We are bringing Japan to you! 🌸 To provide our valued customers with a more holistic understanding of the sake we sell, we will be introducing some of our favourite Japanese sake breweries. In this first edition, we will be highlighting one of our favourite brewery here at Sake Inn, the Kikusui Sake Brewery.
Founded in Niigata 1881, making it a relatively young brewery, Kikusui is still run by the same family, the Takasawa family, under the current 5th generation President. The name Kikusui 菊水 comes from the amalgamation of two words "Kiku (菊)" which means chrysanthemum and "Sui (水)" which means water.
The name Kikusui originates from a traditional Noh play, "Kikujido". Based on the 13 volumes of "Taiheiki" a chronicle of medieval Japan. It is a story about how the Emperor of Wei gave an order to Buntei, his subject, to go deep into the mountains in search for the fountain of youth. Bruntei then meets a mountain hermit was about 700 years old. The mountain hermit turned out to be Jidou, a subject of Emperor Keiou of Zhou some 700 years ago. He was banished to the mountain for angering the Emperor, and ever since he has been diligently transcribing parts of the sutra onto a chrysanthemum leaf. He was able to live as long as he had by drinking the dew formed on the leaves of the chrysanthemum.
Therefore, like the origin of the name, Kikusui sake was derived from the relief that the water from the chrysanthemum will bring eternal youth to whoever who drinks it.
Give it a Shot
Kikusui Funaguchi Ichiban Shibori Nama Genshu Sake
菊水 ふな口一番搾り 生原酒
Kikusui Funaguchi Ichiban Shibori Nama Genshu Sake is an unpasteurised and undiluted sake, which results in its delicate taste. To preserve the sake to its original state, it is packaged in aluminum cans and filled to their brims, completely blocking on light and air. This helps to bring the full-bodied flavour previously only available to brewery visitors, to the masses.
Unlike the majority of Sake, Kikusui Funaguchi is not pasteurized. This means the Koji enzymes are still alive. Because of this unique characteristic, unpasteurized “Nama” Sake offers an interesting depth of flavors as it ages. However, depending on the conditions that it is stored under it may develop a slightly sour flavor. This is because unpasteurised sake is especially delicate and therefore it is highly recommended to store all unpasteurized sake, including Kikusui Funaguchi in a cool dark place.
Sake Type: Honjyozo
Milling rate: 70%
Kikusui Junmai Ginjyo Sake
The Kikusui Junmai Ginjyo Sake is a light and comfortably dry premium sake. A sip of it brings out the aroma of fresh cantaloupes and bananas, followed by a medium body of refreshing orange overtones. With just the right amount of body and a comfortable dryness, it is able to enhance any type of cuisine you will want to pair it with. It also serves as a great alternative to white wine that is perfect for both sake lovers and beginners alike.
Even though it is best served chilled, you can also serve it on the rocks or at room temperature, each way bringing out a different subtle flavour to this wonderful and well-rounded sake.
Sake Type: Junami Ginjyo
Milling rate: 55%
Volume: Available in 300ml and 720ml
Kikusui Perfect Snow Nigori Sake
The first thing you will notice in Kikusui Perfect Snow Nigori Sake is its full-bodied sweetness. The sake is a little different from the rest as it retains some " moromi" granules. The subtle texture of the “moromi” granules, created by carefully fermenting only the finest quality rice, leaves a striking impression on your taste buds. One sip and you will first notice a full-bodied flavour but as the sake passes over your palate, you are left with a crisp, dynamic flavor. With an alcohol content of 21%, Perfect Snow is pure, unadulterated sake which has not been diluted with water, therefore allowing you to enjoy the pure sake flavor.
It goes without saying that Perfect Snow complements most Japanese cuisine such as sushi and yakitori. The full-bodied sweetness and crisp, clean finish of Perfect Snow also perfectly complements intense flavors and robust cuisines such as spare ribs and spicy Korean food. They form the perfect marriage, helping to draw out the mutual flavors. You will be surprised at just how well it goes with meat dishes, traditionally enjoyed with a bottle of red wine. Best served well-chilled on its own or on the rocks, or you can even mix it with soda or milk to draw out the flavors.
Sake Type: Nigori
Milling rate: Unspecified
Want to try all of our Kikusui Sakes? Check them out here.
Also, tell us your favourite Kikusui Sake down in the comments below :-)
P.S Gift Cards are now available on Sake Inn! Have a friend or two that has to stay at home? Chase their stay-home blues, gift them a little surprise ;) Get them here.