March 2012

Ask Beau - "Can Sake Mend a Broken Heart?"

Posted by Beau Timken in 2012, Ask Beau, March, Newsletter
Norman F. from San Jose asked an age-old question: Can Sake mend a broken heart?

Well the quick answer is sake can do anything! But that would be short-selling the fact that sake, like all alcohol, is a depressant. If you need a double dose of depression to get you out of a broken heart scenario than good for you! That said sake can provide a distraction or a diversion from focusing too much on the ache. Sake can also extract some of the very deep feelings that you are currently swimming in. Many a famous writers with broken hearts have penned great works liquored to the gills on sake. (I cannot name any other than Rihaku or in fact prove this to be true, but is has to be heh?)

Sake is also a psychoactive drug, which can go either way for your depression. A psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior. (Those were wiki-words) Basically you are on the edge at the moment and sake could either be the hand on your back that shoves or the parachute on your back that takes you down to terra firma. Speaking as a man here, I think it is common in many cultures to get your drink on when the heart is broken. From country singers to samurais we've all heard the stories of folks needing to purge their pain via booze. Does it work? Dunno! Do you wake up in a better place? Do you wake up happy?

Here is my advice to you specifically Norman. Buy two bottles of sake - one for the pain and one for the promise. You know what to do with the first bottle! The second bottle you will enjoy with a new love down the road on a special day. In this regard I would invest in an upper-cut sake (boxing terms) for the pain brew and a very elegant sake for the promising evening with a new love. I will choose the sakes by their translated names for the full effect of pain vs. promise.

Ponder some of these sakes for the "pain" brew:
  • Wakatake "Demon Slayer" Junmai Genshu
  • Suigei "Drunken Whale" Junmai
  • Kariho Namahage "Devils Mask" Yamahai Junmai
  • Masumi "Okuden Kantsukuri" "Mirror of Truth" Junmai
  • Niwa No Uguisu "Daruma" Junmai
  • Otokoyama "Man's Mountain" Junmai
  • Tengumai "Dance of the Demon" Yamahai Junmai
And look forward to one these sakes to share with your new love:
  • Akitabare Suirakuten "Heaven of Tipsy Delight" Junmai Daiginjo
  • Kikuhime "Chrysanthemum Princess" Daigingo Genshu
  • Masumi Sanka "Mountain Flowers" Junmai Daiginjo
  • Nishida "Kikuizumi" "Fountain of Joy" Junmai Ginjo
  • Shutendouji "Vulnerable Virgin" Junmai Ginjo
  • Taiheizan Tenko "Heavenly Grace" Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo
  • Taisetsu "Gardens of the Divine" Junmai Ginjo
Final word of advice here - don't get the third bottle for anger and spite, which is used after the pain bottle and before the promise. It's not worth it and those are two emotions that sake does not respond well to.

Please send your sake specific questions to askbeau2 @ (This address is not for general questions and I only review the questions once per month. All other correspondence should use info @

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