September 2006

New Store Arrivals - Jozen Junmai, Bandai, Sawanoi Kimoto

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

God, please somebody stop the madness. We cannot say No! at True Sake. As more and more excellent brews become available in the West, we have a harder and harder time rejecting them. And four years ago when the majority of the sakes were ummm okay! Today the sakes that we are seeing are truly superb. As such, we will continue to offer these great efforts, but please people help us learn the word No! Please teach us to eliminate a sake or two for every ten new sakes that make their way into our collection.

In this light, please say hello to three sakes that screamed, "Let us in" to our current offerings. The first is the orange brother to the famous pink Junmai Ginjo known as Jozen or to be more specific Shirataki's Jozen Mizunogotoshi. If you thought the Ginjo was clean wait until you get a load of the Junmai - talk about "like water" sake! Next comes Bandai, a brew that I was never too fond of, until now! Man what a Junmai with tons of flavor components in a very drinkable offering. Lastly, comes the belle of the ball. The Kimoto Junmai from Sawanoi is brewed in traditional cedar vats, but this isn't a silly cedary Taru sake. This baby is pure elegance in a glass.

Shirataki Jozen Mizunogotoshi "Pure Flavor"
Niigata Prefecture.
Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: -1
Acidity: 1.4
A very mild nose filled with minerals, cucumber, and bamboo. Talk about a "watery" sake! This radically soft brew is like drinking nothing, and yet there is so much flavor. Quite an achievement to create a drinking experience void of the boozy taste, but big in silky soft flavors and texture. It's like the flavor of water with hints of minerals a mild fruit essences, but even more slippery with a luscious feeling. If you are afraid of the taste of alcohol, this is your brew!
WORD: Water
WINE: Soft reds/clean whites
BEER: Ales
FOODS: Sushi, grilled salty fare, clean cuisine.
Bandai "Million Generations"
Fukuoka Prefecture.
SMV: +1
Acidity: 1.5
A brilliant nose filled with white pepper, damp soil, mushrooms, tomato and teriyaki tones. This brew is a wonder to behold, as it is massive in flavor but gentle in feel. Sort of rich and clean! It is deep and expansive hiding elements of watermelon, raisins, vegetable soup, and caramel. The finish is extremely fast which is weird for such a mouthful of flavor. A great way to get close to a "massive sake" but in an easy drinking way. Very approachable!
WORD: Rich
WINE: Deep reds/ expansive whites
BEER: Light stouts
FOODS: Anything with big flavors, pasta, soups, grilled meats.
Sawanoi "Fountain of Tokyo"
Tokyo Prefecture.
Kimoto Junmai.
SMV: -1
Acidity: 2.1
This traditional old method sake was fermented in a cedar tank. Consider it a new version of old-school sake, with a gentle nose made up of dry cedar, celery, and pepper. A tremendously elegant sake with tons of character but in a very mild presentation. There are flavors galore such as white pepper, cinnamon, and chestnuts but they all stay forward as this brew has no tail! Perhaps it is the stellar balance of this sake, or just a new twist on an ancient brew.
WORD: Elegant
WINE: Complex reds/peppery whites
BEER: Woody ales
FOODS: Smoked fish, creamed fish, grilled fare.

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