On a beautiful early summer day, I took off from work and headed to a sake tasting hosted by the fine folks at Nishimoto Trading Co., a sake importer of some very fine sake. The event was up at the Bryant Park hotel but located downstairs at the beautiful cellar bar.
I started my rounds visiting the Kagatobi table and I was happy to see Mr. Yageta-san representing the Kagatobi Brewery. I first met Yageta-san back in February at a Sakaya tasting event. I was re-introduced to three standout sakes from Kagatobi! I first had the Kagatobi Cho Karakuchi Yamahai Junmai. This is their “super dry” selection. Kagatobi takes an even hand with what they call “super” dry – It’s noticeably dry for those who love it dry, but not overpowering for those who might not. This would also be an excellent sake to warm up! Next I tried The Kabatobi Junmai Ginjo, which is a really delightful sake. Very smooth and rich with a well balanced acidity, I really enjoyed this selection… so easy to drink! I also enjoyed the Kagatobi Ai Junmai Daiginjo. This sake was lighter than the Junmai Ginjo, but perhaps a bit smoother and a touch more elegant. Just as delicious. Kagatobi left me with the impression of wanting to learn more about this well crafted sake!
Next I caught up with Toshi Imai-san from Kamenoi Brewery, the makers of Kudoki Jozu, which I can easily say, has to be one of my very favorites! I first met Toshi-san back in 2006 at a Yamagata sake event. I was happy to sample the delicioso Kudoki Jozu Junmai Ginjo. Toshi-san also introduced me to two new sakes possibly coming into the U.S. this year. First, was a fantastic sparkling sake. What was different about this sake is that it’s not too sweet or heavily carbonated. I was clued into the secret… the sake on it’s own is so good, that you can still drink and enjoy even if the sake goes flat. Third, there was a unique red rice sake that had a deep color and unique taste. I’ve never had anything much like it before and I’ll be excited to see what you all think if it does get imported!
The Next sake I tried was a real find! We’re talking about something new here that will only be available starting this month! It’s Naraman Junmai Muroka Bin Hiire. This is really a special sake that I will look forward to trying again. It’s a Junmai Muroka with a flavor-forward palate and a bit higher than usual alcohol percentage. The taste was balanced with a surprising structure for a junmai. This sake gives you quite a good value for the money. Enjoy it warmed or chilled.
This Summer 2008 preview of the Nishimoto Sake selection was really fun! There were more sakes than I reported here, but even Sake Samurai have their limits. I hope to see more Nishimoto imported sakes at future events and it’s a great way to kick start summer. Kanpai!