"
From Shizuoka Prefecture. Nama Tokubetsu Junmai. SMV: +2 Acidity: 1.2
The Demon Slayer is having a great Fall! The nose on this very familiar sake is a collection of rice, bread, tofu, dust, and earthy elements. Bingo! If Autumn had a flavor this is it! If Fall had a feeling this is it! Smooth, rich, confident, plump, but most importantly balanced this brew is controlled personified. There is almost a gritty brown sugar feeling that is both creamy and caramel(y) that warms and expands in the palate. Far different than last year's drier and crisper version, this baby is thick and rich with naughty licks of dark sugary candy. WORD: Balanced WINE: Bordeaux/Thick Whites BEER: Belgian ales FOODS: Grilled fare, things on a stick, greasy and fun, salty and savory. $32 / 720ml
From Tokyo Prefecture. Nama Junmai. SMV: 0~+2 Acidity: 1.7~1.9
This "Fall Draft" brew has a nose filled with cooked cherries, honey, straw, ash and dried fruit elements. Yes! Talk about a specially released sake that is different, unique and fun to boot! Crisp, snappy and confident there are so many pages to this story. Look out for licks of maple syrup and ginger and if you are a tannin lover this brew is for you. If Fall was a flavor of crunching dried leaves under foot this sake would capture that spirit. A larger vessel relaxes the crunching of the leaves. WORD: Crisp WINE: Dry Reds/Crisp Whites BEER: Crisp Ales FOODS: Salty and savory cuisine that has attitude and hint of extra added spice. $29 / 720ml