Nomidachi News Archive

October 2019

October 23

Hello, Nomidachi!

Just a quick note to let you know about this week's schedule and some rare and seasonal release sake we're currently featuring.

Hours of Operation This Week
Thursday - Saturday (10/24-):  Open 2- 10 pm
Sunday (10/27):
Open 2- 6 pm


Seasonal Release Hiyaoroshi Available Now!
'Tis the time of year we see the arrival of the autumn seasonal release hiyaoroshi style of various sake from some of our favorite producers.

If you need a quick reminder regarding what hiyaoroshi is all about, it has to do with pasteurization.  In most instances, sake is pasteurized twice, in part to stabilize it for storage, and to tone down some of the brashness of young, fresh sake.  Hiyaoroshi sake are released at the end of summer/beginning of fall, and the thinking is that the seasonal temperatures have cooled enough to allow the brewers to forego the second pasteurization before bottling and shipment.  The result is an intriguingly lovely combination of the freshness of an unpasteurized namazake, but the settled, stable qualities of a pasteurized brew.  Put it this way, it's a little hard to explain, but easy enough to understand once you've had a few sips.

Hiyaoroshi sake we are currently featuring include these very limited releases:

Tamanohikari Hiyaoroshi
Junmai Ginjo (Kyoto)                              Earthy hints of dried leaves and straw in the nose, with notes of caramel and butterscotch on the palate.  Soft texture, with a trace of gentle acidity and minerality in the dry finish.  Very settled, with the acidity becoming more prominent as the sake warms to room temperature.  $40/720 ml bottle/; $12 /4 oz glass

Shichi Hon Yari Hiyaoroshi
Junmai (Shiga)                                        Very limited seasonal release from one of Japan’s oldest and smallest craft breweries.  Notes of salt, butter, and unsweetened dark chocolate in the nose.  Tending toward earthiness, with a faint bitterness in the tail.   $45/720 ml bottle; $12/4 oz glass

Masumi Hiyaoroshi Yamahai Junmai Ginjo
(Nagano)                    Extremely limited, once pasteurized seasonal release.  Quince aroma with soft, delicate body and mild yamahai astringency.  Very wine-like, with a dryish finish.  $50/720 ml bottle; $15/4 oz glass

The Return of Isojiman
It's difficult to express how much we appreciate this Shizuoka brew.  In past years, we've been limited to about two small shipments a year, and we're excited that it looks like this year's second arrival is a bit more bountiful, and we will do our best to keep it on the shelf as long as we can.  That being said, it kind of flies out the door when we feature it on the menu, as we are now.  Our notes:

Junmai Ginjo (Shizuoka)                                                            Dark straw/hay coloring, featuring aromas of apple, grape, and a bit of dates.  Super full, plump mouthfeel is nicely contrasted with absolutely perfect acidity. Drinking somewhat fruitier than what its +5 SMV would lead you to believe, this sake is very well-suited to wine drinkers who may not yet have been exposed to premium sake.  
$70/720 ml bottle; $20/4 oz. glass

Straight Outta Niigata: Niigata Sake Selections
In another exciting development, one of our distributors has managed to bring back some of our favorite small-batch brews from specialty importer, Niigata Sake Selections.  Many of them were on our shelves when we first opened back in 2007, but due to some distribution changes along the way, they became unavailable to us for quite a while.  Some of the sake scheduled to arrive this Friday include:

Midorikawa "Green River"
Honjozo:  Clean, crisp, and refreshing.
Junmai Ginjo:  Aromatic and lightly floral, with hints of banana and pear and a soft, clean finish.
Junmai Daiginjo:  Floral and citrus nose.  Clean and tight with solid acidity.  Quiet, delicate, and graceful as a mountain stream.  Delightful!
Junmai:  Soft, clean, dry, and light – in the “Niigata style.”  Drinks like water when chilled.  The hints of flour and bread in the nose, and young, not quite ripe apple notes on the palate are more distinct as the saké warms.
Kiminoi Yamahai
Junmai Ginjo:  Rich aromas, complex flavors, and an elegant, clean finish.  Earthy, grounded sweetness with traces of caramel.  Good acidity, nice balance, and, for what it’s worth, it’s one of Johnnie’s all-time favorites.

