Sake or saké is a Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by a brewing process more like that of beer, where the starch is converted into sugars, before being converted to alcohol. The brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer in that, for beer, the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two discrete steps. Like other rice wines, when sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously. Furthermore, the alcohol content differs between sake, wine, and beer. Wine generally contains 9%–16% ABV, while most beer contains 3%–9%, and undiluted sake contains 18%–20% (although this is often lowered to about 15% by diluting with water prior to bottling).
- Item #: i_103184Bottle Size: 720mlProducer: Kumaya Shuzou
Location: Okayama Prefecture
Rice: Omachi 90% of Omachi rice produced in Okayama
Rice Polished to 60%
Alcohol: 15.5% / Yeast: #9 / Acidity: 1.6 / Sake Degrees: +6
This Tokubetsu (meaning: special) Junmai Sake by AN, has an undeniable complexity. Also, we hate to use the word "smooth", but man is this smoooth. Pear and honeydew dance on the palate, mellow, but with and a clean, crisp finish.
The Rice: Omachi rice, the oldest sake rice variety grown in Japan, is a pure breed heirloom variety. One of the tallest rice stalks (over 5 feet), making it hard to grow and harvest. It is a late-blooming variety with large rice kernels which are susceptible to wind damage and much more than recently developed varietals. Okayama, known as the sunniest prefecture in Japan, has very few typhoons and make it ideally suited to growing this heirloom variety. Brewers liken Omachi to Pinot Noir-- hard to grow but elegant and age-worthy sake. Omachi has earthy and herbal flavors that express themselves individually resulting in layers of flavor on the palate. When served in a wine glass, AN opens up and evolves like a rich, full-bodied Pinot Noir.
- Item #: i_365544Bottle Size: 720mlTodd's Pick!
A rich nose filled with hints of roasted coffee, mint, salt water taffy, tropical flowers, grapes and honey greet you. This extremely well balanced sake achieves the near impossible of being both expansive in character and clean in feeling. There hints of fruits, minerals, and caramel but also peek-a-boo layers of grains and umami. Almost sweet and savory at once with a dry quick finish.
Food match: Perfect with grilled meats and root vegetables.
Polishing ratio: 55%
- Item #: i_101623Bottle Size: 720mlThis is a beautiful new offering from Katoukichibee Shouten. We poured it at our last tasting, and it was a big hit. It is a limited edition Junmai Daiginjo that has great structure, finesse, and complexity for the money. There is a big, beautiful bouquet of wild flowers, herbs and rice on the nose. The palate is rich and creamy, with a slight fruitiness that makes Born quite quaffable. Born Gold finishes soft and easy with a medium sweetness and very light, clean acidity. Pairs well with everything.
- Item #: i_365568Bottle Size: 720mlPREFECTURE: FUKUI
SAKE METER VALUE: +4 (DRY)
RICE: Yamada Nishiki
RICE POLISHING RATIO: 50% (Daiginjo)
FOOD PAIRINGS: Dishes cooked with butter, cheese and olive oil. Also delicate Japanese dishes.
TASTING NOTES: The nose on this unpasteurized Daiginjo (not many of these) is made up of rose pedals, cooked banana, leather, tropical fruit, and steamy night elements. This is a really plump and viscous Nama that is both smooth and soft. There are a ton of ripe flavors to choose from honeydew melon wrapped in proscuitto, to a sweet fruit compote, to honeycomb. Juicy and fruity and so darn lively - so much flavor and so little back! The overall celebration of this sake is the every allusive "umami" quality, which is so present that they put a sticker on the bottle that says "umami." Rolling, fruity and soft like a sweet avocado!
Matures for 1 year at -10 degrees Celsius. A wonderful fruity aroma with a deep, strong, silky flavor.
BORN MUROKA NAMA GENSHU JUNMAI DAIGINJO
Rich aroma with lively and robust characteristics of first pressed draft genshu. From Katokichibee Shouten, a brewery with 350 year legacy of fine brewing.
