How do I know?
Well it's not the cold weather, or the snow, or even the Christmas decorations that are already going up in department stores.
My sign came through the store doors in two sizes, 1.8L and 720ml!
That's right I'm talking about the Winter brew, "Shiboritatte (fresh pressed) Sake"!!!
Riding in on the snow here in Hokkaido, we received our first Shiboritatte of the year.
I present to you:
On the nose: When I first opened the bottle and poured this sake, the nose was huge, with tons of rice, and very sharp. As I let it sit in the glass a little the nose opened up and became more complex, with rich fruit aromas and good depth. Overall very fresh with hints of yeast. The high alcohol came through on the nose a little when chilled, but mellowed as the temperature rose sitting in the glass.
On the palate: Very clean; lots of full bodied fruit and rice flavors. Slight fruity sweetness was balanced beautifully against a dry body with crisp acidity, and a bite from the alcohol on the finish. The finish was crisp and clean. As the sake sat in the glass and warmed a little the acidity mellowed out and the alcohol became almost invisible.
- This is a Genshu sake (Undiluted sake), so be careful of the high alcohol content.
- This is a nama (unpasteurized or raw) sake so keep this one in the fridge.
- Being Shimeharitsuru this is a Niigata prefecture sake, although, in my opinion, this sake does not fall into the traditional Niigata style (light and dry), as it has a full body and a good amount of flavor.
- Despite the polish rate of 60%, Shimeharitsuru Shiboritatte is in fact a Futsu-shu. This is due in part to the kind of rice they are using and the amount of alchohol that was added to the Moromi (main mash/fermentation). Although it is classified as Futsu-shu there is nothing Futsu about this sake.
- This is only the first Shiboritatte sake to come in, so look forward to plenty more to come, as well as a turn over to this year’s sakes.
On a final note, I will be heading off to brew sake with Daishinshu for a week starting this Monday the 16th through the 23rd. Both my camera and my computer will be in tow, so look forward to a week of behind the scenes sake making.
See you all next week!
Meishu no Yutaka Staff