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Seasonal Namas – It’s Time You Got Unpasteurized!

Seasonal Namas – It’s Time You Got Unpasteurized!

And to think, when we opened True Sake 20 years ago, there was only one Nama or “unpasteurized” sake available in our market. That is no longer the case today, as we have a plethora of these amazingly fresh and fun “living” or “raw” sakes. Typically, sake is pasteurized twice for shelf-life stability (there are no sulfites in sake), and when brewers specifically release seasonal unpasteurized brews, they do so for a reason. What’s the reason? Well, it could be to pair with foods of that season, or pair with the weather of that season.


We are currently moving from the winter Namas to the spring Namas, and typically these are more full-bodied Nama Genshu (undiluted) brews that drink full and absolutely bright, brash, energetic, and extremely flavorful.  


We have been confidently shipping Nama sakes for well over a decade, as we believe that they remain stable on their trip to you. If you haven’t tried a Nama, or if you love Nama then this season is extremely good for you. If you can’t drink fresh vat sake in Japan, then let us bring that flavor and feeling directly to you. For a limited time only!

Sogen "Hatsushibori"
From Ishikawa Prefecture. Junmai Nama Genshu. SMV: +5 Acidity: 1.7
The nose on this seasonally released limited unpasteurized "Nama" sake is an immense collection of sunflower seeds, ginger, green apple, banana, corn husk, mint, and steamed rice aromas. Who's ready to get BIG? This raw sake is smooth, round, gritty, chewy, jammy, fat, and drinks like velvet. At 18% ABV it is punchy and extremely flavorful with plump savory looks that are earthy and large. Look for apple pie, sourdough bread, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, almond, and cocoa flavors that float on a viscous flow that is sake girth personified. This is nama genshu sake! WORD: Large WINE: Beefy reds/Fat whites BEER: Stouts FOODS: Street eats, tacos, pizza, curry, fried chicken, burgers, salty and savory, rich and gamey.


Masumi "Arabashiri" 2023
From Nagano Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo Nama. Acidity: N/A SMV: N/A
The nose on one of the first seasonal namas to be exported to the US for the past decade and half is a great collection of honey, tangerine, taffy, nougat, popcorn, persimmon, and grapefruit aromas. Smooth, round, zesty, frisky, bright, semi rich, and silky this year's "First Run" drinks with more body and a touch more sweetness than year's past. Look for pineapple, papaya, orange sherbet, cucumber, honey, and lemon lime flavors on a flow that says freshly pressed sake. Juicy and viscous with an uplifting acidity this sake tingles and tantalizes the palate, and per usual it is very limited. WORD: Juicy WINE:  BEER: Honey Ales FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, crab, lobster, oysters with lemon vinaigrette, citrus based dishes, and fruit plates. 


From Saga Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo Nama. SMV: +2 Acidity: 1.6
The nose on this seasonally released "Nama" unpasteurized sake is a lively collection of pear, melon, champagne grape, cotton candy, and white peach aromas. Thick, tingly, chewy, spritzy, and brash, this is raw and living sake that is zesty and lively in the glass. There is an elevated richness that is lifted by a superb acidity play that makes this sake roll across the palate. Look for cherry, rock sugar, Nestle Strawberry Quik®, champagne grape, cotton candy, mango, and apple pie flavors with a subtle umami finish. This is a great nama to let warm in the glass as more feelings and flavors emerge. Yay for namazake! WORD: Lively WINE: Beaujolais/Beefy Whites BEER: Stouts FOODS: Street fare, International spice, beach tacos,  BBQ ribs, smoked fish and oysters.

