FOOD • SAKE • DINING

FOOD • SAKE • DINING

Food is my Life - Sake is my Passion! Loving the Nihonshu Since 1990. My Goal; Share This Passion and Information with Others to give Sake the Platform it so Well Deserves.

SAKE REVIEWS...available at LCBO

Okunomatsu Tokubetsu Junmai

 

PRODUCER: Okunomatsu

PREFECTURE: Fukushima, (Tohoku Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH "SMB": 60%

ALCOHOL: 15.4%

SMV: +0

LCBO#: 228676

PRICE: $28.95 (720ml.)

 

AT 70F

Water-like in clarity with zero "haze", soft nose of banana, apricot, sweet koji, edam cheese, light licorice and violet/white rose flower accents. Creamy palate with cucumber, melon, cantaloupe, pear and appple. Nice impact with smooth, creamy, pleasant finish - easy drinking junmai without the bitter afterbite, Great Junmai for those who are not a fan of more strapping samples!

AT 90F

Palate slightly muted with still banana and peachy nose. More punchy alcohol, full on heavier Junmai characteristics showing at this temp. Mouthfeel more masculine and stern, a great variation on an ultra cold day

READ THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE CONFIRMED SAFETY OF FUKUSHIMA SAKE!

http://japandailypress.com/fukushima-brewers-band-together-to-promote-safe-sake-1323268

 

SCORE

90/100

---------------------------------------

Sho Chiku Bai Classic Junmai

 

PRODUCER: Takara

PREFECTURE: Berkeley, Calif. USA

RICE: Calrose

RICE POLISH "SMB": 70%

ALCOHOL: 14.7%

SMV: +3

LCBO#: 271122

PRICE: $8.90 (750ml.)

 

AT 90F

This sake is naturally brewed in the Fushimi style from pure rice with water provided via the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Pleasant rice aroma with soft honey and apply, floral notes. Smooth and silky on the palate with well-balanced medium/long, full-bodied and dry finish. This sake is great paired with simple grilled fish, stewed meat (miso) dishes as well as tempura and fuller bodied sushi fish. #1 Selling American sake with being the only US made sake given the GOLD AWARD at the 2011 US National Sake Appraisal. BEST BUY!!!

 

SCORE

88/100

---------------------------------------

IZUMI Warm Winter Blend Sake (Ontario Spring Water Sake Co.)

 

PRODUCER: IZUMI (OSWSC)

PREFECTURE: Toronto, (Ontario)

RICE: Calrose

RICE POLISH "SMB": 70%

ALCOHOL: 15%

SMV: -3

LCBO#: Brewery Only (Distillery District) http://ontariosake.com/products/

PRICE: Available in 1.5lt. ($45 range*) - *APPROX

 

AT 105F

Very light chartreuse tinge with small kasu particles remaining, pleasant alcohol flush with waves of guava, pineapple, pear, longan and soft cedar! Creamy apple on the palate with asian pear, soft herbal notes, green mango and woodsy notes. Long smooth, creamy finish with long aftrebite, on the sweet side but a perfect cold weather killer, fantastic brew!

 

SCORE

89/100

-------------------------------------------------

 

Gekkeikan “Horin” Ultra Premium Dai Ginjō

PRODUCER: Gekkeikan Japan

PREFECTURE: Kyoto, (Kansai Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku and Yamada Nishiki

RICE POLISH: 50%

ALCOHOL: 16.1%

SMV: +5

LCBO#: 603837

PRICE: $16.95 (300ml.)

 

A slight yellow-chartreuse tinge indicating a bit of aging with bright banana, Asian pear, watermelon, honeydew, “soft” koji, hint of bubblegum and fresh yeast – biggest impact on a saké aroma. Banana continues through the palate with notes of soft pear, crab apple and muscat. Nice soft opening with a light and unassuming mid palate. It further opens to a pleasant-fresh fruit flavour and a long subtle finish. This is great sake for spring with a nice alcohol to fruit balance. Great to pear with white fleshed sashimi – a marvelous composition of skilled Nihonshu making!

