Episode 85 Show Notes
Episode 85. The holidays are here and gift giving is high on the to-do list for a lot of us. One thing that we love to give and receive is, of course, a bottle of sake. But before you pull the trigger there are a number of considerations when giving sake. John and Timothy discuss what types of sake work well for what occasions and how you can dress up a bottle of sake with a stylish “furoshiki” or include a sake cup or carafe along with the bottle. Not sure if your friend is a friend of sake? Reach for our “Crowd Pleaser” sake recommendation which will warm the heart of even the most grinchy-est grinch on your holiday list. A sake with a unique production method or high end design to the packaging is excellent for your recipients who already love sake and will help them dive deeper into their new hobby. So, whether the folks on your list have been naughty or nice, a gift of premium sake is sure to fit the bill!
Skip to: 00:19
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy
Skip to: 01:59
How do you pick the perfect sake? decide if the recipient is a sake beginner or more advanced. Also, if they have a favorite brand or style that is something great to build off of. A great addition to sake as a gift is including a sake cup or sake set to go along with it.
Brewery: Nagai Shuzo
Rice Type: Yamadanishiki
Brand: Mizubasho/Mizbasho (水芭蕉)
Where to Buy?
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.
Hakkaisan “Yuki Muro” 3 Year Snow Aged Junmai Daiginjo*
Classification: Junmai Daiginjo, Koshu
Brewery: Hakkaisan Sake Brewery
Rice Type: Gohyakumangoku, Yamadanishiki, Yukinosei
Brand: Hakkaisan (八海山)
Sake Name English: Eight Peaks
Importer: Mutual Trading (USA)
Where to Buy?
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.
Please note: Timothy works as the Brand Ambassador for Hakkaisan Sake Brewery.
Please see our Ethics Statement for more information.
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Episode 85 Transcript
John Puma: 0:22
everybody. And welcome to Sake Revolution. This is America’s first sake podcast. I’m your host, John Puma from the Sake Notes. Also the admin at the internet sake discord, and the guy on the show, who’s the sake nerd. I’m the, uh, yeah, the guy who drinks the sake.
Timothy Sullivan: 0:40
And I am your host, Timothy Sullivan. I am a Sake Samurai a sake educator, as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And every week, John and I will be here tasting and also chatting about all things sake and doing our best to make it fun and easy to understand.
John Puma: 1:00
Timothy Sullivan: 1:01
Yes. Well, John, it is the holiday season.
John Puma: 1:06
yeah, it is. Um, I’m, um, I’m getting through,
Timothy Sullivan: 1:10
Are you feeling the holiday stress?
John Puma: 1:12
You know, a non 0% portion of my day involves wrapping things. So, you know, things are moving, things are happening or we’re getting there.
Timothy Sullivan: 1:23
Okay. So you are, are you done with your holiday shopping or is that
John Puma: 1:28
No, no, no. Is, is anyone truly done with their holiday shopping. I feel like I always end up in this situation where I, I kinda think I have it all figured out and then I realized I forgot someone or, or I find something else that catches my eye. That’s like, oh, why can’t I have to get them this, uh, things like that. And so the fact that that happens with alarming regularity stress.
Timothy Sullivan: 1:59
That goes hand in hand with the holidays, for sure. but this is the season of gift giving people need to think about this. And I was thinking maybe we should talk about sake as a gift. Is it a good idea or bad idea? Have you done it? All that stuff?
John Puma: 2:19
uh, all right. Okay. Okay. Well, I’ve, I have both received sake as a gift, and I given sake as a gift. So I’ve, I’ve got a little bit of experience with
Timothy Sullivan: 2:30
Okay, so we can have a well-rounded conversation about this.
John Puma: 2:35
How about you? You, you often give sake. You’re often receive sake.
Timothy Sullivan: 2:39
I get both. I’ve actually had people that know me say, I’m afraid to give you sake because you’re the sake expert and I don’t want to get the wrong thing or buy the wrong sake that might insult you. So, you know, I don’t get a lot of sake given to me as a gift, but I often give sake. as a gift. Yeah.
John Puma: 3:05
I too have encountered the, oh, you’re the sake guy. I don’t know what to get you, you know, kind of thing. And they don’t want to make you, uh, you know, they don’t want to, they don’t know offend and there you go. That’s nice. But at the same time, I feel like it’s hard to, uh, hard to offend me with sake.
