Ice Temperature Aging: Best Temperature for Sake Aging
After producing a sake, the alcohol can be matured for different periods, changing its sweetness, acidity, level of umami, and even texture to give it unique characteristics and flavours. In general, the longer a sake is aged, the rounder its body. The time of the year when the sake is being matured also gives it a seasonal touch.
Ice temperature aging is often considered the best temperature at which sakes are being aged. Under this naturally cold temperature, the yeast stays inactive. The result is a sake with a complex yet elegant flavour and a mellow texture.
Here are three snow-aged sakes you should try:
• Born Dan Junmai Daiginjo
With the highest polishing ratio among Born’s products, this sake has been aged at natural low temperature for two years and has a complex yet refined flavour.
• Dewazakura Yukimanman 5-Year-Aged Daiginjo
Aged naturally at -5℃ for five years and brewed under strict standards, this sake is a masterpiece with an expressive and deep aroma, and has a mellow and velvety texture.
• Hakkaisan Snow Aged Junmai Ginjo 3 Years
Its elegant fragrance and soft and smooth texture have been obtained through aging at a natural low temperature for three years.
The Art of Savouring Sake
Founded in 1873, Niizawa Brewery invites two renowned artists every year to design two of their junmai daiginjo’s sake labels, deepening the artistic connection between sake and art.
Austrian brand Riedel is also serious about creating sake ware, working with 170 sake experts since 2010 to first launched the Daiginjo Cup, and now the Junmai Cup.
Here are two sakes and two sake cups worthy of being added to your personal “art” collection:
• Niizawa Junmai Daiginjo 2018
With a polishing time of 350 hours and only 7% of each grain remaining, this sake has a mellow first impression, followed by a rich rice aroma and a clean finish. The sake label was designed by award-winning artist Mr Tadanori Yokoo.
• Niizawa Kizashi Junmai Daiginjo 2018
The sake label is the work of Ms Aiko Miyanaga. The Kyoto native is very active in the Japanese art scene and has obtained many awards in major Japanese art competitions.
• Riedel Daiginjo Glass
The narrow oval shape allows the aroma to be dispersed more effectively.
• Riedel Junmai Glass
The diamond-shaped Junmai Glass accentuates the complexity of the sake and its umami.
Discover the Charm of Namazake
Did you know sake – just like food – can also be raw?
Namazake, is a category of sake that is unpasteurised. As the yeast is still active, this gives the sake a refreshing acidity, punchy aroma and vivacious character.
Here are a few namazake we think you should try:
• Eikun Black Label Jumani Daiginjo
Clean body with a gentle aroma.
• Shichida Junmai Daiginjo Muroka Nama
Smooth, fragrant with a rich rice aroma.
• Chikurin Otoro Junmai Ginjo Nama
Matured at a low temperature for one year to create a rounded mouthfeel.
*available only at the city’super Times Square store at a very limited quantity
• Sugata Yume Sasara Junmai Ginjo Muroka Namagen
Elegant aroma with a delicate texture.
A Sake Love Affair: Born
Established in 1860, Katoukichibee Shouten uses traditional methods to produce junmai sakes and age them at ice-cold temperature for a long period. Their sakes are served at Japanese royal family events and are recognised internationally.
city'super began to stock this well-loved brand in 2004 to give Hong Kong a taste of its royal worthy sakes.
• Born Chogin Junmai Daginjo (Lacquer Pack)
The most premium of the Born collection, this sake has a polishing ratio of 20% and has been matured for 5 years at -8°C. Elegant and velvety with a lingering finish.
• Born Platinum Sakura Sake Cup
Many layers of white gold have been painted over this ceramic cup and then heated at 800°C to give it the ultimate shine.
• Born Gold Sakura Sake Cup
This ceramic cup has been painted with many layers of gold and then heated at 800°C for a golden, sparkling finish.
A Sake Love Affair: Dewazakura
Dewazakura’s name is inspired by “Dewa”, the ancient name of Yamagata prefecture, and the magnificent view of cherry blossoms on Mount Maizuru.
Its flagship sake Oka Ginjo has been a popular sake since its release in 1981 and a great contributor in promoting ginjo sake as well as the culture of jizake (local sake).
city'super has been partnering with Dewazakura since 1996.
• Dewazakura Yukimegami 35 Junmai Daginjo
The Yukimegami rice from Yamagata prefecture has been polished down to 35% to create this sake. A super limited-edition product with a luxurious aroma and mellow mouthfeel.
• Dewazakura SWeeeeeT Kijoshu
In the final steps of brewing, alcohol is added instead of water to create a smoother and rounder texture and a sweeter taste.
A Sake Love Affair: Okunomatsu
With a long history and plenty of experience in sake brewing, Okunomatsu uses not only traditional brewing methods but also incorporates the latest technology to make sake with reliable quality. It is the first brewery to use a pasteuriser, which showers the sake immediately after bottling, and helps to keep the original flavour and aroma in the bottle.
Okunomatsu products has been appearing at city’super’s Sake Fair since 1996!
• Okunomatsu George Sparkling Junmai Daiginjo
Sweet and refreshing with delicate bubbles.
• Okunomatsu Yusa Junmai Ginjo
Named after the family name of brewery, this is crispy with a smooth texture and a good balance of fruitiness and acidity, making it versatile for pairing with food.
Osaka’s Umeshuya Now in Hong Kong!
The renowned Umeshuya hailing from Osaka has over 80 years, and is a must-visit destination for all sake lovers. Here’s the great news: city'super is bringing this 100% Japanese brewed fruit liqueur to Hong Kong!
Founded by Mr Ueda, Umeshuya began as a sake retail store named Sake Takakura back in the 1930s. At the brand’s 70th anniversary, it was renamed as “Umeshuya” and the company started selling fruit liqueurs online.
From March 8 to 10 and March 15 to 17, enjoy a complimentary fruit liqueur tasting set (includes 2 cups of umeshu and 1 cup of yuzu liqueur) upon a single purchase of HK$800 with sake items at the city’super Times Square store.
Limited availability (50 sets per day). While stocks last.