New Store Arrivals - Hiyaoroshi - Fall Draft Sakes '08
Okay folks.... They are almost gone! The autumn released "Draft" brews, which are single pasteurized sakes, are now in the fridge, but for how much longer is the question. And as I was comparing the reviews below to reviews from the past I was incredibly pleased to see that the prices have not changed since 2005! Talk about value!
Please not that these sakes were brewed to compliment the flavors of fall. If you are looking for a complex and rich brew check out the Tsukinokatura. If full-bodied and expansive sake is your game then try the Urakasumi. And if you like it dry and tight then the Wakatake fits your bill nicely!
- Tsukinokatsura Hiyaoroshi "Autumn Draft"
From Kyoto Prefecture.
SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.6
What a wonderful aroma profile on this fall-released draft sake with elements of salt water, grains, oatmeal, and melon. Round and soft this sake is chewy and deep with a long finish. There is a nice balance of richness and feeling and talk about personality! Look for hints of nougat, caramel and a touch of melon-like flavors. A very expressive sake that feels good and has a complexity that speaks to sake drinkers and 1st timers alike. A bigger glass brings out a better balance, and a smaller cup brings forth more pow!
WINE: Expansive reds/Chunky whites
BBER: Belgian Ales
FOODS: Complex and rich dishes, grilled meats and veggies, clean pasta.
- Urakasumi Hiyaoroshi "Autumn Draft"
From Miyagi Prefecture.
SMV: +1.5 Acidity: 1.4
The nose on this single pasteurized Fall release is filled with cedar, rice, caramel, vanilla and whisper of melon elements. Round, creamy and lush this sake has a touch of sweetness but drinks far more rich than sweet. Talk about body - this brew is deep and feels weighty in the mouth. Look for hints of caramel and an over-all Cinnabon-like flavor profile that is gooey but not sweet. Plump and extremely well-balanced this brew is extremely food friendly and does very well at room temp and lightly warmed. If you like richness and body - look no further.
WINE: Pinot Noire/Non-Oaky White
BBER: Creamy ales
FOODS: Grilled oily fish, sushi, grilled chicken, pasta.
- Wakatake Aki No Ki-Ippon "Autumn Draft"
From Shizouka Prefecture.
SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.4
This once-pasteurized draft sake has a nose filled with earth tones, honeydew rind, hay, wild rice elements. Think dry and compact when tasting this brew, as there is an abundance of neutral 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 and woody elements but the overall character is mellow. Closer to room temperature brings forth more body and depth. A good example of light and dry draft sake.
WINE: Dry reds/Dry whites
BBER: Crisp ales
FOODS: Grilled and salty fare, sushi, and smoked cheeses.
If you look around the store you will see lots of new brews. Literally there are 10 new sakes all hidden amongst the brews that you love and trust. I will eventually review them all in written form but decided to add these two together because they are so unusual. The first is a Junmai Dai Ginjo Nigori - why would any brewer mill a sake to 50% and then leave the lees in it - try Kitaya and find out. The second is one of the hardest sakes that I have ever had the opportunity to review. Talk about a mystery in a fluid - the Junmai Ginjo from Yamagata called Jokigen is truly a sake to test your comprehension of rice and water.
- Kansansui "Cold Mountain Water"
From Fukuoka Prefecture.
Junmai Dai Ginjo Nigori.
SMV: n/a Acidity: n/a
This "usu-nigori" or lightly misty sake has a creamy nose with hints of lemon, berries, pear and creamcycle elements. A Daiginjo Nigori? Wow! Yes so look for a really soft and round sake with great gentle flavors such as honeydew, pear, and a very feint hint of banana. This sake is not overtly sweet; rather it is round, smooth and semi-dry by Nigori standards. Rest assured you will find layers of silky soft gentle flavors in a fluid that is extremely inviting and a complexity that one can only find in a Daiginjo Nigori.
WINE: Merlot/Creamy whites
BBER: Creamy ales
FOODS: Cheese plates, creamy pastas, sushi, fruit salad.
From Yamagata Prefecture.
SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.6
This is an unusual brew from start to finish, and that is why it is so popular with sake connoisseurs in Japan. With a nose made up of grape, cherry, mango, candy and a touch of anise elements this sake is a totem pole brew with flavors and faces on every level. Juicy and fruity on one level, a hint of sour tones on another, and yet another layer filled with tangy elements this Ginjo works in so many ways. But the balance remains constant - can you imagine that? And look for a quick and semi-dry finish amongst all of the mouth action with each sip being a complete mystery. This is an adventure sake from start to finish.
WINE: Deep Reds/Complex Whites
BBER: Bitter ales
FOODS: Fried fare, grilled chicken, savory flavors, bar snacks.