 

SCORE

90/100

 

---------------------------------------

 

Hakkaisan “Eight Peaks Mountain” Tokubetsu Junmai

 

PRODUCER: Hakkaisan

PREFECTURE: Niigata, (Chūbu Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH: 60%

ALCOHOL: 15.5%

SMV: +5

LCBO#: 2111151

PRICE: $11.95 (300ml.)

 

Lighter style Junmai made with local soft water from the snow-capped Hakkai Mountains. Very clear in colour with zesty, soft spiced, earthy aromas leading to soft almond and vanilla on the palate and ending with satisfying depth, clean, dry tail and quick finish. Smooth in taste and flavor with a very clean and dry body, will pair well lightly pickled dishes As well as fried offerings such as “karaage” fried chicken. Flavour is a peak temperature when served between 50-60ºF.

 

SCORE

89/100

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Tamanohikari Omachi Junmai Dai Ginjō

 

PRODUCER: Tamanohikarai

PREFECTURE: Kyoto, (Kinki Region)

RICE: Omachi

RICE POLISH: 48%

ALCOHOL: 15.5%

SMV: +3.5

LCBO#: 747790

PRICE: $16.75 (300ml.)

 

Refined and elegant sake made with the famed and noble “Omachi”, (the pinot noir of rice) with an incredibly full, balanced and well-rounded taste. Clear in colour with nice tears and refined aromas of soft plum, cherry blossom and vanilla. Palate hits with plum, cherry, soft berries, “koji” caramel and a nice spicy tail on the finish. Mouth-feel is clean, crisp, very smooth and even a little soft. Complete, integration between the weight of acidity and sweetness, it should be enjoyed slightly chilled, at around 10ºC, or warmed no more than 42ºC.

 

SCORE

91/100

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Okunomatsu “Happō-sei-seishu” Sparkling Junmai Dai Ginjō

 

PRODUCER: Okunomatsu

PREFECTURE: Fukushima, (Tōhuku Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH: 50%

ALCOHOL: 11.6%

SMV: -25

LCBO#: 228973

PRICE: $16.95 (290ml.)

 

Award winning sake from a 33rd generation brewery stemming from noble samurai bloodlines, this is one of the finest sparkling sakes available in the west made in the méthode champenoise style. Lively, tight bubbles open the nose as fresh floral yeast, kasu “rice lees” and koji storm the senses with piercing flavours of banana, cantaloupe, jackfruit and custard apple caramel. Incredibly well-balanced as sweetness is kept in check by pleasant, slightly bitter tail and looming finish – an incredible achievement in a small production style made by polishing to an “unheard” of 50% seimaibuai for a sparkling (happō-sei-seishu), quite a bargain, drink very cold and enjoy often!

 

SCORE

92/100

 

----------------------------------------

 

Gokujo Super Premium Ginjō

 

PRODUCER: Yoshinogawa

PREFECTURE: Niigata, (Chūbu Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH: 58%

ALCOHOL: 15%

SMV: +7

LCBO#: 227074

PRICE: $17.95 (300ml.)

 

Koji Kawakami, the 17th generation President of Yoshinogawa gives us his favourite premium sake with crisp, dusty fennel, light melon, crushed herb nose with good viscosity, full-body and mouth feel. Light tinge of chartreuse indicates slight aging. The alcohol can be bit showy at near room temperature with notes of mandarin peel, cherry and a light kiss of white chocolate that leads to a long, herbal finish with tail of anisette. From one of the top prefectures and producers this Niigata sake with its vodka-like clean, crisp and dry finish will fare well quail robata or chicken yakitori in tare sauce.

 

SCORE

90/100

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

Izumi of the North Junmai Nama Cho

 

PRODUCER: Ontario Spring Water Sake Company

PREFECTURE: Toronto, (Ontario)

RICE: Calrose

RICE POLISH: 70%

ALCOHOL: 15%

SMV: -12

LCBO#:260174

PRICE: $12.95 (300ml.)

