Fall Hiyaoroshi! - Tamanohikari "Ryo" Junmai Ginjo Namachozo
Profile On the nose Tamanohikari "Ryo" shows notes of cooked cream, spiced apple, and earthy-sweet red azuki bean. On the palate we get the same spiced apple...
On the nose Tamanohikari "Ryo" shows notes of cooked cream, spiced apple, and earthy-sweet red azuki bean. On the palate we get the same spiced apple from the nose, along with melon. These fruit flavors morph quickly, giving way to more savory and deep notes such as dark, Stout beer, creamy latte (I dunno why, but when I sip this it evokes curving leaf patterns of latte art in an absurdly synesthesiaic way.), pepper, and butterscotch pudding. Texturally, Ryo presents itself as stout and sturdy, with a firm square profile up front. Then gradually, this framework gives way to a more sublte and fleeting character, that winds itself up with a soft clean finish.
Stylistically, this sake shows great balance between the fruity ways typical to classic Junmai Ginjo, yet it grounds them in a graceful, autumnal, earthy, framework. Typical of Hiyaoroshi-style sake, the grand pagentry of fresh spring sake has been wonderfully softened and matured through brief aging into an elegant, fall-ready treat.
Perfect for Autumn flavors! Pair with mushroom dishes, particularly creamy mushroom soup. Roasted chicken would also be a standout. Turkey and gravy? 100% Anything with gravy on it. Also veggies in cream sauce.
About Hiyaoroshi-Style Sake
Every Fall, sake breweries in Japan release special sake called "Hiyaoroshi", which are crafted to pair especially well with autumn foods. The general procedure for making Hiyaoroshi begins in the springtime when spring namazake is released. Some of this bright and aromatic fresh spring sake gets bottled, goes through a quick pasteurization, and then gets stored in a cool corner of the brewery until fall. What results is wonderful sake that drinks like a tamed-down, more sophisticated, and often earthier counterpoint to the brash and bold spring sakes. Hiyaoroshi are often great sake for people new to sake, because they tend to be a little more punchy and sturdy than many "classic" styles, yet they are not so outwardly ostentatious, and thus highly approachable, when compared to the big profiles of spring namazake.
About the Tamanohikari Brewery
Located in Kyoto Prefecture, and opened in 1673, Tamanohikari has been steadfastly brewing high quality sake for over 300 years. They were pioneers in the modern restablishment of additive-free sake brewing, and helped establish the modern usage of the "Junmai" designation for sake brewed without additives beyond the basic essential ingredients.
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