Hoyo Sake Tasting


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You’re not going to want to miss this Saturday’s tasting because of a very SPECIAL sake we plan to sample. Many of you are already familiar with the exceptional sakes from Hoyo, including their ultra smooth Kura No Hana. But you’ve probably never heard of or tasted their special Yamadanishiki Daiginjo.  That’s because this sake normally never makes it out of Japan and is limited in production.

Well, this Saturday you have the rare opportunity to sample and purchase this special sake at the shop.  Our importer, World Sake Imports, has made a special one time purchase of Uchigasaki’s entire stock of Yamdanishiki Daiginjo and Mr. Yoshiharu Suzuki will be pouring it for everyone at this Saturday’s tasting.

To make this tasting even better, the new batch of Masumi Arabashiri has just been released and we’ll be tasting that as well.  Just for fun, Yoshi will be bringing some Arabashiri from last years batch so we can sample the two “vintages” side by side.


Saturday, April 28, 2012
1:30pm to 7:30pm

Here is the lineup for this Saturday.


Hoyo Yamadanishiki

“Last Chance at Love”

Gentle, smooth and lovely, this rare sake reveals it’s charms gradually.  The enticing aroma slips perfectly into a swirl of flavors that includes peach, spice and anise. Having matured gracefully with aging, this lovely sake is now at it’s peak. 
Hoyo Kura No Hana
“Fair Maiden”

Transparently light and touched with a sweet kiss of anise, irresistable winsome grace and charm.  It’s lovely floral aroma and luscious flavor extend a demure invitation to the world of sake.
Hoyo Manamusume

“Farmer’s Daughter”

A welcome departure from commonly served “dry” junmai sake:  mild, soft and gently evocative.  Crafted from Manamusume rice grown only in Miyagi prefecture.

Hoyo Genji
“Shining Prince”

With it’s distinctive taste of cedar, grass and citrus, Genji delivers a crisp and refreshing “cold sake” experience. Falls midway between robust junmai and and refined ginjo sake expressions.

Masumi Arabashiri
“First Run”
Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu

Lovely fragrant aroma, then vivid clean taste and a graceful finish.  This spring release is young and playful yet possesses surprising finesse.  A not to be missed connoisseur’s delight from Masumi.

So please join us this Saturday for our Hoyo Sake Tasting!  Sample some rare Hoyo Yamadanishiki Daiginjo and some newly released Spring Masumi Arabashiri.  Oh, and don’t forget to say hi to Yoshi.  Hope to see you Saturday!

Malcolm & Nadine Leong
The Sake Shop


Saturday, April 28, 2012
1:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Uchigasaki Brewery
Uchigasaki Brewery

Uchigasaki Brewery is located in Miyagi prefecture and was founded in 1661 by Uchigasaki Sakuemon.  It is the oldest sake brewery in Miyagi and continues to be family run.

Tomiya village where the brewery is located was built by Sakuemon’s father, Uchigasaki Oribe.  Oribe was a samurai lord with the Date clan and had been ordered to build Tomiya village by the famous samurai warlord, Date Masamune himself.
Hoyo Yamadanishiki purchaseo

Hoyo Yamadanishiki Daiginjo
This Saturday we have the rare opportunity to sample a high end sake that is usually never seen outside of Japan.  In fact, this will be the first time that this sake will be available for sale in Hawaii and the US.

Our importer, World Sake Imports, has made a special one time puchase of this sake to help Uchigasaki Brewery.

After the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck, the demand for premium sake in the Tohoku region diminished greatly.  Uchigasaki Brewery which is located in Tohoku was also effected by this.

World Sake Imports made a decision to purchase the Brewery’s entire remaining inventory of this high end sake (600 bottles).  This is all there is for Japan, the United States and Europe.

There is also something that makes this specific batch of sake extremely special.  Normally when they brew this particular sake they let it rest in the brewery for around 12-months prior to bottling.

This time however, because of the earthquake and tsunami, they were unable to complete the brewing process and ended up letting this batch sit an additional 6-months before they were able to bottle.

The result is a smoother, complex and more elegant flavor that is truly wonderful.  Of course we had to sample some of this sake prior to the tasting (strictly for quality control reasons) and it has quickly become another one of Nadine’s favorites.
Masumi Arabashiri Label

What is Arabashiri?
The other special treat for this Saturday is Masumi Arabashiri, a seasonal sake that it released each Spring.  The word “Arabashiri” is the name given to this particular sake but it also has a separate meaing as well.

When a batch of sake has finished the fermentation process it is pressed before bottling in order to strain out the unfermented rice patrticles and produce a clear liquid.

Wooden Fune

Picture Courtesy of Sake World
In order to do this the sake “mash” must be put into some type of press, whether it be mechanical or manual. A traditonal type of press that is still used today is called a “fune”.  It is basically a large wooden box with a lid and a hole on the bottom.

Fune with bags

Picture Courtesy of Sake World
When using a fune, the sake is first placed into meter long cotton bags that are then laid in the fune. Eventually a lid is placed over the bags and cranked down to press the sake.

Before the lid and any pressure is applied, some sake will already begin to filter out through the bags just from their own weight.  This free run or “first run” of sake is known as Arabashiri.

Arabashiri is also sometimes defined as the first 1/3 of the overall pressing that comes out first.  The middle pressing is referred to as “Nakadori” or “Nakadare” and the last pressing is known as “Seme”.


The Sake Shop
1461 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
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