Spring Nama! - Shichida Junmai Ginjo Namazake
On the nose: Mildly aromatic (which is cool and unusual for a nama) with scents of grape, yellow flowers, pine board, pineapple skin, and Saison yeast. In...
On the nose: Mildly aromatic (which is cool and unusual for a nama) with scents of grape, yellow flowers, pine board, pineapple skin, and Saison yeast.
In the mouth: Not mild! Deep and fun at the same time. An intense lead-in and a quiet, dry, and graceful exit. Wave-like and mysterious. A prickly, electric acidity, and the faintest hint of carbonation bring along flavors of tropical fruit smoothies and really nice salted crackers. There's a little forest-y wood, some limestone, and savory hint of mushroom. There's banana muffin and Cheerios in the mix there too. All these flavors hide in the shadows and tease you dazzlingly, showing up vividly in an instant, and then just as fast, ducking back into the gleaming, shimmering portal that they emerged from.
Shichida's yearly spring nama release is always a pinnacle of sake brewing. I refrain from saying things like "the best" because taste is subjective and one's situation can have a huge impact on what sake might seem "the best" in any given moment. That being said, whenever I'm sipping Shichida Nama, I unfailingly cease to be able to imagine a better sake.
What draws me in and compels me about Shichida Nama is that it is at once both mysterious and embracing. This is deeply fun sake. It's like it hides secret flavors from you by giving you a taste of something (was that pineapple?) and then deftly swapping it out for something entirely different: a taste turns into a texture at lightning speed. It verges on synesthesia. The flavor-texture interplay is like a shadow dance, or better, a magic show. Yet with a magic show you know there's a trick, and you might look for the sleight of hand. What Shichida has done is a feat of real Magic, disguised as a simple trick. It's like wandering into a hall of mirrors and realizing that you've stumbled into a dimensional rift that just looked like a hall of mirrors. Mind-bending stuff, this sake.
Like all namas, please keep it in the fridge. This is super limited, so grab it while you can!
Shichida is a new project from the 150 year old Tenzan brewery, located in Saga.
Here is a montage of the brewery at work, with delicate piano accompaniment:
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