I participated in a sake tasting on a Friday. There were ten different types of brand-new sake, including famous breweries like Kubota, Dassai, Keigetsu, and a few fun hipster sakes.
Let’s start with Hakushika Ginjo Namachozo. It is a very fresh sake. Everyone found it tasty hands-down.
Then, we opened a special bottle of “creme sake”. It is called Nigorizake in Japanese. During the filtration process of sake brewing, brewers used a broader mesh to allow fine rice particles through, hence the cloudiness of the sake. Give the glass a subtle swirl, you will see the residual rice mixture incorporating with the seishu. It also tasted really like a dessert we eat in China jiuniang.
A sparkling sake was served in the third round, it was my first time drinking one as well. “Takumi” is intriguing: under the foamy bubbles, it is the taste of traditional sake. However, a hint of lime and grapefruit makes it rejuvenating.
The fourth round was a popularity contest between Kubota Senjyu, Dassai Junmai Daiginjo, and Keigetsu Gin no Yume. There wasn’t a winner, so to speak, among these three sakes. It was up to the drinker’s preference at the end of the day. Kubota had the richest aftertaste, while Keigetsu had a very fragrant aroma. Dassai was the most balanced one, more like an all-rounded perfect student.
We had a small game when it came to the fifth round. I purchased two different sake, a four-pound Sho Chiku Bai sake and a fifty-pound worth Yusura Junmai Daiginjo. Every one of us had to judge which sake was pricier without knowing any more information about the sake themselves. The four girls all got their answers right but both of the boys guessed wrongly.
Yusura had the lowest rice-polishing ratio in this tasting party, with a slightly under 40% ratio. The sake tasted smooth, it didn’t even taste anything alcoholic when you first drink it. Once I swallowed it, I felt like my hindbrain was filled with fog from a forest. It took a while for the lingering aroma to disappear from my tastebuds.
This whole tasting party ended with the final round of Kuramoto umeshu and yuzu-shu. The umeshu tasted richer and thicker than other umeshu I drunk before. It was almost like the consistency of apricot juice. The distinct scent of plum covered the strong invading alcohol taste. The alcohol became like a spice you add while cooking, just to elevate the taste of the dish. As for yuzu-shu, needless to say, it was just like drinking cold yuzu tea. However, it did have a smooth and lingering aftertaste, I would personally recommend someone to purchase a lot so that they can drink whenever they feel like it. It is just that good.
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