Narutotai “Shiboritate”
From Tokushima Prefecture. Muroka Nama Ginjo Genshu.
SMV: +5 Acidity: 1.7
The nose on this seasonally released and limited sake is a huge collection of powdered sugar, watermelon, spices, dried grasses, pumpkin seeds, light soy, and black pepper aromas. Can-tastic! Say hello to the brother brew of the ever-popular white label Narutotai. Smooth, round, clean, silky, and quite bold this sake can be called “punchy” for all of that 19%ABV boldness. Rich and brash, zesty and tingly the fluid warms in the palate and plays host to a robust acidity that is robust and lively. Look for honey, raisin, powder sugar, watermelon, spearmint, fig, and mineral flavors on a dry flow with a crisp finish. WORD: Bold WINE: Massive Reds/Full Whites BEER: Stouts FOODS: American sushi, street fare, tacos, pizza, fried chicken, and grilled fare. 

Rihaku "Origin of Purity" 2023
From Shimane Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu. 
SMV: +2.5 Acidity: 1.8
The nose on this seasonally released sake that uses a "rose vine" yeast is a cool collection of cocoa, oatmeal, sourdough, banana bread, and steamed rice aromas. Made with the ever-popular Omachi rice varietal and sporting a 17% ABV, this brew is rich, round, plump, and solid. It drinks bold and velvety and does well coming into room temperature. Look for cherry, nougat, maple syrup, Fig Newton®, oatmeal, citrus, and breakfast cereal flavors on a balanced flow, with a lot of umami elements. As the fluid warms, lemon lime, mango, and papaya hints show up with a touch of mint. A full-bodied nama for those who like big things. WORD: Bold WINE: Rich Reds/Deep Whites BEER: Stouts  FOODS: The kitchen sink, fried, greasy, spicy, savory, salty, and pastas.

Urakasumi Shiboritate 2023
From Miyagi Prefecture. Tokubetsu Junmai Nama. SMV: +1.5 Acidity: 1.6
The nose on this seasonally released unpasteurized sake made with a consumption rice is a wonderful collection of cherry, raisin, cantaloupe, peach, lemon lime, and brandy aromas. Sasanishiki rice is rich, and so too is this Nama that drinks lush, round, smooth, velvety, and with a little tingle of freshness. It’s a full-bodied brew that has a nice weight to it and leaves long legs on the glass. Look for cherry, lime, peach, cooked pear, rose water, Jolly Rancher, and herbal flavors with a mineral finish. There is so much depth in this brew that has a 17.5% ABV and screams of rich raw sake at its freshest best! WORD: Rich WINE: Beefy Reds/Fat Whites BEER: Stouts FOODS: International spice, hot pots, tacos, pizza, fatty sashimi and sushi, steamed crab, and oysters.  

Fukucho "Moon on the Water" 2023
From Hiroshima Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo Nama. SMV: ±0 Acidity: 1.8
The nose on this seasonally released unpasteurized sake is a powerful collection of mango, pineapple, lychee, magnolia, papaya, banana bread, oatmeal, and sourdough aromas. We carry the pasteurized version of this brew year-round, and it's fun to get both labels to do a side-by-side comparison. Tingly, bright, juicy, spritzy, and slippery, this brew drinks lively and lush. Look for white peach, mango, tangerine, kiwi, lemon-lime, grape, candied nuts, with a minty shibumi finish. Frisky and fruity, this is a fresh sake fan favorite. WORD: Lively WINE: Beaujolais/Fruity Whites BEER: Lively Ales FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, shellfish, fruit and cheese plates, mild international spice, and Champagne fare.

Ama No To "Heaven's Door" 2023
From Akita Prefecture. Tokubetsu Junmai Nama. SMV: +2.6 Acidity: 2.0
The nose on this seasonally released unpasteurized sake that is made with two local Akita rice varietals is a unique collection of toffee, marshmallow, green apple, Asian pear, celery, and sweet nut aromas. Rich, tingly, slick, lush, and viscous, this "living" brew is a zesty taste of freshly made sake. There are many wine-like features with some active acidity and astringency that work well in a white wine glass. Look for sweet rice, apple, lemon pie, snow melt, sweet nuts, brine, and sugar cane juice flavors that play around with a tannin-like dryness. This Heaven's Door is a great entrance to Akita-made WINE: Zesty Reds/Plum Whites BEER: Honey Ales FOODS: Rich cuisine, grilled anything, tuna, pasta, and Izakaya fare.

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