The nose on this unpasteurized Daiginjo (not many of these) is made up of rose pedals, cooked banana, leather, tropical fruit, and steamy night elements. This is a really plump and viscous Nama that is both smooth and soft. There are a ton of ripe flavors to choose from honeydew melon wrapped in proscuitto, to a sweet fruit compote, to honeycomb. Juicy and fruity and so darn lively - so much flavor and so little back! The overall celebration of this sake is the every allusive "umami" quality, which is so present that they put a sticker on the bottle that says "umami." Rolling, fruity and soft like a sweet avocado!
- Item #: i_365507Bottle Size: 750MLChoya Umeshu UME PLUM WINEGreat for sipping, sweet with plum, apricot and peach flavors and hints of clove that satisfies and refreshes
- Item #: i_471136Bottle Size: 720mlDaishichi makes rich, mellow sakes whose outstanding reputation comes from an insistence on a strictly orthodox brewing tradition: the Kimoto method. This means that when preparing the starter for the Sake, the fermentation vessel is left open, allowing natural (and more funky) yeast to ferment the Sake. It takes 4 weeks to nurture the yeast instead of the normal one week. This extra-long process creates a dry, earthy, complex brew with virtually no unwanted flavors what-so-ever. The aroma is fragrant and delicate with hints of rice, cherry and sandalwood. The palate is clean, dry and pure with lovely tropical fruit flavors. The finish is a phantom. Lush nuances are all that's left behind of what was once...a dream perhaps? No, it's just Daishichi. Daishichi Minowamon is the pride of Daishichi as being the first sake in Japan to which the superflat rice polishing technique developed by the brewery has been applied.
Serve: Chilled, With: grains, meats, vegetables, tofu, as an aperitif. Delicate, fragrant and mild with a smooth and clean palate that is attractively pleasant and sensual.
Minowamon is a multiple award winning Junmai Daiginjo sake, brewed utilizing the traditional kimoto method, developed by Daishichi to create a sake that truly free of any undesirable flavors. The flavors are clear with a sumptuous underlying richness that exudes elegant aromas and in a gentle, mellow texture that is remarkably delicate.
- Item #: i_365596Bottle Size: 720mlWINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS The medium dry Asahi Shuzo NV Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo should be one of the lowest Seimaibuai (23%) sakes in Japan. It is pure and clean, with light but complex scents of white flowers, cherry, strawberry, banana and fresh rice. On the palate it is broad and smooth with a clean spicy finish. Rice: Yamada Nishiki. Alcohol: 16%.
Dassai 23 - Dassai blends the best ingredients with old-fashioned experience and cutting edge technology. Polished to an unprecedented 23% polish ratio (a process that takes 4 days), Dassai Junmai Daiginjo is super-refined. The nose shows off with lots of berry fruit and candy-like yeast aromas. Hints of pear, cotton candy, violet and the undeniable taste of yamadanishiki rice linger on the palate. The finish is lush and tropical, yet dry. Silky smooth on the palate, this is very special sake to be enjoyed on a special occasion.
Dassai 'Migaki Niwari Sanbu' JUNMAI DAIGINJO
Since 2011, all DASSAI products have been Kosher certified each year by "Chabad Tokyo Japan".
- Item #: i_103401Bottle Size: 720mlTasting Notes:
A nose rich in banana and pear gives this sake a deceptive sweet sensation. The palate is elegant and balanced with a long dry finish.
Food Pairing Suggestion: The sweet nose and dry finish is an excellent match with Kaiseki Japanese cuisine. We also recommend this sake with Cantonese cuisine.
Milling Rate: 39%
Since 2011, all DASSAI products have been Kosher certified each year by "Chabad Tokyo Japan".
- Item #: i_114312Bottle Size: 720mlTechnically, a Daiginjo, as the rice is milled to 50%. What a beautiful, light sake. Refreshing, crisp and no aftertaste, with vivid notes of green apple.
“Dewasansan” is delicious with sashimi and oysters on the half-shell, and pairs perfectly with grilled tuna, sea bass and halibut. Keep under refrigeration after purchase and serve chilled.
