A contender for top Sunflower sake sold in 2023...there is but ONE bottle left for the year, on sale due to a damaged label. Tasting phenomenal as recently as last week, when it was still on the glass pour list: perhaps taking the award for longest-running glass pour in the history of Sunflower. Snatch it up while it's still around.
In a season defined by powerful flavors (and ABV at 17-18%!), KID Shiboritate is a breath of fresh air. The only Winter release sake this year that isn’t genshu (undiluted), KID comes in at a mellow 15% ABV and will be the easiest to pair, easiest to drink-- the one you can sip without too much thought.
KID is doing a few unique things with this style of shinshu. First they are using Gohyakumangoku rice, which is a harder, denser variety of rice that doesn’t dissolve as completely in the brew as say, Yamadanishiki. As a result, the sake is more “angular” in the mouth-- not as soft. They are also using 4 different types of yeast and blending to achieve balance. 1801 lends notes of fennel and green apple, but it lacks umami. 901 lends richness and umami, but has mellower aromas of banana and melon. Together they form a whole and show off KID's awesome yeast blending skills.
Lemon-lime soda, fresh sweet mochi, lychee jellies, condensed milk drizzled on shaved ice, Martinelli's apple cider, and a touch of white grapefruit pith (keeps it interesting!) That teeny tiny touch of grapefruit bitterness on the finish reminds you that as soft as it might be, this is definitely a shiboritate: new release sake. On the palate this sake is light and refreshing with a little soft pooch (like a kitten's tiny belly!) of umami in the mid-palate.
Grade: Junmai Ginjo
Rice: Gohyakumangoku (local)
- Polishing: 50%/55%
Yeast: 1801, 901, 14, 10 (same as the seasonal Hiyaoroshi, but wow what a difference in flavor!)
- Starter: sokujo
Water: Koyasan Nansui (soft)
Try serving with carpaccio (drizzled in evoo) and let the grassy thickness of the olive oil play with the grassy brightness of KID. Dishes finished with fresh mint (pomelo salad with mint and watercress, tabbouleh, lamb skewers) tend to work well thanks to the heightened freshness. Or, go traditional with sea bream & fugu sashimi or ume-shiso-kyu rolls, a staple in Wakayama.
Heiwa Shuzo was founded in 1928 and is located just outside Kainan City in Wakayama. The site where the brewery is located was a temple for over 500 years before the brewery was established. It wasn't until 1957 when Sake production commenced full-time. The brewery is located in a valley surrounded by mountains, blessed with high precipitation, resulting in a boundless supply of good quality soft spring water, perfect for brewing Sake.
Their incredibly soft and luscious water, known as Koyasan Nansui, flows down from Koyasan temple, a world heritage site. Heiwa gained massive popularity in Japan and overseas for their “KID” brand of sake. The name “KID” is an abbreviation of combining “kisshu”, the region where Wakayama lies, and “fudo” meaning environment. The name “KID” is also indicative of the sake’s playful, bright and energetic profile. Heiwa won Brewer of the Year at IWC in back to back years (2019 & 2020) a feat never accomplished by any other sake brewery.