November 2006

New Store Arrivals - The Fall-Released Namas, Kikuhime, and Hakutsuru

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

Yes folks it is that time of year when the "Hiyaoroshi" sakes are released by select breweries, and this season we will be featuring two old familiar and yummy faces! Remember Hiyaoroshi means that they made this sake in the Spring this year, using last year's rice, pasteurize it once, and then let it "mature" throughout the summer for 6 months and then release it without hitting it with heat again. This produces some very unique flavors from some very cool breweries.

Urakasumi Hiyaoroshi "Autumn Draft" 
Miyagi Prefecture.
Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: + 1.5
Acidity: 1.4
The nose is filled with aromas such as chestnuts, raisins, and cream. From the brewery that specializes in "balanced" behold a new twist in seasonal sake - a brew that is both rich and crisp! This draft has a complexity and elegance that must come from the subtle maturing, and be on the lookout for a hidden layer of raisins within the dry and rich onslaught. Overall it is a light, rich and crisp sake that drinks mellow.
WORD: Crisp
WINE: Dry reds/Crisp whites
BEER: Crisp ales
FOODS: Sushi, anything from the grill, and hard cheeses.
Wakatake Aki No Ki-Ippon "Autumn Draft" 
Shizouka Prefecture.
Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +1
Acidity: 1.4
This once-pasteurized draft sake has a nose filled with earth tones, caramel, and hay. Think smooth and layered when tasting this brew, as there is an abundance of round and soft flavors that rest more on the earthy side. Watery, calm and gentle it drinks far drier than its SMV. There are hints of smoky elements but the overall character is mellow, and that is why they make this type of sake. A good example of light and smooth draft sake.
WORD: Smooth
WINE: Soft reds/Dry whites
BEER: Pilsners/stouts
FOODS: Grilled and salty fare, sushi, and smoked cheeses.

Also new to the store is a superb sake that is not available anywhere else in the US. This unique brew is a favorite of Ryuta Sakamoto from the wonderful restaurant called Medicine in San Francisco. (I did their sake menu) It is pricey, but when you want to taste a supreme sake-being then give the Dai Ginjo from Kikuhime an try:

Kikuhime "Chrysanthemum Princess"
Ishikawa Prefecture.
Dai Ginjo Genshu (Aged Over One Year).
Some sakes are built well and some are built like this amazing Dai Ginjo. With a gentle collection of cherry, sweet rice, melon, lavender, and powdered sugar aromas, this brew is a mouth-ride at its finest. Thick and chewy with a super soft texture, behold the definitive "fat" sake. There are hints of grains and steamed rice on one floor and far more savory flavors on another, and hidden amongst it all are deep rich fruit veins that one must seek or miss altogether. Plump and rewarding this Dai Ginjo has a structure like no other, enjoy the acidity and revel in the complexity.
WORD: Complex
WINE: Deep reds/Fat whites
BEER: Belgian Ales
FOODS: Made for grilled fare and complex cuisine.

Last but not least is a new Nigori to grace our shelves at True Sake. This brew comes in a pink bottle, but it does not taste "pink" in nature. Hakutsuru Sayuri from Hyogo Prefecture is a very smooth and "subtle" Nigori that speaks to those who want a complexity and smoothness in their unfiltered brew.

Hakutsuru Sayuri "Little Lilly"
Hyogo Prefecture.
Junmai Nigori.
SMV: -11
Acidity: NA
This unfiltered sake has a very light nose filled with cream, cherry blossom, and white grape elements. "Sayuri" is a very special Nigori - it is not flashy and not simple - just clean and easy with a semi-sweet appearance and very smooth finish. There is a watery softness that is hard to explain amongst all of the Nigori qualities, but it is not watery! Light and creamy with subtle fruit tones and an overall "milkiness." If you like it light and easy this brew is for you!
WORD: Light
WINE: Soft reds/round whites
BEER: Sweet ales
FOODS: Spicy fare, grilled meats, desserts.

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