This clean and crisp Echigo-style Junmai has an umami-driven core of rice and nutty notes, with a bit of Fuji apple and a dry. cleansing finish. It's subtle, gentle, but not boring...reminds me a bit of a good pilsner, the way it's refreshing and clean, lets the food take the spotlight, and doesn't knock you out.
Alcohol: 13.7%-- notable in being a touch lower than most
Water: medium soft
We don't know for sure the actual brewery here, because by contract, Soto isn't allowed to reveal their supplier...but we do know it's one of the oldest in Japan, located in Niigata, and based on the flavor we can see that this speaks of the Niigata style: dry, crisp, a little nutty and toasted grain in the middle. So whether you like the fancy modern packaging or you don't, know that inside... this is a classic and traditional Niigata sake, through and through. And a great deal at that.
Soto came about because the owner/investor worked at Bacardi most of his life, and was eventually advised by his doctor to either stop drinking or switch to something more gentle on the body. If you spend much time exploring sake you run into this story a fair bit, and I'm not sure how much truth there is to it but a number of sources suggest that sake is easier on the body...those curious are welcome to thumb through a book I have on the shop shelves: "Sake: Health and Longevity" and decide for themselves.
So when these investors were in Japan visiting breweries they heard the workers saying "soto..soto.." describing how cold it was outside, and the word stuck. Soto means outside, and it's a happy coincidence that sake itself represents the elements of the outdoors as well: the local rice, water, history and philosophy that goes into each bottle.