August 2006

10 Sakes You Must Try Before You Die - The Official "Unofficial" List

Posted by Beau Timken in 2006, August, Newsletter

sake clubPicture me in a loincloth, with a long white beard, extremely long finger nails, sitting cross-legged in a cave way up on some remote mountain. (Okay forget the loin-cloth that was wrong) Now picture yourself winded, huffing and puffing, with chest heaving as you gasp for breath after making a massive up-hill trek to get to my cave. Now see yourself blurting out a frantic question that gets met with a long and pointy bony finger that I press against my lips motioning for silence. You pause and then take a seat in the dust in front of my old and fragile body. After a long pause I look deeply into your eyes and ask "What is it young sake drinker - how can I help you?"

At first you want to pour forth the following question, "Beau-san, what are your 10 favorite sakes?" But wisely you resist this urge. You recall the countless times that I have said that my favorite 10 sakes are for me alone, as everybody is the "Champion of his or her own palate." Thus you restructure your question. "Beau-san, there are many brews to be had in this great sake universe, which rice and water concoctions should I try before I die?"

My eyes will close and my head will drop. And it will be a very long while before I lift my aged noggin and I will utter the following, "My sweet sweet sake slut, you have come far, and you have asked me the one question that I do not like to answer, but I will do so for you and you alone." With a large piece of charcoal I begin to write ten names of sakes or breweries on the cave wall. At sake number three I bark out "these sakes and breweries are not the best, but should be tried to appreciate the essence of sake." At number five my body quivers with a mixture of loathing and disgust, but I continue on. At number seven, I turn around and remind you that this list consists of sakes that are available in the US.

And after I scrawl down the tenth sake I collapse like a wet gym towel that slaps down on a locker room floor. Is he dead you ask yourself? Did my question that is oh so personal and oh so arbitrary actually kill the poor guy? And then when you get up to read the wall my wilted body rolls over and I gasp out, "It's not in order you jackass!" And then I die.

  • Koshi no Kanbai Brewery (Perceived to be the "best" in Japan)
  • Urakasumi Brewery (Balance personified - created a special yeast)
  • Sato no Homare - Sudo Honke Brewery (Oldest brewery in Japan)
  • Daishichi Minowamon (These brewers are into perfection! This DG is Perfect)
  • Mukune (Great example of Osaka sake - Made by Philip Harper the Pioneer!)
  • Juyondai (Aged sake that speaks to the language of "fat" flavors and feelings)
  • Masumi Brewery (Founders of one of the most important brewing yeasts)
  • Tsukinokatsura Junmai Dai Ginjo Nigori (Amazing brewery and best Nigori)
  • Kotsuzumi Brewery (One of those "Biblical breweries")
  • Kokuryu Brewery (Another of those "Biblical breweries")

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