Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/11/09: Akita Saké Tasting Event

This was the ninth installation of the Akita Saké Tasting Event. As usual, the place was packed.

One of the guest saké was the perfect opener...

I was very pleased to see Misato by Hinomaru Jozo, the saké I remember fondly from the Sixth edition of the tasting.

Kirishima-san from Joto Saké holding Akita Komachi Daiginjo, one of their top selections.

This bottle caught my attention. Sendai Bozu is made from the rice of the same namesake polished down to 50%. Evidently, it's a junmai ginjo genshu using a rice strain discovered in Miyagi prefecture in 1955. Today, its cultivation is limited to a section of one farm in the city of Odaté in Akita. The flavor expands quickly with depth, and it's a type of saké that might serve well lightly heated.

Next saké was highly controversial. Aged in barrel used to age Ay Grand Cru Champagne, chene d'argonne was a complex saké that didn't taste like saké due to its flavors that include green apples, vanilla, and spices. It's a very well-crafted saké, but far from what we're used to... for better or for worse.

No saké brought bigger smile to my face than seeing Hakuun Yuu Yuu Junmai Daiginjo by Asamai Shuzo, famous for their Ama No To label. Why the big grin? Because it brought me back to this time and place.

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