Three Unique Sakes

Three Unique Sakes

Today was the sake tasting that I call “a walk on the wild side” of sake. We tasted 3 super funky brews that will surely widen your view of what sake can taste like!

Beyond the standard brews, there are may alternate production methods that offer unusual tastes and unique flavors!

Today I talked to the class about unique yamahai and kimono sakes, which use a natural yeast starter to gain a funky edge; Sparkling sakes that surprise the palate and Koshu sakes, which are naturally aged and a study in richness.

Karen Coy Junmai

Karen Coy Junmai

Sakes we tasted:

These what we could call ‘fringe’ style sakes engendered a fair amount of discussion. I heard some absolutely loved the bold, rich sherry-like Koshu, but some found it challenging. It was the same story for the tokimeki sparkling and sweet, low alcohol Karen Coy.

Actually, I was happy to hear this because one of my main goals in this series of seminars was to encourage guests to develop their own sake palate. Tasting some more unique flavors such as these really helps people zero in on those tastes, flavors and textures that appeal to each person individually.

Mariner Formal Night

Mariner Formal Night

The fun an interest of today didn’t end at the end of the sake seminar either… Tonight was also one of the ship’s “formal” nights. This meant that after 6pm tuxedos or dark suits are required for gentlemen. Now, this wasn’t something we usually do, but it was fun to get all dressed up and head out for drinks and dinner. The Seven Seas Mariner has four restaurants and two cocktail lounges so there is aways a place to go.

Scott and I started the evening at the “Horizon Lounge” which is located on the aft section of the boat, deck 6. It has a great view of the churning water that the powerful engines produced as the Mariner powered through the water. Horizon had a dance floor and stage and often had live music for cocktails.

By far our favorite music on the ship was the Natural Rhythm Trio. They were three guys who respectively played bass, rhythm guitar and lead guitar each taking turns singing. They were all great, but the bass player had a really amazing voice and we enjoyed their performances a lot. They played lots of classics and standards and one song we heard often was My Funny Valentine.

Moving on to our formal night dinner, Scott and I dined at Prime 7, which as the Mariner’s top notch surf and turf restaurant. As we recently left Alaska, I went for Surf and was rewarded with TWO pounds of the most delicious king crab legs I’d ever had in my life. Life is good!

Tomorrow will find us sailing the Sea of Okhtsk (try saying that three times fast) and will also be my final sake seminar before landing in Japan!! We’re almost there!!

Natural Rhythm Trio

Natural Rhythm Trio


  1. Profile photo of Timothy Sullivan
    Timothy Sullivan

    October 5, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you!! I did have SO much fun teaching the guests about Nihonshu before they arrived in japan. We had such fun together and many guests attended ALL the classes!! Kanpai!

  2. Hiroko

    October 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Scott san & you look great in tuxedos! Sounds like you are having great time teaching sake in the ship. By now, your students are expert on sake! They now know what to drink and how to order sake in Japan. Great job!

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