Timothy Sullivan: 3:20
That’s true. Not impossible but Yeah. So, let’s talk about giving sake first, because I think that. I do that a lot for sure. And what, type of, occasions do you think are good for giving sake as a gift?
John Puma: 3:43
Uh, honestly, I I’ve, I’ve mostly done sake gift giving for Christmas.
Timothy Sullivan: 3:48
John Puma: 3:49
Yeah. So this is very appropriate.
Timothy Sullivan: 3:52
I would say I’m much more of a birthday sake giver. So, if friends of mine who are not into sake, Their birthday. I often think that sake makes an excellent gift, but I’m also worried that maybe it’s a little bit short-sighted on my part. That that’s my interest, my major hobby. And I assume that other people are going to love it as much, but maybe not. I don’t know. It’s, it’s hard.
John Puma: 4:21
so wait a minute. You’ll get people sake sight unseen for their birthdays, but not necessarily knowing if they’re into sake yet.
Timothy Sullivan: 4:32
Well, I wouldn’t get, I wouldn’t get a gift of sake for somebody if I didn’t know, they at least enjoyed it or they’ve asked me about it in the past. You never know. Somebody’s taste inside and out as much as you would know what you personally prefer. So do you get them that sure-fire beginner sake or something, a little more challenging or something, kind of pricey or something more accessible? There’s a lot of choices you have to make when you pick sake for somebody.
John Puma: 5:03
Yeah, what I like to do. If I know somebody well enough to, to know or sake that they’ve had and enjoyed. So I know like a particular brand that they, that they’ve had, I’ll go and buy something expensive from that brand. Because I feel like when it’s a gift, you want them, you want to give them something that they wouldn’t necessarily get for themselves. And sometimes people will like, not, you know, they don’t want to always pull the trigger on a really expensive bottle of sake. I don’t even like pulling the trigger for myself on a really expensive bottle of sake, but with a gift it’s, you know, it’s kinda like. Here you go. It’s like you did. It takes that, part of the equation out of the equation.
Timothy Sullivan: 5:45
I really liked that line of thinking, because it’s personalized in that way, you know, it’s not just, oh, I grabbed something off the shelf and this is for you, but it really has a story to it. You thought about it. And I think that’s good when I give somebody a bottle of sake for their birthday, you know, I like to say, oh, this sake is from such and such place. And they specialize in this. And I thought, you might really like this sake. You might really enjoy this. And I recommend you drink it, you know? Significant other out of a wine glass and have a great date night at home or something like that. And you kind of set the stage a little bit and I think that makes for a nice gift.
John Puma: 6:24
See, that’s also very, very thoughtful. Cause it’s like, you’re kind of envisioning what you’re going to have to do with it. And you’re really putting a lot into that and setting the scenario. So, yeah.
Timothy Sullivan: 6:34
What about bringing sake for a dinner party? If somebody invites you to their house for dinner, it’s customary to bring a gift for the people who are inviting you. And, you know, the classic is to bring a bottle of wine with you. Do you, in that situation, do you bring sake?
John Puma: 6:52
Absolutely. In fact, um, there are a lot of situations where if I don’t bring sake, people are disappointed either. They expect me to bring sake in those cases because it’s like, that’s some, yeah. I got the sake guy in your friend group. Your you’re kind of. It’s all on your shoulders, you know?
Timothy Sullivan: 7:08
Yeah. Yeah. I, I think the smaller, the dinner party, the more well it’s received, I’ve gone to some larger dinner parties and brought a bottle of sake. And sometimes the people I may not know as well, or kind of like don’t know what to do with it. And they’re kind of like, oh, Thank you. I think that’s definitely happened to me before.
John Puma: 7:31
Uh, I would be more concerned about the, bringing in, if it’s a larger party and a lot of people have brought wine at those larger parties, you don’t get to all the wine. Like a lot of that wine sits on the side and they drink it months and months later and the sake is there and they, again, they just, they don’t know what to do with it necessarily, you know, if it’s a smaller event, you’re bringing things that people are going to drink at the event. It’s a little bit more accessible. Cause then you can kind of guide that experience a little bit and you know, I’ll go, Hey, get your wine glasses. We’re going to pour this. This is from such and such location. It’s going to look for this blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, that kind of thing. And it puts you in a position where you can frame it, I guess, would be the right way to put it. You’re going to kind of. This is what the sake is. Whereas if it’s just lost in the shuffle, they’re gonna find it like six months later and like, oh, this bottle of sake that Tim brought, that’s been sitting, you know, on their counter.
