December 2004

KIJOSHU SAKE - Hello Sweetie!

Posted by admin in 2004, December, Newsletter

Kijoshu sake is a bit of an anomaly in the sake world. In fact many have likened the result of this special brewing process to that of a sherry or a port. Quite simply instead of adding more water to the deliberate brewing stages the brewers add sake to the mix. Thus instead of expanding with more water the mix collapses with a more concentrated sweetness. The result is a superbly sweet sake that many call a "desert sake." And the color of Kijoshu is often times a deep ruby or all most a soy-sauce hue that doesn't look like any sake that you are familiar with.

I once did a radio show interview here in San Francisco on ABC Radio with Gene Burns, and I brought a Kijoshu for Gene to sample as one of the extremes of how rice and water can taste. Firstly I love doing radio tastings trying to convey how a sake tastes to listeners - a funny concept indeed - because it makes you really search for the proper words that best describe the sakes that are unseen. In the case of the Kijoshu I uttered the now famous line that the "curtains don't match the carpet" as the nose of this particular Kijoshu is hugely meaty with old mushroom and damp wet soil hints and the flavor has a rollicking sweetness that is vastly different than the earthy aroma.

True Sake carries one Kijoshu that has been aged for 8 years. Hanahato Kijoshu has an SMV of -44 and an acidity of 3.5 which is just shy of wacky (please see my web site www.truesake.comfor SMV and Acidity descriptions) The importers of this sake and I agree say that it is the perfect chocolate dessert accompaniment. So if you are serving a chocolate mousse or a triple chocolate mudslide of some sorts consider a Kijoshu to be the perfect dessert bedmate. And cigar smokers please take note that Kijoshu and Cubans go together like Rock and Roll.

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