The history of sake making in Japan can go back 2,000 years, and the oldest breweries that exist today might be 500 years old or older. Throughout these years, the technology and techniques of brewing have evolved and new trends and favorites have been created. With the June Sake Box, we present to you what we consider trendsetters, both old and new.
With this month’s Sake Box including an assortment of sake from some of Japan’s trendsetting breweries, we want to provide you the chance to get to know the wonderful brewers behind these sake! For each bottle, we’ve provided a video highlighting the history of the brewery, words from some of the brewers themselves and a virtual tasting with our very own sake expert, Sachiko. She gives some delectable food pairings for each sake along with some of her sake wisdom. Sip along while learning about the wonderful world of sake!
The very fine sediments in this bottle are hand pressed, keeping a very fine texture. True to the regional style it finishes dry, and is incredibly food friendly. They’ve not submitted this to any competitions—this is a product they created to please the locals, with a bit of nostalgia towards doburoku, a more ancient brew. Recommended in a guinomi, a slightly larger ceramic cup to slow down your meal and to savor every sip.
Dewazakura “Oka” Cherry Bouquet debuted in 1980 and quickly became a fan favorite product instigating the ginjo boom in Japan. Delicate floral notes reminiscent of cherry blossom petals and clean nose of fresh cold climate mineral water is refreshing to your soul. Needless to say it’s won multiple trophies and grand prix accolades internationally and continues to grace us with their iconic label and everlasting flavor.
Senkin “Classic” Kamenoo is the more mature expression of the heirloom rice, compared to the Senkin “Modern” Kamenoo. With juicy, ripe stone fruit acidity, some cocoa nib notes that support the structure and a comforting calmness to the aftertaste, you wouldn’t guess it’s still purely made of rice, water, yeast and koji. They recommend this slightly chilled in a Bordeaux wine glass, or warmed up in a ceramic ochoko.
Kikumasamune Brewing Company’s fresh new product uses their own Kikumasa HA14 sake yeast. This special proprietary yeast produces high levels of ethyl caproate esters with green apple aroma, what sake geeks call “kapukapu.” They’ve defied the trend though by achieving this fresh aroma with their signature dry bold junmai. With some cedar notes and a mineral umami to add to the complexity—it’s a new experience for even sake geeks.
This locally loved sake will easily become a regular in your selection. The nose is like a rice field during harvest—calm, clean and magical. The flavor consists of balanced rice sweetness with some white and black pepper spice hidden in it. After the initial flavor sinks in, a refreshing umami lingers on the tongue. A sensational drink from the first sip to the last drop that deserves to be shared.
Omachi, the oldest heirloom rice strain is known for its layered, deep umami flavor. This sake represents the heart and soul of an Omachist, a cult following of Omachi sake rice lovers like no other. Sustainably produced with Omachi from the best plot possible and their local, cooler water source, you might be surprised at the spearmint nose, fruity, floral and peppery notes of this phantom sake.