Timothy Sullivan: 8:24
Yes. gathering dust.
John Puma: 8:26
Timothy Sullivan: 8:29
Now, what if I gave you the task of going out and buying a bottle of sake as a gift for somebody. What do you look for? Is it the costs, the bottle design, the packaging, or do you go only by flavor or maybe how much the recipient already knows about sake? what factors influence the sakes you picked as a gift?
John Puma: 8:57
Well, um, as I had mentioned earlier, I do like to, to pay attention to things that people have enjoyed or at least tasted, uh, in the past. And if I find something that they liked, I’m going to go for something from that same, uh, that same maker. Um, and again, something a little more pricey. I do like it when, uh, when a bottle comes in a box because that’s a little bit easier to wrap it’s, you know, you can sure you can take a bottle of sake and just puts a wrapping paper and a bow. But I think I ended up box is a little bit more presentable. Uh, and you know, I think that that’s like it makes for it. It shows better as a gift. I think. So I do look for that sort of thing if it’s possible, but my, my focus is always on. The taste experience, because that’s, you know, most of the time this is going to be about like, what if they enjoy it or not.
Timothy Sullivan: 9:50
Yeah, and there’s boxes. And then there’s boxes. Like you can get the cardboard boxes that are beautifully designed, but then if you go for the super high end sakes they come in these like wooden boxes. Have you you’ve seen that for sure. Right?
John Puma: 10:04
Timothy Sullivan: 10:05
yeah, that makes a big impression when you bring someone, this wooden box. And then
John Puma: 10:11
And then they open it up and it’s got like a, like a velvety, uh, cushion that it’s sitting on side the boxes, like, what is this?
Timothy Sullivan: 10:20
Exactly yeah. Well, Japanese culture, there’s a lot of stuff around gift giving. It’s a, it’s a big part of Japanese culture. So I think the packaging designers for a lot of sake breweries, keep that in mind and. I agree with you as well. That even just a simple cardboard box around the bottle just elevates everything a little bit and it makes it so easy to think of sake as a gift.
John Puma: 10:51
I think so, too. what about you? Do you think more about the bus? You think more about the flavor?
Timothy Sullivan: 10:56
you know, if I’m buying. sake for someone I don’t know as well. I’m definitely going to downshift on the complexity and craziness of the sake. I think there’s certain sakes that are more beginner friendly and more approachable. Maybe something really light and clean, or maybe one of our Yamagata style, lightly fruity sakes that are just kind of this joy to drink. Easy to drink, not complex. Not over-powering that style is really good to kind of ease someone into the sake world. So I would definitely have that in the back of my mind if I didn’t know the recipient, all that well, just give them something really approachable and really easy to enjoy. That would be something definitely on my mind.
John Puma: 11:47
So, so more of a crowd pleaser in that
Timothy Sullivan: 11:50
Exactly. That is exactly right. You know what? My other trick is John it’s like sake plus something. And I either, I either give people like sake in a nice reusable wine tote. Or I’ll give people a bottle of sake and then a little sake cup to go along with it, or little sake set that that really goes over well.
John Puma: 12:14
Yeah. All right. So it’s like, you know, here’s the sake and here’s some things you drink it out of. Yeah. It’s all right.
Timothy Sullivan: 12:20
Yes. And if they’re not crazy about the sake and they have the sake set.
John Puma: 12:26
do you ever do like a full set, like, you know, like the little like ceramic carafe with the, with the ochoko cup?
Timothy Sullivan: 12:32
I do I do. But I try to get something a little more interesting. There’s there’s a lot of those little sake sets out there, you know, on Amazon for $12 and they’re just not great quality. They don’t pour well. And I really like to get something a little bit more unique or I’d rather get someone like one really nice Ochoco instead of a cheap set. So I, I really want to find something unique. That’ll stand out.
John Puma: 13:00
You know, it’s funny. Um, almost every year for Christmas, my sister gets me a sake, a set of some kind.
Timothy Sullivan: 13:09
John Puma: 13:09
Like clockwork. Um, usually something really nice, usually like something that’s like restaurant quality or something I’ve even using a restaurant. And there’s this really nice, really, really well-made, uh, carafes and cups that go with them. And that’s very much in the, I don’t know what sake to get you. So here’s the thing to drink it out of. And they’re fantastic. I, every year they’re great. I love them every. So Jennifer, if you’re listening. Thank you.
