Konnichi wa, Nomidachi!
We've rolled out the sake barrels, and Saketoberfest is in full swing!
Here's a quick mention of some of the delights we'll be featuring throughout the weekend and while supplies last.
New, Limited Release Sake: Shichi Hon Yari Hiyaoroshi
A quick refresher on what hiyaoroshi is all about: While most saké undergoes two pasteurizations (once before the six-month ageing period, and once again before being bottled, prior to shipment), the hiyaoroshi are released in autumn, when temperatures have cooled a bit, and forego the second pasteurization. This allows them to retain hints of the freshness and "zing" of namazake (unpasteurized saké).
One of our favorite hiyaoroshi style sake arrives this week: Shichi Hon Yari Hiyaoroshi "Autumn Assassin." Don't let the English moniker scare you -- we promise it's safe! From Shiga prefecture, the 15th generation owner of this brewery and his 4-person crew are committed to using only local ingredients, including the Yamada Nishiki rice used to brew this sake.
The sake shows notes of salt, butter, and unsweetened dark chocolate in the nose. On the palate, it tends toward earthiness, with a faint bitterness in the tail. It'll be a great addition to the Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities, if you can stand to hold it that long.
Price: $45/720 ml bottle (10% “case” discount for orders of 6 or more bottles)
Order by: 6 pm today, Wednesday, Oct. 10
In-store: Friday, Oct. 12
New, Limited Release Sake: Masumi Hiyaoroshi
One of the most popular brews at our recent "Meet the Brewers" event was the Masumi Hiyaoroshi Yamahai Junmai Ginjo. Unfortunately, we didn't have any bottles available for sale at that time, but we have good access to it now and are featuring it on the current menu.
This very limited release sake has a quince aroma, with a soft, delicate body and mild yamahai astringency. We think it's very wine-like, with a dryish finish. Definitely one of our current favorites! Price: $50/720 ml bottle
Special, Limited Edition Sake: Tatenokawa “Phoenix” Junmai Daiginjo
Phoenix is a nakadori, which means they used only the middle portion of the mash pressing (the most delicate and valued part) for this bottling.
An explanation about what makes the sake so rare and special can be found here: http://www.konbini.com/us/entertainment/phoenix-releasing-limited-edition-sake-toshiro-kuroda/
We noticed a complex mix of blackberry, mint, lavender, tree bark, and mulch in the nose. Phoenix is light, lively, and lissome on the palate, with pitch-perfect acidity. It's making a lot of noise in the sake world, and we understand why: it's freaking delicious!
We will receive at least 12 bottles, but we’re hoping to have access to another case, and will begin pouring the sake here at the shop when it arrives. The last time we had this sake, it literally flew off the shelves, so if you’d like us to hold any for you, please contact us ASAP!
Price: $60/720 ml bottle
Order by: Noon, Thursday, Oct. 11
In-store: Friday, Oct. 12
Arigatou, and Kanpai!
Johnnie & Taiko
October 1 was World Sake Day, and as fate (and the calendar) would have it, Saké Nomi was closed for our normal Monday of respite and rejuvenation.
We did enjoy a variety of nice brews, and as we raised our glasses we telepathically communicated our gratitude to the brewers for their efforts (at least that's what it felt like we were doing). Sake Day also allowed us to contemplate and appreciate our sake-related adventures thus far and to kind of rededicate ourselves in our mission of sharing the joys of premium sake with as many people as we can via our Seattle-based operations.
We've said it before: EVERY day is Sake Day at Saké Nomi. As such, rather than just celebrate the magic and mysteries of delicious handcrafted sake for a day, we choose to try to bring extra attention to our favorite beverage throughout the 10th month of the calendar during what we like to call Saketoberfest.
Saketoberfest will give you the chance to taste and purchase rare and unique sake that may not, for one reason or another, be available throughout the year or in great volume. First up is . . .
Kokuryu Ryu "Gold Dragon" (Fukui)
Inspired by an article about this brewery (est. 1804) in a recent Japanese brewing periodical, we are excited to present this elegant daiginjo (the first commercially produced by Kokuryu and introduced to the Japanese market in 1975) for your consideration this weekend (beginning today!), 10/4- 10/6.
"Gold Dragon" has apple notes in the nose, with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar on the palate. It is pleasingly complex and, again, elegant. The bottle's funky neck shape enhances the acoustics of the sake being poured, and the cloth embroidered label and gift box presentation are just icing on this fantastic cake. Price: $100/720 ml bottle
(Please Note: While availability of this sake is somewhat limited, we'll be glad to take orders and hold the sake for you, in case you can't join us this weekend.)
The article we read mentioned Kokuryu's president's efforts to promote sake drinking "culture," and in an effort to support Kokuryu and help make this fairly expensive sake more approachable to our Seattle friends, we'll be pouring it by the glass at a special Saketoberfest discount price at the bar.
Please stay tuned for the availability of other tasty brews (including the return of Phoenix!!) and fun sake-related activities (movie night, etc.) in the days ahead.
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you at Saké Nomi again soon.
Arigatou, and Kanpai!Johnnie & Taiko