Our Friends over at the Akita Sake Connoisseurs’ Club hosted another gathering to celebrate summer and to celebrate some awesome Akita Sake. Thanks to their efforts, Akita sakes are getting even more props in New York.
One of the wonderful parts of this event was the fantastic kimono worn by the hosts which added to the festive atmosphere.
Another fun aspect of the summer Akita tasting was of course some exposure to Akita breweries new to New York. There were some real stand outs – but one in particular: Kimura Brewery
Why not cut to the chase? Kimura offered my favorite brew of the evening, Fukukomachi Daiginjo (Kimura Brewery, ALC: 16.5, SMV: +2.5, Acidity: 0.9, Seimaibuai: 40%, Rice: Yamada Nishiki). This delicious brew offered, in my opinion, everything that is good about Nihonshu. It was very smooth drinking. The low SMV and low acidity placed it more on more of a neutral horizon, but neutral can be just as delicious as any sake out there. Being a Daiginjo vs a Junmai Daiginjo give this sake a “little something extra”. It was clean, yummy and simply Perfection!
Another standout to me was Akitabare Shunsetsu Honjozo Nama (Akita Shuzo, SMV: +2 ). This was a terrific sake and a terrific example of watching my tastes evolve over time. Last year I found this sake a challenge, but this year I see it as smooth and delicious. This World Sake Imports brew retained it’s sharp finish, but I enjoyed it all the same. I found this to be a wonderful and unique Honjozo Nama.
Another Honjozo that caught my palate was again back at the Kimura Brewery table. This time, I was enchanted by their Tsukiyo Tokubetsu Honjozo (Kimura Brewery, Akita Prefecture). This sake had a mild nose and a full, round flavor. Consistent with the honjozos i’ve tried, Tsukiyo also had a touch of full alcohol flavor at the finish.
Finally, what discussion of Akita Sake gems would be complete without a word about the great Yuki no Bosha Akita Komachi Daiginjo (Saiya Brewery, Rice: Akita Komachi, Seimaibuai: 35%, Nihonshudo: +2.0, Acidity: 1.5). This sake, imported by Joto Sake, is not overly fragrant for it’s category, but rather has a nose that is filled with mild fruit aromas that I find to be “just right”. The overall flavor across the palate is full and rich, yet balanced. I noted a small but not unpleasant bitter note at the finish that provided balance.
This Akita Sake Connoisseurs’ Club event has been one of the best events yet in this group’s efforts to promote the fantastic sake and culture of Akita Prefecture. Events such as this are a true benefit of life in New York City and my thanks go out to the organizers for their hard work to bring this sake to our City. I’m looking forward to Akita’s next visit to the Big Apple.