Timothy Sullivan: 13:40
Thank you in advance for this year.
John Puma: 13:43
Well say you’re more of a historical. Thank you for the other ones.
Timothy Sullivan: 13:48
Yeah, it is. It is a great supplement to a bottle of sake, a nice little sake set or a sake cup. Fantastic. At one fun thing that I’ve done before in Japan, they have this tradition or this, uh, idea of. Gift-giving with furoshiki. Have you ever heard of furoshiki?
John Puma: 14:10
Sounds vaguely familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it.
Timothy Sullivan: 14:13
Furoshiki is a big rectangular cloth piece of fabric,
John Puma: 14:19
Timothy Sullivan: 14:20
and you basically can use it to tie it up in different ways and wrap things with what amounts to a reusable wrapping paper. So it’s the art of wrapping gifts in fabric. And they have special wrapping techniques for bottles. So you can give one bottle or two bottles, and then you use this beautiful large rectangle of fabric to wrap the bottle. And then that is part of the gift. And then when they give a gift, they can use the furoshiki and gift it further. So furoshiki is really an eco-friendly way of doing wrapping paper. And I loved to see that when I was in Japan.
John Puma: 14:57
Nice. That sounds pretty good.
Timothy Sullivan: 14:59
John Puma: 15:01
Uh, now I know that we’re talking about gift giving, but I think it would not be an episode of Sake Revolution. If we did not also taste and talk about some sake,
Timothy Sullivan: 15:12
Yes. And I think we picked a couple of sakes that we think would make good gifts. if anyone’s looking for a specific recommendations, we’ve got a couple that we’re going to taste today that really fill the bill.
John Puma: 15:30
And, uh, what would you like to start with them?
Timothy Sullivan: 15:33
So one of the sakes we’re going to taste is the Mizubasho Ginjo and this is from Nagai Shuzo. Out of Gunma prefecture. I think we did an episode on Gunma a while back, and we have tasted this one before, but I am excited to taste it again. This is a Ginjo classification, so not a Junmai, but a ginjo, as the alcohol added style and the alcohol percentages, 15.5%, the sake rice is Yamadanishiki milled to 50%. And this has an SMV of plus four.
John Puma: 16:13
Yeah. So it’s a tiny bit dry? Yeah. And, uh, this is a really good time to remind everybody that the alcohol added style, remember that does not mean they’re boozing it up to make it 18% alcohol. This is 15% alcohol. It’s a decision they’re making to accomplish things with the aroma and flavor that they’re looking to
Timothy Sullivan: 16:34
Good point sensei.
John Puma: 16:36
You know, every now and again, I like to remind people that while I do play the, the cohai here, I do. I kind of know a few things
Timothy Sullivan: 16:44
Absolutely. That is one of the sakes. And why do, are we featuring this Mizubasho Ginjo again?
John Puma: 16:51
I think this fits into that category of crowd-pleaser. It is easy drinking and light, it’s not overly complex. It’s very straightforward. At least that’s been my experience. How about you?
Timothy Sullivan: 17:05
I agree completely, but another factor is that it doesn’t break the bank.
John Puma: 17:10
Timothy Sullivan: 17:11
This is a great crowd pleaser for a great price. I think for the quality you’re getting, it’s a super, super good deal.
John Puma: 17:20
that’s an excellent point. Actually. You can please the crowd and please the wallet at the same time.
Timothy Sullivan: 17:27
this first sake, let’s get it open and get it in the glass.
John Puma: 17:32
Ooh, my favorite, uh, favorite words now I will tell people that this bottle ships in a plastic. Very crinkly plastic bag to protect it, uh, from UV rays. And we have gone ahead and taken that off prior to the show because the bag is extraordinarily loud.
Timothy Sullivan: 17:58
But it is good for gift giving because it’s pre wrapped in cellophane. So it’s a beautifully, uh, transparent in the glass. Let’s give it a smell.
John Puma: 18:11
so pleasant, light,
Timothy Sullivan: 18:15
John Puma: 18:17
very soft, a little bit of fruit it’s that, you know, is that, that suggestion of the melon is right there. You have a little bit of very, very subtle pineapple almost very light. Very nice. As, as the crowd, I am very pleased.
Timothy Sullivan: 18:34
The crowd pleaser is working. All right. Let’s give it a taste.
