Hey There, Nomidachi!
And all of a sudden, we're back to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. (In case you were wondering, in Japan it's traditional to begin missives with a reference to the weather/season.)
As we've mentioned in past years, October 1 has become International Saké Day, and this year we're doing our socially distanced best to provide you the opportunity to visit a sake brewery in Nara and perhaps see some of your old nomidachi sake drinking pals from Saké Nomi. Details below -- we hope you can join us.
We've got some other exciting developments to share with you in the weeks ahead, and we promise to feed you the details just as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you're looking for something to celebrate, try to keep Saturday, October 17 open on your socially distanced sake-drinking calendar . . .
Thanks for hanging in there with us!
Arigatou & Kanpai!
Johnnie & Taiko
Saké Day Event: Taruzake Tasting & Tour with Choryo Shuzo
Thursday, Oct. 1 @ 6:00 pm
Here at Saké Nomi, as you are well aware by now, EVERY day is "Saké Day." However, in some less fortunate circles, they reserve that special designation for just one calendar day, October 1.
This year, we are pleased to announce that we will be celebrating the day with a variety of cedar barrel-aged taruzake while virtually visiting (via Zoom) the esteemed Nara brewery, Choryo Shuzo. To join us here's the useful bits:
ID: 677 929 9901
pass code: 572402
We are planning on featuring a terrific trio of Choryo's taruzake you will be able to purchase prior to the festivities, including:
Choryo Yoshinosugi no Taruzake Futsu-shu
Pronounced golden hue, with deep, rich wood aromas and a hint of chocolate in the nose. Notes of maple and brown sugar sweetness on the palate. Nice, full-bodied balance. This is the first taruzake (cedar barrel aged sake) to have been bottled for commercial sale, back in 1964.
Price: $30/720 ml
Choryo Omachi Tokubetsu Junmai
The notes for the "old" version read: "Faint golden tint, with earthy, yeasty aromas. Soft and light, with a hint of butterscotch and toffee on the palate. Settled (aged for 30 months in the bottle), and rounds out nicely and is comforting when warm (room temp might be best). Fantastic 'daily drinker' that we recently rediscovered – great value and 'bang for your buck.'
The "new" version, which arrived yesterday, has been low-temp bottle aged for SEVEN YEARS! We can't wait to get under the hood of this one!
Price: $30/720 ml
Choryo Yoshinosugi no Taruzake Omachi Yamahai Junmai
Pretty significant yellow coloring, with aromas of cedar, brown sugar, and faint licorice. Soft, slightly viscous mouthfeel, with a definite mild koshu (aged sake) element present. We think it shows its best stuff at room temperature or slightly warmer.
Price: $40/720 ml bottle
Saké Nomi Exclusive: Original Sake Masks by Hinano Designs
These terrific, one-of-a-kind creations SOLD OUT. On behalf of Hinano Designs (aka "Jazzy Jazz"), I can tell you we are thrilled to have been able to offer them to you during these perilous times. Thank you so much for your support and for masking up!
This Week's Featured Sake Selections
Since we ended up getting access to more of the seasonals from Oze and Hakkaisan, and the rest of the selections were so popular last week (Thank You Very Much!!), we decided to keep going with them for a bit, so if you missed out, you've still got a chance to experience these wonderful brews.
Oze x Rosé Junmai Daiginjo (Gunma)
This super popular limited seasonal release is back -- we managed to get our hands on the last batch available to our distributor! Rosé-like coloring due to red colored yeast. Intriguing and delicious balance of tart and sweet flavors, and at just 12% alcohol, a very comfortable summer sipper. $60/720 ml bottle
Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu (Niigata)
Brand new to Washington very limited seasonal release! Subtle mix of grains, cereal, and mildly sweet floral notes in the nose. Clean, light, soft, and mildly mineral – not at all overpowering as an undiluted (17.5% ABV) genshu with a lingering finish. This sake is all about its mellow, casual, but undeniable presence. $50/720 ml bottle
Gangi Mizunowa Junmai Ginjo (Yamaguchi)
New sake arrival! Mellow greenish gold coloring, showing aromas of green apple, kiwi, and muscat grape. Soft, medium weight to the mouthfeel on the palate, with the tartness of young fruit, and a minty element in the lingering, mineral finish.
$45/720 ml bottle
Nagurayama Yokikana Junmai Ginjo (Fukushima)
New sake arrival! Golden green tint, displaying elements of melon, mint, cream, cinnamon, and a touch of banana in the nose. Fairly plump mouthfeel, with a mild sweetness and apple notes on the palate. An overall elegant impression – with its 50% rice polish ratio, a junmai daiginjo disguised as a junmai ginjo. $45/720 ml bottle
Dewazakura “Omachi” Junmai Ginjo (Yamagata)
Greenish gold in appearance with notes of minerals, earthiness, and candied melon in the nose. Soft and silky, and while the impression on the palate is one of pronounced fruitiness, with melon and citrus accents, it finishes dry. Overall, semi-dry, thus lending itself to "session" drinking, where it is neither overwhelming nor pedestrian.
$90/1.8L bottle; $45/720 ml bottle
Narutotai “Ginjo Shiboritate” Nama Genshu (Tokushima)
This is perhaps the most popular sake we've ever carried at Saké Nomi. Yeasty, sweet grain aromas. Soft, full, gentle mouthfeel, with ripened fruit sweetness and slight minerality. Lingering finish shows a touch of mint. Unpasteurized and undiluted, the “oil can” would be ideal at a barbecue, or with fatty sashimi. The brewery was established in 1804. $50/720 ml can
Kaze no Mori “Wind of the Woods” Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu (Nara)
Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and undiluted (17% ABV), the brewery's unique bottling process allows the sake to retain an uncommon liveliness and effervescence upon opening. The flavors transform on the palate in intriguing and savory ways the more time you spend enjoying your glass. $34/720 ml bottle
(PS: Here's a link to an interesting blog post about Yucho Shuzo, the brewer of Kaze no Mori. We are hoping to have access to another delicious variety of their sake in the coming weeks -- please stay tuned!)