The Least Milled Voyage
In an effort to understand the different components that make up the sake industry, it’s important to taste milling rates (Seimeibuai). Wait what? What do you mean taste milling rates? Well, the obvious standard or point of this discussion is that sake is categorized by milling rates, and most sake drinkers think that the more milled or polished a sake, the better it’s flavor. For example, there is a movement to push milling to the limits from 39% to 28% to 23% to 9% and even down to 1% and less than 1%. Are you kidding? Nope and it’s kind of crazy! So we want you to focus on the rice flavor itself by tasting the set of brews, which represent some of the LEAST milled or polished sakes in the sake world.
- There it is right there in the name Onda 88, which means this sake has only been milled or polished 12% with 88% of each grain of rice remaining. If you have ever wanted to taste the Niigata local specialty rice called Ippon-jime this is your best chance ever. With an SMV of -1 and an acidity of 1.5 this brew drinks rich and solid with a little kick from the 18.5% alc level.
2) Shirataki Noujun Uonuma Junmai "80%"
- This brewery is known for their Jozen Mizunogotoshi. Super clean and pristine Niigata sake threw the sake world for a loop when they released this Junmai with a milling percentage of 80%. The result is a very viscous and chewy brew that is ricey, lush, and rich. This is a great example of a full-bodied sake that doesn’t drink heavy.
- Usually when you use a super expensive brewing rice like Kyoto’s Iwai brewing rice varietal you want to polish it down to 50%-40% remaining, because it is so premium that it can take heavy milling. But no! This amazing brewery goes the other way to make you really taste the Iwai in this Junmai that is only milled to 80%. That’s pretty cool, and the result is even cooler. Look for hints or butterscotch and creamy flavors that expand in the palate.
4) Tsukinoi Nanotsuki 80 Junmai "The Moon's Well"
- This Ibaraki brewery is all about growing their own local and very organic rice. They are so proud of it, just look under the label on this amazing Junmai sake that has been milled to 80%. They literally included several grains under each label and if that doesn’t scream pride I don’t know what does? Talk about an old school Junmai this is a dry beast with a very high acidity level of 1.9 and it drinks rich and full-bodied, but incredibly balanced for all that’s going on.
5) Shinkame Junmai "Holy Turtle"
- Dry, earthy, rich, and robust this Junmai from Saitama prefecture is a walk on the old school side. This is not your new trendy Junmai which is milled to Ginjo levels or even Daiginjo levels. This brew is milled to 80% for a reason, and that reason is rice. Rice is nice and Shinkame is a great drinking brew that harkens to an older day in sake appreciation.
6) Takacho Bodaimoto Muroka Genshu "Regal Hawk"
- If you want to take fermented rice to a new level then check out this brew that is made with Hinohikari brewing rice milled to 70% and a crazy SMV of -25 and even more crazy acidity of +3 with an outstanding amino acid level of +3. This Regal Hawk is a ricey crazy town that is a sake enthusiast’s dream come true that is made using the ancient brewing technique called Bodaimoto.
Onda 88 JunmaiJunmaiOriginal price $29.00Current price $23.20
The nose on this hefty brew is a wild collection of leather, earthy, nutty, creamy, and musky aromas. Made with a rice varietal called Ippon-Jime m...View full details
Shirataki Noujun Uonuma Junmai "80%"Junmaifrom $17.00
The nose on this unique sake is a wonderful collection of butterscotch, caramel, and maple syrup candy aromas. Why is this sake special? Because it...View full details
Tsukinokatsura Junmai "Iwai"Junmai$36.00
Hold the phone folks! This sake is made with one of the most expensive sake brewing rice varietals out there, usually used for Daiginjo sakes, but ...View full details
Tsukinoi Nanotsuki 80 Junmai "The Moon's Well"Junmai$48.00
This brewery loves their own estate grown rice so much they put rice grains under the label to prove their fascination. The nose on this JSA certif...View full details
Shinkame Junmai "Holy Turtle"Aged Junmai$52.00
The nose on this Junmai that has been aged for two years is a vast collection of earthy, nutty, forest floor, steamed rice, and wet wool aromas. Ta...View full details
Takacho Bodaimoto Muroka Junmai Genshu "Regal Hawk"Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu$37.00
The nose on this extremely historically made sake is a wild collection of cooked cherries, citrus yogurt, earthy, steamed rice, and honey-baked ham...View full details