John Puma: 18:40
Hmm. Isn’t that just nice.
Timothy Sullivan: 18:42
Lovely as well.
John Puma: 18:44
Timothy Sullivan: 18:44
like a warm hug from a friend. So as you mentioned, this is an alcohol added sake. It’s not a Junmai style. This has a small amount of distilled alcohol added. And when they do that, I find it really does affect the texture of the sake. makes it more round and it coats the palate just a little bit more and it gives you. This whisper of richness that I think wouldn’t be there otherwise. And that makes this just so smooth to drink and rounds out all the edges and just makes it really lovely. And again, for the cost, it is a really good deal.
John Puma: 19:23
Yeah. I think in the last, last, order of sake, I put it and this was probably the least expensive full-sized bottle that I purchased.
Timothy Sullivan: 19:31
Yeah. And to give people a sense, is It like mid it’s, mid twenties, right. For a
John Puma: 19:35
It was, it was kind of low twenties.
Timothy Sullivan: 19:38
low twenties. Okay. Yeah. and prices will differ around the country for sure. But this will run you anywhere between 21 to $25, I think.
John Puma: 19:49
Timothy Sullivan: 19:50
And for the, for the quality 50% milled Yamada Nishiki that’s, that’s a great price.
John Puma: 19:58
And, and a lot of, I think, broad appeal on this. So that’s a great factor as well.
Timothy Sullivan: 20:05
Let’s talk about the label for a second too. This has a very unique label,
John Puma: 20:10
it’s instead of the, the, the typical rectangular label that you see on a bottle of sake, this one is actually a triangle, which the way it sits on the bottle is kind of like a pyramid.
Timothy Sullivan: 20:21
yeah, it’s very unique, very eye-catching and kind of points up towards the. It’s got some lovely Japanese writing on the label and it has a silver foil logo. So it’s got a lot going for it in its presentation.
John Puma: 20:38
Timothy Sullivan: 20:41
Yeah. And I like what it, what it says on the back label, it says always served chilled and in a wine glass for the best drinking expenses. And that type of direction on the back label, I think is really good. for this kind of sake. If I received it as a gift and I saw that I’d be like, oh, chilled in a wineglass. Sounds perfect. So it’s just enough direction to the person who may not have as much experience with sake to get them pointed in the right direction. Right.
John Puma: 21:08
Yeah, I think this is perfect. that kind of thing is we don’t see that on sake labels do we very often. Very rarely do we see some sort of like, I see like suggested temperatures probably I’ve ever seen apart from this bottle. Oh, Hey, grab your wine glass.
Timothy Sullivan: 21:26
John Puma: 21:26
but wait, there’s more, we have a second bottle that I think goes on the other end of the, of the equation where it is a very beautiful bottle. It comes in a box. It comes in a box. This one, and that’s. One of the exciting things for me about giving this one as a gift. it is the Hakkaisan Yuki Muro, three years, snow aged Junmai Daiginjo Tim. You’ve heard of this one, right?
Timothy Sullivan: 21:58
Okay. Full disclosure, everybody. This brand is Hakkaisan, and I am the brand ambassador for Hakkaisan. And So this is a, is a sake that I represent in my professional life, but I just wanted to bring it along for this gift-giving episode because. It is such a great sake to give as a gift. =And we’ll talk about why, but John, why don’t you, give us the stats for the Yuki Muro Junmai Daiginjo first.
John Puma: 22:29
I would love to. So, uh, Timothy pointed out, this Is from the Hakkaisan Sake Brewery and that is in Niigata. The rice that’s being used here is actually, there’s actually three or rices that are coming to the party here. Uh, gohyakumangoku, yamdanishiki. And Yuki no Sei, and they’re all milled down to 50% of their original size. The alcohol is a touch high it’s 17%. The acidity is 1.5. And once again, that brand is Hakkaisan where Timothy Sullivan is a brand ambassador
Timothy Sullivan: 23:09
Yes. And where I worked for one year.
John Puma: 23:11
Myshell and I went to visit while you were there and we actually got to see the Yuki Muro. So now’s a really good time for us to explain what that means.