If you're interested in ordering or if you have any questions/curiosities about any of the sake mentioned here, please give us a shout.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for drinking premium sake.


Arigatou & Kanpai!
Johnnie & Taiko
October 8

Hello, Nomidachi!

While the cooling winds of autumn do make us mourn the short-lived and glorious Seattle summer, now is a time for celebration and excitement about the rare, seasonal release sake that have begun to appear via our importers and distributors.

Just as every day is "Saké Day" (the "official" one was Oct. 1), every season seems to be the best season in which to enjoy our favorite rice-based brew, but there is something undeniably special about sake drinking in the fall.  Some of our fall/cooler weather suggestions are below.

Hours of Operation This Week
The Seahawks are away, so your sake oasis is definitely in play this Sunday.

Wed. (10/9): 2-10 pm
Thurs. (10/10): 5-10 pm
Fri.- Sat. (10/11-12): 2-10 pm
Sun. (10/13): 2- 6 pm

Masumi Hiyaoroshi Yamahai Junmai Ginjo (Nagano)
One of our most popular, extremely limited, once pasteurized seasonal releases is back!  Quince aroma with soft, delicate body and mild yamahai astringency.  Very wine-like, with a dryish finish.  Price: $50/720 ml bottle; $15/4 oz glass

Ginga Shizuku "Divine Droplets"
Junmai Daiginjo (Yamagata)
Brand new to Washington and a rare chance for you to try it by the glass!  The importer says, “Refreshing and pure, with notes of pineapple, white peach, green apple, lily, and a hint of white pepper.”  We say, greenish gold coloring, with notes of mandarin orange and mint in the nose.  Soft, subtle texture, with lots of tropical/citrus fruit flavors on the palate.  A burst of fruit up front, but ending in a clean, slightly acidic and spicy finish.
Price: $100/ 720 ml bottle; $30/4 oz glass

The original version of this sake was brewed and gravity-drip pressed in an “ice dome” igloo in Hokkaido.  Word is, due to global warming, that brewer was no longer able make the sake using that unique method.  The importer wanted to continue to be able to offer a high-end shizukuzake (gravity drip), and was successful in partnering with Yamagata's Kojima Sohonten to produce this new version of "Divine Droplets."  Founded in 1597 (NOT a typo!), with one sip we think you'll join us in being convinced that they know what they're doing.

Kanzake time?  We think so.
We brought out the kansuke sake warmer on October 1, and nomidachi looking to take the chill off have been making good use of it.  Half this week's menu selections are terrific choices to warm (kanzake = warm sake), and they include:

Yamato Shizuku Kimoto
Junmai (Akita)
Pronounced gold tint, with a super soft, gentle texture and nice weight to the mouthfeel.  Mildly sweet, creamy aroma, with a bit of a floral thing happening, along with a subtle tang on the palate.  Price: $36/720 ml bottle; $12/4 oz glass

Yamato Shizuku Yamahai
Junmai (Akita)
Brand new to Washington!  Tangy and full-bodied, with a soft, full, expansive mouthfeel.  Faintly sweet notes of butter/dairy and butterscotch.  Terrific choice for a nurukan (gently, mildly warmed) kanzake.  Price: $35/720 ml bottle; $10/4 oz glass

Tamagawa "Heart of Oak"
Tokubetsu Junmai
Dark straw coloring, with funky, woodsy, earthy aromas.  “Dark,” rich flavors, with a suggestion of brown sugar and mild spice, with a berry, zingy acidity.  Really suited to being a kanzake tipple, it is brewed by British toji (brewmaster) Philip Harper.
Price: $34/720 ml bottle; $10/4 oz glass

Thanks for reading.  We hope to see you at the shop again soon.

Arigatou & Kanpai!
Johnnie & Taiko
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