Gold Award, Ginjo class, 2014, 2015 & 2016 U.S. National Sake Appraisal Silver Award, Ginjo class, 2013 U.S. National Sake Appraisal
- Item #: i_365589Bottle Size: 720mlPREFECTURE: YAMAGATA
Rice Variety: Omachi
Alcohol Percentage: 16-17%
Polishing Ratio: 50%
Sake Meter Value: +1.0 Yeast: Yamagata KA
Made from Omachi rice—the ancestral strain from which many sake-brewing rices are descended—with a luscious aroma and ornate flavor that deepens and mellows on the palate.
- Item #: i_103179Bottle Size: 720mlWow! This Sake is crisp and BONE DRY with a hint of juniper, reminiscent of Gin. No other Sake we have encountered combines the dryness, herbaceousness and edginess (36 proof) to such an exhilarating effect.
On the nose and palate, look for juniper berries, crisp pear, and dry melon tones. This sake appeals to those who like the flavor and tingle of the clear spirits, but without the full spirit punch!
Rice Variety: Dewasansan, Haenuki
Polishing Ratio: 50%
Yeast: Yamagata, YK-0107
Alcohol Percentage: 17–18%
Sake Meter Value: +12.0
- Item #: i_365541Bottle Size: 720mlRice: Miyamanishiki, Yuki Kessho milled to 50%
Oka "Cherry Bouquet" is milled to Daiginjo levels. The nose is a beautiful blend of flower blossoms, peach, radish, and spring water. It has dry start that is accompanied by a soft and creamy middle mouth filled with dried fruit overtones and a subtle melon finish. The viscosity thickens as the fluid warms in the mouth, and there is an overall floral perception from start to finish. It is a very nice example of a sake that shimmers in one’s mouth as the roundness is quite prominent and appealing. Soft-feeling on the tongue, Oka's transparency of flavor matches the clarity of the colorless liquor. It is floral rather than fruity, though there is a touch of pear, and melon.
The perfect companion for clams on the halfshell, lightly dressed salads and white fish sushi or sashimi. Keep under refrigeration after purchase and serve well-chilled.
Awards: Gold Award, Ginjo class, 2013, 2014, & 2015 U.S. National Sake Appraisal
- Item #: i_320007Bottle Size: 750MLGekkeikan 'Black and Gold' JUNMAI GINJOSMV 0, ACIDITY 1.6, ALCOHOL % 15.6Serve: Warm Tepid or Chilled, With: Grilled Meats or Vegetables; Sushi; Fruits; Cheese; Fried RiceSubtle aromas of citrus zest, rose and basil. Very smooth entry, evolves into a graininess that spreadsGekkeikan Black and GoldThis versatile sake has a smooth, mellow flavor and can be enjoyed warmed, room temperature or chilled. Serve from this traditional tokkuri container that was used when purchasing sake in the old days.
- Item #: i_328831Bottle Size: 750MLGekkeikan 'Haiku' JUNMAI GINJOSMV +3, ACIDITY 1.7, ALCOHOL % 15Serve: Slightly Chilled, With: Barbecue; Spicy Vegetables; Grilled Mushrooms; Fresh CheesesSlight floral hints of Jasmine with white tea aromas, and refreshing citrus tones that linger with finesse
- Item #: i_320012Bottle Size: 720mlGreen apple, juniper, caramel, and cedar aromas. Sweet flavor with a gin-like bite, light to medium body, fairly creamy and crisp. 14.6% alcohol.
- Item #: i_328002Bottle Size: 750mlGekkeikan 'Traditional' JUNMAISMV +2, ACIDITY 1.7, ALCOHOL %15-16Serve: Hot Warm or Cool, With: Chicken; Fish; Barbecue; Fried Rice; Grilled Vegetables; Cheese.Gekkeikan Sake CapThis sake has long been a very popular item in Japan. Enjoy for its delicious taste, convenient size and accompanying cup. Serve chilled, room temperature or warmed.
- Item #: i_328860Bottle Size: 750MLGekkeikan 'Silver' JUNMAISMV +6, ACIDITY 1.7, ALCOHOL %14.6Serve: Hot Warm or Cool, With: Chicken; Fish; Barbecue; Fried Rice; Sushi; Vegetables; Cheese.Soft and light on the palate with white tea; the mouth-feel is refreshing; clean and invigorating finish