Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Sake Made In New York

Dassai Blue Sake is produced and bottled by Dassai USA in Hyde Park New York.  Dassai takes their name from a Japanese proverb, which translates to "Although blue dye comes from the indigo plant, it is bluer than indigo." In other words, the child outshines the parent. 

The Junmai Daiginjo style of sake - rice wine - is the pinnacle of the craft, the best of the best. Dassai Blue Type 23 is made from Yamada Nishiki rice, a short-grained variety that is popular with sake makers. Dassai uses the 23% method of polishing the grain, meaning 77% of the rice's outer shell is removed. This facilitates the water absorption for which the variety is known.

Dassai is also introducing Dassai Blue Type 35, using 35% milling. Type 35 is also made with Yamada Nishiki rice, but cultivated in the U.S. it's a collaboration with Isbell Farms, a sustainable, family-owned rice farm located in Central Arkansas. It should run about $50 a bottle.

The Type 23 craft sake is bottled under pressure, so be careful when opening the unique foil cap. The cork stopper blew right off when I tore away the metal wrapper. Alcohol sits comfortably at 14% abv and it retails for around $70 for the full 750ml bottle. Quite a few sources offer the 375ml bottle for much less.

This sake is virtually clear in the glass. The nose gives a floral aspect with herbal notes and lychee. The palate has a refreshing acidity and a delightful flavor rooted in minerals and salinity. The mouthfeel is clean and full, while the finish is pleasant and lengthy. Pair with sushi, without a doubt. 


Follow Randy Fuller on X


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Revisiting A Great Sushi Beer

I've done a little more exploration into a Japanese beer that's available at my local sushi place, Kawaba Sunrise Ale.  It's made in a brewery in Kawaba, which is nestled in the mountains northwest of Tokyo on Japan's main island.  The label shows an origin of 'Denen Plaza Kawaba,' but that appears to be a roadside rest area, albeit an extremely nice one with shopping available.  I presume the brewery is somewhere on the grounds in the village.  The beer is malty, low-alcohol (5%) and leaves behind a pleasant bitter note that really hits the spot with seafood.  

My much better half and I were having sushi the other night.  I love sushi, but the beverage options always leave me cold.  I like wine, but the choices never seem good at a sushi place, at least not the ones we frequent.  Beer always seems to be Asahi or Sapporo, neither a fave.  Our sushi place offers an extensive selection of sake, but I've never delved into that ocean enough to know where I'm swimming.

This night, I noticed a Japanese craft beer, Kawaba Sunrise Ale.  Billed as a red ale, I figured it had to be pretty close to my wheelhouse.  It was good, beery and ale-y enough to make both of us happy.  But that's a fairly weak description, especially for a guy who can go on and on about wine.  Why does beer stump me?

I clicked my way over to Beer Advocate, as I do when I want to know what real beer geeks think about a brew.  The Kabawa had - in one user's opinion - "some caramel malt sweetness and toasted grain… a lightly sweet, even creamy coating of caramel… an increased brown bread quality… some light hops spice… a dry tea leaf feel."  And he didn't think it was all that complex.

Maybe I'll just stick with "gimme an IPA."  That's what I really want when I want a beer.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Japanese Beer For Sushi That Tastes Great On Its Own

My much better half and I were having sushi the other night.  I love sushi, but the beverage options always leave me cold.  I like wine, but the choices never seem good at a sushi place, at least not the ones we frequent.  Beer always seems to be Asahi or Sapporo, neither a fave.  Our sushi place offers an extensive selection of sake, but I've never delved into that ocean enough to know where I'm swimming.

This night, I noticed a Japanese craft beer, Kawaba Sunrise Ale.  Billed as an unfiltered amber ale, I figured it had to be pretty close to my wheelhouse.  It was good, beery and ale-y enough to make both of us happy.  But that's a fairly weak description, especially for a guy who can go on and on about wine.  Why does beer stump me?

I clicked my way over to Beer Advocate, as I do when I want to know what real beer geeks think about a brew.  The Kabawa had - in one user's opinion - "some caramel malt sweetness and toasted grain… a lightly sweet, even creamy coating of caramel… an increased brown bread quality… some light hops spice… a dry tea leaf feel."  And he didn't think it was all that complex.

Maybe I'll just stick with "gimme an IPA."  That's what I really want when I want a beer.


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter