Takacho Bodaimoto Junmai Muroka Genshu "Regal Hawk" 2023 (New vintage)

Takacho Bodaimoto Junmai Muroka Genshu "Regal Hawk" 2023 (New vintage)

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The very best sake are kaleidoscopic, changing every moment, every day, showing something different to each person. They're Jackson Pollock'd with vivid, immersive splashes of color, and all negative space is filled with filigreed details for those who dare to look.

Takacho Regal Hawk is one such sake and what it says to me, it may not say to you. Flavors and aromas are pronounced, with cultured lactic notes leading at first-- like the whey atop good yogurt. It melts into cajeta, mashed yams, masa harina. Those sorts of umami-like, but sweet, earthy notes. I get funky flowers too: plumeria and rose, halfway dried. On the palate, wild and free-spirited flavors take center stage: zucchini bread, cantaloupe, maple syrup, soy sauce, marzipan candies, sultanas, toasted buckwheat, fermented honey... a real "vino di meditazione" sake.  Takacho keeps great open in the fridge and keeps evolving, so buy two: one to enjoy now, and one to take your time on.

Rice: Hinohikari (local to Nara)
Polish: 70%
Fermentation Starter: Bodaimoto 
Yeast: cultivated, ambient-origin microbes from Shinryaku-ji temple in Nara
Other: Genshu (undiluted), muroka (unfined)
Grade: Junmai

Pairings could involve any flavorful, umami-driven food, but particularly those with fermented or slightly sweet components. Kimchi grilled cheese, assorted banchan, Indian pickled mango & lime, tsukune: grilled, glazed chicken meatballs dipped in egg, caramelized onion & blue cheese burger, grilled saba with takuan. Anything fermented, it will reflect and amplify-- anything umami-rich, it will bring new dimension.