Wednesday, October 14, 2009

9/24/09: Scenes from The Joy of Saké 2009

Like last year, the Joy of Saké was held at Webster Hall.

Although the turn out was smaller in the beginning, the crowds began to pick up about one hour into the event.

The first bottle I found was Shichi Hon Yari Junmai, one of my favorites.

"Matsu Kura" by Dewazakura, was one of the standouts early on for its outstanding texture and balanced flavor.

Modorikawa made this interesting bottle, aged in snow, although I am not sure how I feel about wine-inspired bottle...

Right by Niigata Saké Selection was Beau Timkin of True Saké, America's first saké store. He was kind enough to present me with an autographed book he authored, "Saké, Modern Guide."

On the second floor, where the lights got funkier, I bumped into Kuji-san from Nanbu Bijin. He is holding his Daiginjo that was on display.

Right next to Nanbu Bijin was Akitabaré "Sui Raku Ten" Daiginjo, which was the first saké that got me addicted to the "water from heavens."

Sakura Masamuné was not hard to spot, as the 1800 ml towered over other 720 ml bottles.

Next bottle on my radar was another Akita saké, Manabito Junmai Ginjo by Hinomaru Shuzo.

One saké really stood out from the evening, in the form of Yuki No Bosha "Hiden" Yamahai Junmai Ginjo, which was flawless. Only if this bottle was available in the US... (hint, hint, Henry!)

ASPEC wsa very active as usual, holding their booth and inviting some of their brewers. Here is Suzuki-san fron Suzuki Brewery, maker of "Hideyoshi" label.

Next to him was Ito-san from Akita Seishu, famous for their "Dewatsuru" label.

Moving right along, I came across Ohi-san from Tenju Brewery and his award winning Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjo.

Another familiar face was next to Ohi-san, none other than Sato-san from aforementioned Hinomaru Jozo.

One of the good thing about events like this is the chance to try rareties like "Juhachidai Ihei" Junmai Ginjo Shizuku saké from accomplished producer Okunomatsu.

On the third floor, I came across Tenju Junmai made from Miyamanishiki rice.

Also in the area was Shichiken Brewery, which made my memory flood back to the good old days as well.

Lastly, I found Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai hiding on the third floor. According to Kuji-san, the batch I helped poison brew was a Tokubetsu Junmai. I certainly was glad to see it on display despite my involvement!

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