Tasting – Gokyo Risshun Asashibori

How time flies. I didn’t realize this hiatus had gone on so long until I looked at my stats there other day. It’s been weeks since I updated! Oops!

But that’s ok, because I’ve got lots to share now. As I mentioned before, this year I’m looking at event sakes, and here’s the first: Gokyo Risshun Asashibori junmai muroka nama.

Risshun Asashibori Junmai: pressed, bottled and shipped on February 4th

I’ve written about this before, but the practice of pressing, bottling and distributing a full load of sake on the traditional first day of spring has become a big part of the sake year. Kura that participate invite staff from sake shops they work with to come and help with the labeling and packing, and those shops take reservations so customers can get their bottles to drink on that same day: apart from any more esoteric ideas of good luck for the year, etc., it’s a chance to drink sake at its absolute freshest.

This particular one comes from Gokyo (Sakai Shuzo) and is a solid junmai. The freshness means it’s very lightly fizzy, and as a 65% seimaibuai from Gokyo it’s a full bodied, dry sake that is heavy on umami. To be honest, this year’s leaned a little heavily on the astringent side and lacked the usual Gokyo balance I love. It wasn’t bad, by any means, but it’s low on my list of Gokyo’s best-of.

Still, I was glad to actually get to open it on the 4th and participate in this nation-wide tradition. It’s a part of the culture that you just can’t get outside of Japan, and I’m grateful I can be a tiny part of it.

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