True Sake Exclusive – Return of Gokyo Arabashiri (new sake drinkers must try!)
First and foremost, I have had a love hate relationship with the whole concept of Exclusive sakes to True Sake and True Sake alone. Why? I understand the “financial benefit” and “selling factor” of having an excellet sake for ourselves to share with you. I get it! But what I don’t like is the fact that the makers of the sake sort of get jipped. Huh? If it’s only us selling the sake they don’t sell that much. But if more restaurants and stores sell it then they sell more of their sake and make more money.
For example, I have sourced many sakes in Japan and the importers gave us “Exclusive” status. Are you familiar with Narutotai Nama Ginjo Genshu the sake that comes in the cool can? Yup it was ours and ours alone, but I said that’s not fair to the makers so I said sell it to everybody and now it is one of the top selling importerd sakes coming to the states.
That said, when an importer discontinues a sake that I love I go on a rampage to get it back. Gokyo Arabashiri Nama Genshu is one of “those” sakes that is awesome awesome awesome, and I was so bummed out years ago when the importer quit carrying it. This nama is so good that I would even age bottles. Yes aging namas is a wonderful thing, and Gokyo was one of my best! Well since I begged and bitched a ton the importer finally cracked and brought 5 cases over for us “exclusively.”
If you are new to sake or if you have never tasted “freshly pressed” sake that is bright and zesty and quite simply fresh then this Gokyo is for you. I understand that we are all not lucky enough to visit a brewery to see where sake gets pressed and to see that wonderful shimmering yellowish/greenish liquid coming out. It’s an awesome experience made all the better by the host handing you a ladle full of this absolutely the most fresh sake that you have ever tasted. It drinks alive, which it is in a liquid sense. Gokyo Arabashiri tastes like this and it is important to try a sake in such a raw state!
From Yamaguchi Prefecture. Nama Junmai Genshu. SMV: +4.5 Acidity: 1.3, 720ml=$40. What a great nose on this unpasteurized seasonally released sake with lemongrass, strawberry and powdered sugar elements. Why drink nama sake? This brew is the reason, because it drinks raw, bright, frisky, brash and absolutely fresh! It is living and it drinks that way. Look for waves of strawberry, kiwi, powdered sugar, and persimmon flavors that dance on a jumpy fluid that zings through the palate. It’s fruity but the flavors dry up by the long and splendid tail. A midsize glass brings out more flavors and a wine glass sports a longer finish. This is free-run sake at its best! WORD: Fresh WINE: zesty reds/bright whites BEER: crisp ales FOODS: International spice, fried foods, bright fresh cuisines.