Sake Notes – Do Some Thinking While You Be Drinking
Notes. Notes. Notes. Yes! Notes have been on my mind a lot recently. For years I’ve preached the gospel of jotting your sake notes down. For years I’ve said take a photo to jar that memory. For years I have encouraged you to document your sake travels, and many of you have done so. Some not so much. I admit. Sometimes it takes the fun out of “relaxing” when you have to work (Taking notes) while sipping that brew casually. But don’t you want to remember it? Don’t you want to recall with clarity how much you liked a certain sake and why? Notes people notes! My personal journal is at sake #1681 (but I lost about 720 entries by accident when a certain friend put two of my journals in a place that they should not have been placed – hello recycles! DOH!).
If you search Notes and Note Taking at the website you will find several of the articles that I have written over the years on how to take notes with your dear friend sake. You will recall how I use three different glass sizes for each and every sake. This allows the sake to express itself with three different surface areas and pitches on the tip of the tongue. (Obviously glass size effects the flavor and feeling of sake differently) Then I open the bottle and quickly smell what I call the “Bottle Aroma,” which is really unique and sort of the essence of the sake’s scent. I mark down the clarity/color. Then I do aromas for each of the glasses. Then I get to taste! Yum! I usually mark down the feeling, flavor, and expressiveness of each brew. I have sections called “Strengths” “Weaknesses” and then a quick paragraph to outline the brew. My notes are my reviews so I have to do several other top secret things like select wines and beers that best resemble the sake, and foods that might go well with that brew!
I think you get the picture. Notes are YOUR notes and there are no right or wrongs! Use your own codes. Give a sake a “masu” rating system. One masu for putrid and five masu for brilliant, actually I think in our Sake Day programs we use a 4 masu system. In any case it’s easy! Be creative. And please please don’t be shy! In fact one way to come out of your shell is add some notes to our True Sake Website’s new “Write a Review” section for every sake in our inventory. Just click on a sake that you want to review and click the “Write A Review” and remember review is a fancy way of saying notes! And again people – there is no right or wrong – you are the champion of your palate! So don’t be afraid. Come out of your sake closet and share the awesomeness that is you!
Check out the reviews for Chokaisan. From pro to sake newbie these are the perfect expressions of the same sake from different perspectives. Don’t be intimidated. In fact get excited. Throw your hat in the ring! You know what you like so let others know. It’s that easy! And it’s fun, because you can always reference your own notes on-line whenever you’re out having dinner or shopping!
And speaking of notes! And the holidays! Our dear sake buddy from the other coast Timothy Sullivan from UrbanSake.com produced his own notebooks to make your life easier! Having written so many informative reviews on-line at his awesome website, Tim decided to create a sake pocket pal of sorts for those who want to do it by hand! Herewith in Tim’s own words:
The best way to learn the skill of sake tasting is to taste sake frequently... and keep notes! The UrbanSake.com Sake Tasting Notebook is expressly designed to help you do just that. Each book contains room for 15 sakes using a custom-designed two page spread that allows you to record your sake stats, temperature, classification, style, rating, notes, bottle size and even serving glass used. The booklet also offers a convenient glossary, map of Japan and UrbanSake’s original sake classification chart.
The notebook is made in the USA on 100% recycled paper and printed using US-grown soy-based inks. Each Notebook is passport sized (3.5″ x 5.0″) and easy to carry around in your pocket or bag. To learn more, visit the True Sake Store or UrbanSake.com/notebook. As always, thanks so much for your support.