May 2006

New Store Arrivals – Second "Flight" Of Spring Namas, Akitabare DG, Wakaebisu, and welcome home Masumi Arabashiri!

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

The second round of Spring Nama Sakes are coming to a close. We only have several bottles of some of the sakes, and the others will go fast. If you have not tried this collection of unpasteurized sakes, I say get off of your ass! It was a great season!

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! And Yes, they are will be gone soon!

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!

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.

Also new to the store is a really impressive Dai Ginjo from Akitabare brewery in Akita. Talk about a really "nuanced" sake, this one is hands down as subtle as sake gets. I like to say it is "loaded" with subtleties and radiates a "complexity" found in much more hefty sakes, but this is so light and soft. If you are looking for a truly elegant sipping experience I would not miss Suirakuten

Akitabare Suirakuten "Heaven of Tipsy Delight" 
Akita Prefecture.
Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +4
Acidity: 1.2
This incredibly nuanced sake has a vivid nose filled with berries, mangos, white grapes, and clover honey elements. Talk about a gentle sake, this Dai Ginjo redefines expressive subtleties. If you blink you will miss it, but close your eyes and spelunk for layers and layers of hidden treasures such as minerals, melon, rock candy and white grape tones. Is it passive or passive aggressive? A superb sake to open the eyes of non-sake believers.
WORD: Subtle
WINE: Layered reds/complex whites
BEER: Blond Ales
FOODS: Lightly flavored cuisines

And for those looking to give the gift that keeps on giving our dear friends at Wakaebisu have released their gold-flake "Kinpaku" sake in a tremendously cool single-bottle package minus the two glasses of year's past! I do not need to add this fact, but it is my father's favorite sake, and he has been given a lot of brews to try, as you can well imagine! Nevertheless, it remains a super flavorful expression of sake as a gift! Think gold flake and think celebration.

Wakaebisu Kinpaku "Gold Flake"
Mie Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo Kinpaku.
Acidity: 1.4 Welcome to the world of "celebration" sake! This brew has gold flakes throughout, but by no means is the flavor a novelty. This is an excellent sake (would they put gold in a crappy product?) with mineral, cherry, and unripe melon aromas. What an elegantly gentle and drinkable Ginjo, with hints of plums and cherries in a silky softness that has a quiet vanilla departure. Super clean and super fun this "gift" sake will not disappoint, but you need not "celebrate" to enjoy a fantastic brew.
WORD: Gold
WINE: Soft reds/gentle whites
BEER: Creamy ales
FOODS: Party cuisine

Last but not least, it is nice to welcome the return of Masumi's Arabashiri, one of the store's best selling Nama sakes. This ripe and robust brew is a pleasure to peddle as it speaks so well to the pros and rookies alike. This season's brew has all of the "attitude" found in Arabashiri-style sakes and new attributes as well. Again, this is a Nama that should not be missed!

Masumi "Arabashiri" – "First Run"
Nagano Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu.
SMV: -1
Acidity: 2.0
This undiluted and unpasteurized sake is raw and vivacious. The nose is filled with grapefruit, raspberry and mineral elements. The first sip tells one that this sake "talks the talk" as a lively fruity start meets a balanced and floral middle for a clean and fresh mouth adventure. Look for hints of citrus amongst the clean and balanced layers of flavors. The acidity play is fantastic as it blends with a "lightness" not usually found in "Arabashiri" sake to produce an 18% alcohol finish that is brazenly fresh. More "nama" hints emerge closer to room temperature.
WORD: Fresh
WINE: Beaujolais
BEER: Octoberfest Brews
FOODS: Bold cuisine with strong character.

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