April 2006

New Store Arrivals -- Second "Flight" Of Spring Namas and Urakasumi Daiginjo

Posted by Beau Timken in 2006, April, New Store Arrivals, Newsletter

For all of those who tasted the first round of Spring release Namas, I would like to say thank you and welcome to round two. This second "flight" of unpasteurized sakes explores a new set of Nama-feelings from extremely soft and easy to big and robust. Where we had a unique peach-yeast sake in the first flight (Kamikokoro) now we have a sake that uses three different brewing yeasts to achieve a softness that is hard to find in the Nama world.

Basically there is something for everybody, if you are a first timer or enjoy softer and silkier sake experiences I would recommend the Dewanoyuki. If you are a Nama-slut I would say jump on the Kaika. That said if you are looking for a really elegant Nama for a cocktail hour try the Otokoyama, and for you mad foodies grab a bottle of the Gokyo and throw the kitchen sink of flavors at this layered beast. There is a Spring Nama for everybody!

Dewanoyuki "Hatsushibori" 
Yamagata Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +1
Acidity: 1.3
Wake your nose up to cherries, mint, citrus, and fresh cut wood tones. This unpasteurized sake is water in a glass, as loads of flavors vanish into a finish that can best be described as "ghost- like." Take note of flavors such as minerals, unripe mango, and white grapes, and then ponder the concept that this sake uses 3 different yeasts to achieve a "super softness" that does not belong in the Nama world. Oddly enough this is the perfect "saliva sake" as it blends like water into your own mouth fluids.
WORD: Phantom Finish
WINE: Chewy reds/ plump whites
BEER: Chewy Ales
FOODS: Sushi, creamy pastas, fresh fruits.
Kaika "Shiboritate" 
Tochigi Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu.
SMV: +1.5
Acidity: 1.5
What a nose filled with flower blossoms, cut grass, marshmallow, and rose water. This unpasteurized sake is loaded with ripe and delicious flavors including green grapes, powdered sugar, and overly ripened pear. There is a touch of sweetness buried in layers of balanced fruit tones that drinks quick and crisp. The mouth feel is slippery and the finish is full-bodied, curvaceous, and slinky - appealing to those who want a flavo-gasm!
WORD: Luscious
WINE: Deep reds/ Strong whites
BEER: Pilsner/crisp ales
FOODS: Grill-fare, anything on a skewer, sushi, Thai food.
Otokoyama "Yukishibare" 
Hokkaido Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +4
Acidity: 1.4
With a rolling nose of cotton candy, raspberries, and a hint of coconut this unpasteurized sake is a "sasa" or "usu" Nigori, which means it is "misty" in appearance. Clean, soft and layered behold an extremely elegant nama-sake filled with hints of honeydew, ripe papaya, Japanese apple-pear, and mineral flavors. Its gentle fruity tones drink dryer than expected and the finish is pure "class" in a glass!
WORD: Elegant
WINE: Merlot/Non-Oaky Chardonnay
BEER: Ales
FOODS: Sashimi, grilled white fish, fruit salad, creamy cheeses.
Gokyo Arabashiri 
Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +4
This unpasteurized sake has a complex nose flexing with aromas From nuts and mint to strawberries and vanilla. It is huge! Think thick and crisp and add an extremely wide mouth that speaks to those who like their wines large and their boozes neat. Gokyo is a great example of a "fat" sake with layers of deep flavors such as green apple, honey clover, green bamboo and orange peel. The viscosity is thick and chewy and this balances out a vivid acidity that plays so well with the creamy taste and soft roundness.
WORD: Huge!
WINE: Beaujolais /Big Whites
BEER: Stouts
FOODS: Throw the kitchen sink at this Nama - the bigger the flavor the better!

Per usual these sakes will only be around as long as they last. And of course we can never predict their time on the shelves. Thus I recommend that you act sooner rather than later in regards to these really special sakes. If you have the Nama fever we charge $100 for all four if you get one of each (a savings of $12!). And for those in distant lands we have a "no exceptions policy" that if you would like the Namas delivered you must pay for overnight shipping.

Lastly, a reader reminded me that I forgot to formally introduce the Daiginjo of one of my favorites breweries to the store. I speak of Urakasumi the superb makers of nihonshu from Miyagi prefecture. They are one of the classiest and most respected sake breweries in Japan. Currently we carry their Junmai, their Junmai Ginjo (Zen), and their Fall-released single pasteurized seasonal sake. But to date we, nor anybody else, had access to their Junmai Dai Ginjo. That is until two months ago. So please say hello to a tremendous Daiginjo that explores the soft and silky side of sake, and the next time a celebration calls for sake think of this superb brew.

Urakasumi "Misty Bay" 
Miyagi Prefecture.
Junmai Dai Ginjo.
SMV: 1.5
Acidity: 1.5
This Dai Ginjo has a subtle nose filled with cherries, minerals and honeydew melon. Urakasumi has made a brew that is slick, layered, and expressive all wrapped up in the most enjoyably drinkable package. If a sake could be rich and light this is it! If a sake could have huge flavor in a silky delivery this is it! If a sake could roll layers of flavor through your mouth then vanish without a trace this is it! A hint of powdered sugar, a trace of Asian apple pear, and vein of minerals leads to a great "gulp."
WORD: Superb
WINE: Pinot Noir/Merlot/French Chardonnay
BEER: Layered ales
FOODS: Sashimi, oysters, shellfish, buttery cheeses.

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