If you like Japanese food and also like alcohol drinks, you must have tried Japanese Sake in the past. There are many kinds of Japanese sake available but you may not have found Sake which suit your taste perfectly. The Sake I am introducing this time are very authentic and excellent ones. Each of them could be your favorite Sake!
#1. Dassai 獺祭 – Yamaguchi
Photo Credit: Dassai
Dassai is one of the most polished sakes in Japan. This sake has been milled to 23%. It means that outer 77% of rice used in making the sake has been milled away. Asahi Shuzo is the producer of Dassai. The company used to produce cheap table sake only and around 20 yeas ago the company was facing financial problem due to the decrease of the sales. At that time, the president of the company decided to do something very new and tried to break the lowest milling rate in the market and developed Dassai. With its super smooth and clear taste, Dassai became the top brand of Japanese sake and saved the company.
#2. Juyondai 十四代 – Yamagata
Photo Credit: Jun OHWADA@flickr.com
Juyondai is produced by Takagi Shuzo, which was established 1915. The long history reflects its name “” since it means “14th generation”. Actually the owner of the company is now 15th generation but the name became too famous to change it. The production quantities of Juyondai are limited and the demand is very high. If you see Juyondai on the drinks menu or liquor shops, you must order or buy it immediately. The taste of the Juyondai is fruity and very easy to drink.
#3. Nabeshima 鍋島 – Saga
Photo Credit: sakatomo.jp
Nabeshima, produced by Fukuchiyo Shuzo brewery in Saga prefecture, is another hard-to find sake. It wins the top award at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) and it is highly evaluated not only in Japan but worldwide. The taste of Nabeshima is marked by tropical fruits, and a very present umami. The palate is rich and juicy.
#4. Isojiman 磯自慢 – Shizuoka
Photo Credit: kisachan.at.webry.info
Isojiman brewery in Shizuoka has been winning gold medals at the international competitions and the name is becoming popular worldwide. Also Isojiman got spotlight when it was selected as the sake served at the G8 meeting in Hokkaido in 2008. The Isojiman Brewery has been evaluated as the sake producer which is making elegant, well balanced sake. Many kinds of sake produced in Shizuoka prefecture is smooth and very easy to drink but Isojiman stands out among them.
#5. Hakkaisan 八海山 – Niigata
Photo Credit: hakkaisan.co.jp
Hakkaisan Brewery was founded in 1922 and it is located at the foot of Mount Hakkai in Niigata prefecture which is well known as the place where high quality rice is produced. The clean spring water comes from the mountain is used to produce Hakkaisan sake. With its great flavors and wonderful taste, the sake has very loyal fans. In order to keep the great taste, the brewery produces in small batches, using hand-made koji and slow fermentation at low temperatures which takes more time than regular sake
#6. Kubota Manju 久保田萬寿 – Niigata
Photo Credit: 168sushi.com
Kubota is also in Niigata prefecture and by using 100% rice harvested in Niigata, it maintains its nice and dry flavor. This sake is brewed using the old and traditional method and the flavor reflects the sake craftsman’s effort, knowledge and experiences. The “Manju” is the premium brand of Kubota’s sake. Although it is very drinkable, it has elegant aroma, sophisticated taste. It perfectly matches with sushi and sashimi dishes.
#7. Kokuryu 黒龍 – Fukui
Photo Credit: pati-o.com
Sake made from soft water or mineral-rich hard water. Among the soft-water sake, Kokuryu is known as the best sake made from soft-water. The soft water comes from the “Kuzuryugawa” which means Nine-Headed Dragon River, famed since ancient times for its delicious taste. The original brewery of Kokuryu was funded in 1804 and the descendants of the founder have been making sake there since then. Kokukryu has strong and deep flavor, but it does not lead to the lack of clarity. It is not easy to accomplish rich flavor and delicate balance together but Kokuryu achieves this with their high skill of production.