This very unique nama (unpasteurized) honjozo (alcohol added) sake reminds me of a Mosel riesling: light and ethereal, guided by floral, mineral, and lemon-lime notes. I'm reminded that it's sake by a soft, cheesecake-like, unctuous umami on the mid-palate. The finish is short and crisp, with shibumi (astringency) creating structure. Despite its light and lifted character, this sake continues to show well after 2 weeks in the fridge, although it loses some aromatics and the palate softens.
Plays beautifully with anything citrus, jalapeno, or herbal-- think of it as behaving like a gin martini. Pair with Yuzu kosho flavored savory snacks, herbed cream cheese and toasts, fennel slaw, Kachka's Herring Under a Fur Coat, or a bowl of lemony olives.
Brewery: Akitabare Brewing Company
Location: Akita City
Recommended serving temperature: Ice cold to lightly chilled. The brewery recommends ice cold, but I think it also does well with a light chill.
Rice: Gin no Sei (a cold-hardy rice variety grown almost exclusively in Akita. Because of its small shinpaku, Ginnosei is most often used for Junmai and Honjozo styles, although it can also be used for richer Ginjo.)
Yeast: Akita Konno No. 12 (a local prefectural yeast)
Pasteurized: Unpasteurized (Namazake)
Grade: Honjozo (up to 10% of the rice's weight can be added as a neutral spirit at the end of brewing, before the sake is pressed and diluted to a balanced alcohol content. The purpose of this addition is stylistic, not to save money)