Autumn is a time of great change in our lives, so what better month than October to explore how saké has changed in the last 400 years! In this month's saké club you will taste a 17th century style Kimoto sake, as well as a cutting edge Futsu-shu that represents the future of Japanese saké.
Yuho Kimoto Junmai
Rhythm of the Centuries
Kimoto is an ancient, time honored process of making the starter mash, or "moto" for sake. It is an intensely laborious process that involved using large wooden mallets to break down a mound of rice and water into a paste. Over the 2 weeks or so that this "pole-ramming" is taking place, wild yeasts and bacterias get into the Moto, and naturally develop lactic acid, which aids in fermentation. This process of pole-ramming is known as "Yama-Oroshi," or "breaking down the mountain."
Kimoto saké are known for their gamey, earthy, and funky qualities, and this one from Ishikawa Prefecture's Mioya Brewery is no exception. Notes of pickled mushroom, moss, and soy upfront mellow quickly into tea-like flavors of chamomile, bergamot, and walnut.
This is a profoundly complex sake in terms of production, and is only made more interesting by being aged four years in bottle at the brewery. Aging is not common in sake, but sometimes can be beneficial in more robust styles.
Enjoy exploring this saké at a range of temperatures, anywhere from ice cold to slightly warmed. Pour it into a wine glass or goblet to experience all the aromas it has to offer.
For a magnificent pairing, try it with roasted pepper, beef, and soft ripened cheeses.
Tozai Night Swim
Tozai is a saké brand made by Kyoto's Kizakura brewery, an inventive brewer focused on bridging the gap between east and west and making saké that is fun, approachable, and delicious.
Night Swm is the first "one cup" style saké from Tozai, and the first one we have seen to use the U.S. style can top rather than the cumbersome pop tops that are the standard. This simply makes it even more convenient, and less wasteful. But how about the contents of the can?
This is a crisp, vibrant, and fruity Futsu which drinks like a saké with a much higher rice milling ratio. Undeniably refreshing notes of banana, baked pear and caramelized pineapple with hints of orange and mint.
Drink this one from the can, no need for fancy glassware!