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Hakutsuru Marugoto Shibori Yuzu Nigori Sake

Sake is our alco­hol of choice. The end­less fruit fla­vours of chu hai make it one of our favour­ites, but sake seems to have the most agree­able effect when com­pared to beer, wine and chu hai. And by agree­able, I mean the least effect on us, because we do not find the dis­or­i­ent­ing euphor­ia when tipsy or drunk enjoy­able in the least. When it comes to sake, we enjoy namaza­ke, an unpas­teur­ized sake, and nig­or­iza­ke, a cloudy sake, over the clear and more widely avail­able seishu sake.

Here, we have Hakutsuru Marugoto Shibori Yuzu Nigori Sake, a cloudy sake made with whole yuzu that we picked up from the brew­ery itself in Kobe. In 2016, this sake won the Monde Selection Grand Gold Quality Award for the sixth con­sec­ut­ive year and the Monde International High Quality Trophy for the fourth con­sec­ut­ive year hav­ing received the former award for three con­sec­ut­ive years.

The liquor is a beau­ti­ful trans­lu­cent yel­low, much like the col­our of fresh yuzu, with bright fruity notes of yuzu in the nose. Consumed ice-cold with ice, the sake has a rich and intense fla­vour of yuzu with a very mild bit­ter alco­hol­ic under­tone from the head through to the fin­ish and a slightly acid­ic and bit­ter after­taste of yuzu.

Intense’ describes the fla­vour of the sake because it tastes like lique­fied yuzu with its char­ac­ter­ist­ic notes of lem­on-like sour­ness, grapefruit-like bit­ter­ness and man­dar­in-like sweet­ness amp­li­fied ten-fold. Indeed, yuzu is rarely eaten as a fruit and more often used for season­ing or fla­vour­ing oth­er dishes and bever­ages. As lique­fied fruit, the intens­ity is so over­whelm­ing that D and I could man­age only sips at a time. To make the sake easi­er to drink we diluted 2 parts sake with 1 part soda water for a more bal­anced bever­age that recalled a brewed yuzu soft drink and com­ple­men­ted well with the sweet, milder fla­vour of nig­or­iza­ke.

This bottle of Hakutsuru Marugoto Shibori Yuzu Nigori Sake con­tained 720ml. It was bottled in Japan and pur­chase in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan in 2015.