Mall+Discount= Sake?? Boston Part I

Welcome to Mall DiscountUrbanSake.com hits the road! This past weekend Scott and I took a weekend trip to Boston to visit with my sister Maddie. This was the perfect opportunity to see what was happening in Beantown in regards to all things sake.

So, here’s part I of what I saw on my little peek into the Boston underground sake scene…. a sake retailer.

Word on the street was that “Mall Discount Liquors & Wines” (202 Alewife Brook Pkwy Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 864-7171 ) had a big sake selection for Boston standards, so off we went! From the outside, ‘Mall Discount’ lived up to it’s name.

Mall discount sake selectionStrip mall? check. Discounted Condition? check.
Once inside, Mall Discount turned more into “Cave Discount”.

The place was dark and a little cavernous with endless racks of wine and booze crammed close together into the large space. I had to wander around for a little while before Vic spotted the sake shelf. I have to say I was surprised with the number of sakes for sake. they did have an above average collection!

The offering was better than many run of the mill liquor stores in NYC.

TozaiUpon closer inspection I quickly noticed that quite a few of the sakes were either American made brands or Ozeki. To their credit, they did have many imported sakes.

I picked up three sakes I had never had tried… Tozai “well of wisdom”,Hakushika “fresh and light” and Hakutsuru.

When I was checking out, the clerk seemed amused to see me buying only sake. She took one look at the Hakutsuru bottle with the super cute sake-as-lid design and said admiringly “those Japanese are so Smaaart.” She also told me there was an amazing sake they sold for only $6.99 – it was the one in the green bottle. Well, There were a lot of green bottles in the sake aisle, so I just had to leave the follow up on exactly what she meant for another trip to Boston.

HakutsuruAll in all Mall discount was an OK ersatz for new York supply. Let’s put it this way – better than I expected! My only concern would be freshness. None of the sake was refrigerated and a few bottles had sake tinged yellower than I’d like.

However, freshness was not a concern with the one Boston sake that I’ve tried so far, the Tozai. I bought this one particularly because I saw the bottling date was Nov 05. nice! This sake didn’t disappoint.

I found the taste to be pleasant and chewy without losing it’s refinement. The texture of this sake cries out for some food as an accompaniment.

HakushikaSipping the sake on it’s own left me wanting for something to nibble on. You know, a salt for it’s pepper, a yin for it’s yang… If you’re planning a hearty meal with friends, I’d recommend this sake for the table. It’s uncomplicated and solid.

In my next post I’ll review the sake I tasted at a Boston Japanese restaurant. Stay tuned for more sake from Boston…