 

Calrose rice has lineage to the noble Japanese “Omachi” and is the most widely used rice for sake in North America. Light chartreuse/yellow in appearance with aromas of sweet soft smoke, alcohol, pinot gris grapes, red apple, and bosc pear. The palate is super fresh and viscous with notes of very ripe kiwano melon, white peach, granny smith apple, and a hint of pinot gris quality; with medium to heavy sweetness that follows with a firm acidic finish. A great example of what new world sake can be and a real treat to have this fine offering made in Ontario courtesy of Mr. Ken Valvur and company – the freshest sake west of Mt. Fuji. Enjoy this once-pasteurized sake chilled on a hot summer’s day.

 

SCORE

86/100

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Murai Family Tokubetsu Honjozo

 

PRODUCER: Momokawa Brewing Company

PREFECTURE: Aomori, (Tōhuku Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH: 60%

ALCOHOL: 15.5%

SMV: +2

LCBO#:239384

PRICE: $14.95 (300ml.)

 

Extremely clear visibility on the pour with tangerine peel, soft herb, melon and fresh yeasty aromas. Secondary notes of banana, fennel and soft apple on the background lead the way into a complex palate of banana, cherry blossom, coconut water and soft anise flavours. Lighter to medium body due to the addition of brewers alcohol creating a light, clean “special” brew with a medium finish. This was a winner at national sake judging contest in Japan for the Honjozo category.

 

SCORE

88/100

 

---------------------------------------------

 

Kanbara “Bride of the Fox” Junmai Ginjō

 

PRODUCER: Kaetsu Shuzo

PREFECTURE: Niigata, (Chūbu Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH: 50%

ALCOHOL: 16.5%

SMV: +3

LCBO#:273383

PRICE: $18.95 (300ml.)

 

Nice clear visibility on the pour with a powerful and interesting nose of floral blossoms, soft fruits, sweet koji, roasted brazil nuts and a splash of white chocolate. The impact is balanced; full bodied with palate of zesty mineral notes and nuts, Edam and summer fruits on the front followed by a tail of light sweetness and lower acidity. This is great sake with high levels of umami. Has a balanced and complex, long finish that is very unique, making this a great find.

 

SCORE

91/100

 

---------------------------------------

 

Kikusui “Chrysanthemum Mist” Fountain of Youth Junmai Ginjō

 

PRODUCER: Kikusui Sake Co.

PREFECTURE: Niigata, (Chūbu Region)

RICE: Gohyaku-mangoku

RICE POLISH: 55%

ALCOHOL: 15.6%

SMV: +1

LCBO#:244137

PRICE: $12.75 (300ml.)

 

Brilliant aqua-azure bottle pours water-like clarity to an initially quiet nose that opens in seconds to offer bright aromas of banana, apricot, cherimoya fruit, cashew apple and starfruit. Palate is piercing and jovial with creamed coconut, spiced pumpkin, mandarin zest and custard pear leading into soft, refined textures, pervasive tail and full presence in the mouth. Well-balanced, smooth, long and crisp with a beloved clean finish; this is truly a chameleon – a sake drinker’s sake.

 

SCORE

91/100

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

Gekkeikan “Laurel Crown” Black and Gold Junmai

 

PRODUCER: Gekkeikan

PREFECTURE: Folsom, (California)

RICE: Calrose

RICE POLISH: x%

ALCOHOL: 15.6%

SMV: +5

LCBO#:684720

PRICE: $19.95 (750ml.)

 

This is a special blend of two sakes that the brewmaster (toji) claims; creates a unique style that is rich and complex. It comes packaged in a round squat bottle to resemble a sake flask “tokkuri” from days of old. Almost water clarity on the pour with aromas of honeydew melon, papaya, coconut, fennel, creamy koji and roasted hazelnuts. Palate is syrupy with pleasant earthiness, alcohol punch, soft melon, spiced carob notes, banana peel and soft pepper with a full-bodied, long, smooth finish. Good overall flavour with nice balance – a great buy.

 

SCORE

87/100

 

Blog Stats

  • Total posts(14)
  • Total comments(0)

Forgot your password?