Sake Brewery Spotlight - Kikusui Brewery

Nestled in the picturesque Niigata city of Shibuta is Kikusui Brewery. Having the largest land area allocated for rice cultivation in Japan, Niigata is the perfect place for sake production. Niigata also has an abundance of snow-capped mountains for majority of the year. The snowmelt that seeps into the underground water veins provides a rich water supply. 

Niigata, famous for its intense winters and heavy snowfall. The sheer amount of snow keeps the air clean and fresh, along with its cold climate, allowing Niigata to have the perfect conditions for fermenting sake. 

Founded in 1881, the name "Kikusui" compromises of two words- kiku (菊) , meaning "chrysanthemum" and sui (水), meaning water. The significance of these two words put together had a reference to a traditional Japanese performing art known as Noh. This is as, the water of the chrysanthemum bestowed one with everlasting youth and longevity in the play. 

Despite facing their biggest obstacles, the Niigata Earthquake in 1964 and the Kaetsu Flood of 1966 and 1967 where the brewery was demolished and washed away for two consecutive years. Kikusui persisted in their pursuit of producing the highest quality sake for people to enjoy. For many years Kikusui have remained committed to their vision of creating sake that more and more people come to love.

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 enhances any cuisine that pairs with it. 

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.

Unlike the majority of Sake, Kikusui Funaguchi is not pasteurized, resulting in its delicate taste. 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. 

To help preserve the original taste of the sake, it is filled to the brim in an aluminum can, blocking out all light and air. This helps bring the full-bodied flavour previously only available to brewery visitors, to the masses. However, depending on the conditions that it is stored under it may develop a slightly sour flavor. Unpasteurised sake is especially delicate and therefore it is highly recommended to store this in a cool, dark place. 

Kikusui's most well-known dry sake in Japan is the Honjyozo style sake with added distilled alcohol, the Kikusui No Karakuchi Honjyozo Sake. Its alluring smoothness and crisp dry finish pairs extremely well with grilled food. However its medium body provides the perfect balance to any cuisine or meal, hence pairing well with any food. Its versatility allows you to either enjoy it chilled or warmed. Although, when warmed the sake will be creamier and drier, opening it to becoming a more intense experience.

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. 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. A sake that has not been diluted with water, allowing you to enjoy its pure sake flavor. 

This sake 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. They form the perfect marriage, helping to draw out the mutual flavors. 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.

Enjoy an everlasting and fulfilling life when you drink Kikusui. Shop this and more at Sake Inn now!

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