Friday, May 11, 2007

Reviews of Sake

The following is a compilation of old reviews I have done on Sake.

Hakushika Junmai Ginjo: This is usually found in 300ml bottles and costs about $9. That is a usual price for sake, if not even a little lower. For $27, you would get 900ml of sake vs the usual sized 750ml bottle which often costs $30+. This sake can be found in many stores and I often purchase mine at the Wine Shop in Reading. It is a very smooth and clean tasting chilled sake. Would be a good introduction for someone to the world of chilled sakes.

Horin Gekkeikan Junmai Daiginjo: Gekkeikan makes other sakes and most of them I do not like. Their cheapest brand is sold in most liquor/wines stores and is not recommended for anyone. But, with the Horin ($28), they excel! First, the sake is presented well in an interesting shaped bottle with a resuable cork. It also comes in a black box with kanji upon it. Thus, it would make a nice gift. The sake is superb! It is a very high quality drink, smooth, with a nice taste of rice and other flavors. A sake that would be appreciated by any sake aficionado.

Trader Joe's Sake: A good Junmai Ginjo sake can easily run $25+. But, I have found a very inexpensive sake that actually is very tasty. Trader Joe's sells its own brand of sake, a Junmai Ginjo sake in a 720ml bottle. The label states it is Medium Dry, soft and smooth. It was produced and bottled by Oimatsu Shuzo Co., Ltd. in Hita, Oita, Japan. It comes in a cool-looking blue bottle. And it sells for an amazing $9.99. This sake has a define smell of rice on the nose, and is smooth on the palate with a fairly long finish. There is also alot of flavor on the tongue, all of it pleasant. It is intended to be served slightly chilled, not warmed. For the price, this is a fantastic value, a definite Drink/Buy. For the price, it is also worth buying if you want to taste chilled sake for the first time.

Yuki No Bosha limited edition Junmai Ginjo: This sake (whose named translates as “Cabin in the Snow"), because of its rice polishing rate, should qualify as a Dai Ginjo (the highest ranking) yet the brewery released it as only a Ginjo. They do sell 3 different Daiginjos. This was an intriguing sake, with a sweeter taste than many, though the sweetness was more subtle rather than in your face. There are also numerous fruit flavors on the palate, such as peach and banana. It is a very smooth and soft sake, with no harshness at all. I very much enjoyed this sake, and even at $36, I would Drink & Buy this. I do have several other bottles stored away so look forward to more happy sake drinking.

Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo: This was a superb sake, very smooth and refreshing. One of the better sakes I have had. But, it is a bit pricey at $26 for a 300 ml bottle.

Setsugetsubijin Junmai Ginjo: This was a good sake ($19), a clean and smooth taste. It had some subdued fruit flavors and only a touch of rice flavor. It was not an exceptional sake though, but at the price it is still a good value. Drink & Buy.

Fudo Myoo Junmai Ginjo: This sake (375 ml for $5) was made in Forest Grove, Oregon. I was unable to find any information on a Fudo Myoo sake brewery there but there is the Sake One brewery. They might actually make this sake though it is not listed on their website. Sake One does make the Momokawa sake brand. As for its taste, I was pleasantly delighted with it. Smmoth, clean, crisp and with more exotic fruit flavors, including a touch of banana. There was alot of complexity in this sake, and at a phenomenal price. For a Junmai Ginjo, you won't find it any cheaper. And this is a superb value. You get a taste that would be appropriate for a sake of a much higher price. Highly recommended!! Definite Drink & Buy!


Jack said...

Why is the cheapest form of Gekkeikan Sake not worthy for anyone? Why do they make it then? Is it for 80 year old WWII vets? I had never had Sake before the other night and I was walking in the wine section looking for a wine with a high alcohol content so I got a picked this generic Gekkeikan Sake and saw that it was 15.6% so I immediately chose and walked up and paid for it. The girl who rang me up said she had sake once and that it was too hot and that it tasted like rubbing alcohol so I thought about putting it back after she said that but I went ahead and after I got home I took a sip out of the bottle thinking it would be like Champagne or Chardonnay since its transparent, (im used to redwine at the alc content %) but it tasted exactly like rubbing alcohol. I then decided to mix it with orange juice and it hits hard, its kind of brain numbing. It must be the fermentation or something because this is almost half as strong as your average hard liquor. Anyways I read up on it today and Sake is better for you and promotes a logner life expectancy. It kills cancer cells everywhere and is the only form of alcohol with amino acids which everyone knows is like gold, (not gold schlagger!). It also has no acidity so theres no acid reflux and theres no hangovers and theres no sulfites for those who get headaches from OJ. It is recommended by the Advanced Age Research Institute of Japan that people consume TWELVE OUNCES PER DAY! in order to see lifetime benefits. And the average japanese person is small so most caucasions should probably stick the the cheap generic Gekkeikan which is 5.99 for a 750ML bottle. Thats the only way to afford the daily recommended dose. This stuff is like that coral calcium they found in the coral reefs of Japan, people have been living off stuff like this for generations over there. Its amazing that something that tastes so bad is actually good for you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack,

Did you heat the Gekkeikan? That is what low grade or cheap sake is make for. When you warm it the alcohol is less in your face. For the higher grade sakes you shouldn't heat them because it kills the more nuanced flavors. Hope that helps. If you haven't tried it warm then microwave it till its warm (not too hot and definitely not boiling) and it should be better.

Anonymous said...

Don't ever microwave sake. If you don't have a sake set then boil a pot of water, remove from heat source, and set the bottle in the hot water for 5+ minutes. Good stuff