April 2012

Sake Spotlight - Baka Sake

Posted by Beau Timken in 2012, April, Newsletter, Sake Spotlight
Well I received a really amazing present the other day and quite frankly I was so deeply honored that I felt it would be appreciated by you good readers. Yes most of my presents come in the form of sake - unusual sakes, special sakes, one of a kind sakes, memorable sakes, meaningful sakes - you get the picture. But this special brew really touched me.

I did not know this but at the Tokyo University School of Fermentation students several years back nicknamed one of the study rooms "Beau-San" in honor of yours truly for "my passion and fascination with sake, and my determination." (The determination line was funny.) That alone blew me away, but one of the current classes brewed a special sake (very small batch stuff as you can well imagine) for me. Well they said that they had me in mind when they tried a new and quite frankly different way of making our favorite ancient beverage.

They secretly shipped the sake as "Medical Supplies," and it did not get caught at customs. There was a note that was included saying that "Baka Sake" was made for me and me alone and that it was only good enough for me to taste but not others. Wow- I thought, these guys are crazy! But I loved the idea that it was a sake that only I could try. Again I felt very honored. And looked for a special night to do a serious tasting of Baka Sake to really pull it apart and try to understand the brew from the inside out. I wanted to send back a really strong review of Baka Sake.

Since the students aren't a brewery they didn't have proper labels for the sake, and I felt this added to the uniqueness of the situation. The bottle did have a hand written label that was affixed by glue perhaps, and the cap didn't have the proper ring seal, which I guess you need special equipment. There was an ice-pak in the packaging, and believe it or not the sake still had a mild chill. Let's just say it didn't warm to room temperature. Herewith is a review of a very special sake made in my honor called Baka Sake from the students at the Tokyo School of Fermentation:

Baka Shu

From Tokyo Prefecture. Futsushu. SMV: +3 Acidity: 4.5 Amino Acid: 3

The nose on this very unique sake is quite a pungent mixture of cleaning fluid, citrus, diluted ammonia, zesty salad dressing and a hint of marzipan. The first sip of this futsushu (table sake) is a brisk one with a large presence of acidity that unveils a zesty fluid with a very hot finish and long tail. There is tingle all the way through as the elevated alcohol content (19%) pushes the acidity from start to finish. There are many layers of astringent flavors as well as citric elements. Look for young peach, unripe mango, lemonade, and crisp pear tones. Chilled covers the acidity and room temp brings forth more zest. WORD: Sharp WINE: Huge reds/Brisk whites BEER: Ultra Hoppy Ales FOODS: cuisine with attitude, spicy, international.
Well I wasn't overly impressed with the sake. It was unusual and unique as promised, but felt the overall balance was off? That being said I vaguely remember a flavor along the same lines and that huge acidity was also familiar. Perhaps if I age it it will mellow out

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