Iwate Meijo Oshu no Ryu Tokubetsu Junmai "Blue Dragon"
The nose on this “Special” Junmai is a great collection of nuts, banana bread, molasses, vanilla, mushroom, and steamed rice aromas. This brewery is in the heart of beef country, so they constructed this sake to work very well with meat, pork, and chicken. Round, soft, light but with body, it has a tremendous structure that feels great in the palate. Smooth, rich, and very solid, there is a ton of umami that pulses throughout each sip and highlights the extremely rare and totally cool rice varietal called Kameno-O. There are not a lot of Kameno-O sake available in the US, so that is a great reason to explore this brew. Another great reason, this sake tastes so darn good. Look for melon, pear, nougat, vanilla, banana bread, and malted flavors that drink more rich than sweet. There is a gentle white pepper finish that highlights that this is a food-pairing monster. WORD: Chewy WINE: Fat Reds/Beefy Whites BEER: Stouts FOODS: Steak, beef, meats, pork, chicken on a stick, veggies.