Timothy Sullivan: 23:20
Yuki Muro means snow storage cellar. And Hakkaisan built this building near the brewery? And it is an insulated room where they put a giant three story, tall pile of snow on one side of the insulated room. And on the other side of the room, they have 20 stainless steel sake tanks for aging sake. So the snow is in the room to provide cold to chill the sake during aging. So it’s. Ecologically friendly way. No electricity is used no Freon, no machines, no vibrations. It’s analog system with snow and tanks. Side-by-side inside an insulated space. And that hearkens back to an ancient way that they used to refrigerate things before electricity was in Japan. Have these cellars are these store houses where they would put snow in there. And then they could in the summer months that the snow would very, very slowly melt, but they could use the cold in that room to keep things cold and like an old fashioned ice box. So this is a nod to that history in Niigata and they’re using it to slowly age, this sake for three years.
John Puma: 24:35
and this, the snow that’s in the Yuki Muro that lasts the one batch of snow they put in last, the entire summer. Right?
Timothy Sullivan: 24:43
It lasts for an entire year. It’s a huge pile of snow. It goes deep into the room and they refill the snow once a year in February. And I would say the pile evaporates about halfway down in the course of one year.
John Puma: 25:00
Yeah, I got to see this room and it was, it was an epic amount of snow. It was just absolutely ridiculous. I had seen photos of it and they did not do it justice when you’re standing in this, in the presence of this. Utterly ridiculous. pile of snows. So big, again, three stories of snow. It it’s a lot more than you think. but this is also, I should say, uh, this is my favorite product.
Timothy Sullivan: 25:29
Is It really
John Puma: 25:30
is, it is. I really, really enjoy it. let’s talk about this bottle though. Before we even open it, this bottle is snow white. It is completely, Opaque,
Timothy Sullivan: 25:43
John Puma: 25:44
the label is also white. So it’s white on white with a very understated, logo that just, you know, has has both English and Japanese. So has the Hakkaisan logo in Japanese on one side, and then on the other side, Uh, just very small, relatively small font,Hakkaisan Junmai Daiginjo Snow aged, three years, and a bunch of details in Japanese at the bottom. It is very, very striking. Um, you cannot look at this bottle and not have it catch your eye. So it is, you know, that aspect of the gift really comes through on this bottle I think.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:25
And the box that comes with this, if you buy it in the gift giving box, it is the same design as white, and it has a little bit of a glossy sheen to it. And then it has very minimal black letters on it. And it’s very striking black and white design for the box, as well as the bottle.
John Puma: 26:42
Yeah, this, um, this design is, is fantastic. I think it’s, it really works.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:48
All right. Should we get it in the glass?
John Puma: 26:49
think we should.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:50
John Puma: 26:56
This is, uh, not the first cold aged sake that we’ve had on the show.
Timothy Sullivan: 27:02
John Puma: 27:02
And I think we we’ve mentioned in the past when we’ve had a cold aged before, is that when the sakes is age in the cold, it doesn’t take on those. Koshu those typical Koshu qualities of, of getting darker and color, getting sweeter and flavor it. Like we’re looking at it right now. It is kind of the same color and translucency as the Mizubasho in fact, I’m looking at them side by side and if I didn’t have them in different glasses, I’d be in trouble.
Timothy Sullivan: 27:37
John Puma: 27:39
Cause they look almost identical
Timothy Sullivan: 27:40
Yeah. And it’s hard to believe that this sake has been aged at the brewery for three years. and it looks super fresh. There’s no. Caramelization, as you said, there’s no darkening of the sugars, that aging process that you normally expect to be happening at room temperature is really slowed down when you bring in the cold element to it. So the temperature in the Yuki Muro is about 35 degrees Fahrenheit just above freezing. And that temperature is maintained steady year, round, summer, winter, all year round. That cold temperature. Aging is really the key to maintaining the clarity and the really light appearance to the sake.
John Puma: 28:36
Well, let’s give it a sniff. Um, not as much on the nose here.
Timothy Sullivan: 28:44
Yep. Niigata sakes, especially Hakkaisan can be very restrained when it comes to aromatics, but I’m getting more of a rich impression on this aroma overall.
John Puma: 28:54
Timothy Sullivan: 28:56
There’s a bit of concentrated rice, aroma, maybe even something a little bit chocolaty. I don’t know if that makes sense.
John Puma: 29:06
Hmm. I’m not picking it up personally, but maybe once, once, maybe once we taste it.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:14
Yeah, but overall it’s, it’s got a rich, uh, rich aroma, but light, very light, light hand to the, to the aromatics, not effusive or perfumy or anything like that.
