March 2007

Summary of the "Old-School" Kimoto and Yamahai Tasting

Posted by admin in 2007, March, Newsletter, Sake Tastings

We typically get 20-30 emails per Newsletter from those wanting a summary of past sake tasting events. As such I make it a regular practice to highlight what you fools have been missing! (I say that in the most loving of ways). Point being, many people cannot attend a tasting and they want to know what goes down at these fun and informative events. Bottom-line is that we bend over backwards to create events that feature superb sakes, great spaces, and fabulous foods. You should at some point attend one of our tastings, and here's another example of why:

On February 19th True Sake hosted a tasting at Hotel Brion in Hayes Valley. The theme of the tasting was an array of traditionally handcrafted sakes that were produced using of two "old-school" techniques as in Yamahai or Kimoto method. Both of these forms of production are far more sensitive and timely, and for that reason many breweries do not produce such brews. But we selected 7 sakes from 7 great breweries and the results of the tasting where very surprising. We also - in True Sake - form added a bonus 8th sake that was a very old and damaged Kimoto sake was served to show once again how durable sake can be when put through its paces.

Sake #1 Kariho Namahage "Devil's Mask" from Akita Prefecture. Yamahai Junmai.
Sake #2 Hiraizumi "Splashing Spring Water" from Akita Prefecture. Yamahai Tokubetsu Junmai
Sake #3 Tengumai "Dance of the Demon" from Ishikawa Prefecture. Yamahai Junmai Shikomi
Sake #4 Narutotai "Red Snapper" from Tokushima Prefecture. Yamahai Junmai Ginjo
Sake #5 Masumi Yamahai Tsukuri "Autumn Yamahai" from Nagano Prefecture. Yamahai Junmai Ginjo
Sake #6 Daishichi Shizenshu Kimoto "Big 7" from Fukushima Prefecture. Kimoto Junmai
Sake #7 Taiheizan Tenko " Heavenly Grace" from Akita Prefecture. Kimoto Junmai Dai Ginjo.
Bonus Sake #8 Daishichi Kimoto Honjozo "Big 7" from Fukushima Prefecture.

Probably the most popular or crowd-pleasing brew was the Narutotai, which most tasters selected as their favorite. The second most popular sake or at least most mentioned as people liking it was the Hiraizumi. But this was very closely followed by Tengumai - a sake that used to come in only a 1.8L bottle but is now available in 720ml. We are investigating carrying this sake in the smaller bottle.

All in all the tasters found different elements about traditionally made sakes. Some liked the feeling that they tasted whilst other enjoyed the flavor that is produced by these strenuous art forms of production.

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