The Tohoku region in the north of Japan is rich in nature and water and produces excellent sake. Here are five sake made in Tohoku that you'll want to try.
1. Denshu (Aomori)
Denshu from Aomori gets its name from the word "den" (field) which means rice fields, and true to its name, it is a sake that is made with particular attention to the rice. The rice from which it is made is grown at a specific farm, and is prepared by hand using time-honored methods. As a result, only a limited number is produced, making it a product that is difficult to procure. It has strong umami flavors with a discernible taste of the rice. It is light and crisp, making it appropriate for people who are trying sake for the first time.
2. Jyuyondai (Yamagata)
Jyuyondai is said to be the most popular sake brand from Yamagata. There are even ones that cost hundreds of thousands of yen at premium prices. The standard and most popular label in the series is the honjozo, Honmaru Hiden Tamagaeshi. When you take a sip, it has a sweetness that seems to melt in your mouth, making it an approachable sake that can be enjoyed by everyone from the sake novice to the connoisseur.
3. Nanbu Bijin (Iwate)
The Iwate brand Nanbu Bijin is a local sake made with local rice and pure underground water. It is sold abroad under the name of Southern Beauty, and has won many awards both in Japan and abroad. The classic sake in the series is the tokubetsu junmaishu, which has a mellow fruity scent and rich taste of rice. However, the most recommended sake in the series is the junmai daiginjo. It is an outstanding sake that is served at a five-star hotel in Dubai and in first class on JAL international flights. It is a full-bodied sake with a sweet, floral and mellow fragrance.
4. Urakasumi (Miyagi)
Urakasumi is one of the popular brands from Miyagi. It is an approachable sake that is dry yet has a syrupy texture and is enjoyed by many people overseas. As the brewery is in Shiogama, a port town, the sake goes particularly well with seafood. It can be enjoyed either cold or warmed up as atsukan.
5. No.6 (Akita)
No.6 is a junmaishu produced by ARAMASA, a brewery in Akita City, Akita Prefecture. The oldest kishu sake yeast was created at ARAMASA, and even today, they use only local rice and no additives, along with the yeast, to make their sake. This sake has many fans among sake enthusiasts, who love it for its pleasant aroma and refreshing taste.
Some of these sake are difficult to find, but most can be enjoyed at izakaya in the Tohoku region. Whether you are a sake connoisseur or have never had sake before, please try them.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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