John Puma: 29:28
don’t know what not at all.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:29
all. right. Let’s give it a taste. that’s good.
John Puma: 29:35
Yeah. Now there is a lot more depth. That’s the very first thing I noticed having just sipped the mizubasho just a few moments before it was like, oh, like there’s just, there’s so much more going on. it is still very much Niigata. It is still restraint is still light. It’s not very dry though.
Timothy Sullivan: 30:03
Yeah. our SMV for the sake is actually minus one. And the SMV again, that measures the density of the sake. And this has more density than the mizubasho
John Puma: 30:18
Timothy Sullivan: 30:20
I find this quite richly textured. and the one thing that comes to my mind when I sip on the snow aged yukimuro is this finish. That is, very gently umami driven. Like there’s a savory ness to the finish that I really, really love. The aging process, those three years in the tank under those, uh, ice cold conditions really concentrate those amino acids that are in the sake, and you get a little bit of concentration and it makes it rich and it makes it a little bit savory at the finish and very full flavored. But in a, in a Niigata way. So the color is clean. The overall impression is clean, but it’s rich. It’s a Niigata style aged sake, basically.
John Puma: 31:13
and this is, you know, I think that like for a lot of Niigata sakes, this wants food, this wants to be paired with food And it’s going to stand up too much, richer dishes, then, then a lot of other sake as well. That’s my impression and has been my experience a bit with this. I’m sure you have a much more detailed idea of what to pair this with the.
Timothy Sullivan: 31:39
well, two words, Red meat. You can bring this sake to the. steak house, have this with your Tenderloin, have this with your T-bone have it with your cream spinach, and you will be in hog heaven. Like this is a sake you can swap with anybody’s red wine and it will not steer you wrong. this sake is so good to pair with non-Japanese food, especially anywhere you’d bring into a medium body to a richer red wine. This can just step right into that. And, oh my God. It’s so good. And we gave the price for the Mizu Basho and for this sake in a retail store around the country, you’re probably gonna pay somewhere. between 60 to $65 for this it’s a little bit more of a upscale gift, but it is a great gift for all the reasons we talked about. I’m so glad we talked about this because now my Christmas lists just got a little bit shorter. Cause now I have some more gift ideas
John Puma: 32:47
Timothy Sullivan: 32:48
for anyone listening, you know what you’re going to get in your stocking this year. right.
John Puma: 32:53
Going to be a sake revolution. T-shirts right, Tim.
Timothy Sullivan: 32:57
Yes, that’s right. I’m going to use the t-shirts to wrap the bottle like a furoshiki, and you’re going to get two gifts in one. Yes,
John Puma: 33:06
That’s actually a really good idea. I
Timothy Sullivan: 33:07
is a good idea. All right, John is so great to taste with you as always. Thanks for talking about gift giving.
John Puma: 33:16
no problem. No problem. You know, the holidays are here and, uh, and this was a really good idea. This was by the way, this is Tim’s idea. This episode, I think it was a really good one. Perfect timing to talk a little bit about gift giving and. You’ve had people ask before about giving sake as a gift. And I think we covered a lot of, a lot of the questions that we’ve gotten in the past about that,
Timothy Sullivan: 33:37
Yeah, and it, it does make a great gift. So just go out there and shop for sake, support your retailers and you’ll have happy friends and family. All right. Well, thanks so much to all our listeners for tuning in. We really do hope that you’re enjoying Sake Revolution. If you would like to show your support for our show, one of the best ways to help us out now is to join our community on Patreon. We are a listener supported show and we appreciate everyone who’s joined us and supported us on Patreon. Thank you so much.
John Puma: 34:11
And, uh, for that Patreon, you’re going to go over to Patreon.com/SakeRevolution. Uh, and. There’s other ways that you can support us right now, listening to us, you’re supporting us. We love that. We love that you guys listening. That’s great. but you can also tell your friends, tell your family subscribe. Insists that your friends and family subscribed as well. Uh, and of course, leave us a review on your podcast platform of choice.
Timothy Sullivan: 34:40
And if you would like to learn more about any of the topics or sakes we talked about in today’s episode, visit our website, SakeRevolution.com. And there you can check out all of our show notes.
John Puma: 34:53
And if you have a sake question that you need answered, we want to hear from you or reach out to us. The email address is [email protected]. So until next time, thank you everybody. Once again, please raise a glass. Remember to keep drinking sake and Come Kanpai.