Kaikyo Daiginjo – Tasting

Kaikyo Daiginjo from Shimonoseki Shuzo

This rare non-junmai daiginjo from Shimonoseki Shuzo (JP Only) is my first from them, and a truly great introduction indeed!

It seems these days that junmai is the word to use for brewers, and I honestly can’t remember how many alcohol-added daiginjo I’ve seen on shelves. The only other one I’ve drunk is the Tobindori from Kinfundo, and that is only available directly from the kura.

So when I saw this one on the shelf, and from a Yamaguchi kura I still had yet to try, it was a must buy.

Seimaibuai 50%.

The sake itself has a very big aroma of melon and apples that lingers for a while. It’s easy to see why the added-alcohol versions of ginjo/daiginjo are used in competitions: it’s a pure ginjoka, without any of the savory rice notes you get with junmai.

The first sip seemed to have a strong alcohol note to it, but the second was smooth as silk. The fukumika is that same melon and apple, with a layer of astringency on the tongue and a refreshing, mild sour aftertaste. Nothing lingers too long on the tongue, though, and the overall balance is right on the money for a drinkable, enjoyable sake.

One thing I noticed is it really seemed to open up as it warmed. So maybe it’s best to take it out of the fridge for 15 minutes before drinking–not hot, but not really cold either. As the label says, 涼冷 Suzuhie (15 degrees c) or 常温 Jo-on (room temperature) seems about best.

This feels like a truly great sake to me. It is easy to drink, but rewarding with a complex flavor. It’s sweet but not cloying, sour but not irritating, and keeps you wanting more. I finished this 300ml bottle before I knew it!

I’m tempted to say this is one of my favorite sakes now, but there are so many great ones I’ve tried, and so many yet to try.

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