The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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Page 61 of 100

{ }  61 Step 1: Consume oyster. Step 2: Fill shell with saké. Step 3: Slurp. Step 4: Repeat. Hoang's Four-Step Guide to Shooting Saké Robert John Burck, aka The Naked Cowboy, proudly represents the oyster that bears his name. ➊ Kumamoto, Washington State Deep cupped, sweet and fruity; finishes with a light brininess. ➋ Kusshi, British Columbia Small and delicate, these oysters are pillowy soft and bright, with ultra- clean flavor and a buttery, creamy palate. ➌ Fat Bastard, Washington State This gigantic Malpeque is very clean and briny, with a large, deep shell perfect for sipping saké. ➍ Hurricane Island, British Columbia They have a slight salinity, crisp flavor, and a delicate seaweed finish. ➎ Naked Cowboy, New York State Strongly mineral, a touch iodine, and beautifully briny. ➏ Sweet Petite, Massachusetts Delicious, and very, very briny. ➐ Sweetwater, California Refreshingly sweet, pleasantly briny, black shelled, and beautifully shaped. ➊ ➋ ➌ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➍ Takatenjin "Sword of the Sun" Honjozo, Shizuoka, Japan Lean and light with delicious honeydew and melon notes. Dewatsuru Sakura Emaki "Cherry Blossom," Akita, Japan The only true rosé saké in the world, made from a strain of purple rice. A beautifully lush and well-balanced saké. Tentaka Kuni "Hawk in the Heavens" Junmai, Tochigi, Japan Rustic, robust and beautiful at room temp, this is a whiskey drinker's saké, boasting tremendous depth and complexity. Fukucho "Moon on the Water" Junmai Ginjo, Hiroshima, Japan Elegantly soft and gorgeously aromatic, brewed by one of the smallest artisanal breweries in Japan and by one of the few female tojis (master brewers), Miho Imada, who is very famous in the saké community. Rihaku "Dreamy Clouds" Junmai Nigori, Shimane, Japan Rihaku is a tremendously well-known brand both in Japan and the U.S.; this is a "usu nigori" or light unfiltered. They leave minimal rice solids in this nigori so you can still taste the flavor of the saké. Takatenjin "Soul of the SenseI" Junmai Daiginjo, Shizuoka, Japan Ultra-premium saké with 50% of the rice grain polished away; tremen- dously soft with beautiful depth, lots of honeydew and melon notes; very bright with a long lingering finish Shichi Hon Yari "Seven Spearsmen" Junmai Daiginjo from Shiga, Japan This saké is from a very small prefecture and is made by the Tomita family, who has been making saké here for 16 generations, since 1541. The family has four brewers who work for them and produce a very limited amount of saké. Their sakes are drip pressed, in the Shizuku method, and are very complex, with subtle earth and citrus notes. Special thanks to Young's Market Company for the saké represented at this tasting. Kris Elliott, Saké Specialist for Young's Market Company, guided us through the intri- cate and delightful world of saké.

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