I had the honor of tasting nine different sakes from distilleries all over Japan. The tasting was hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami and UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
Douglas Mueller, owner of a Japanese cafe and grocery store in Jacksonville, led the tasting. Mueller claims to have gained his experience from traveling through Asia. He has picked up a lot of knowledge from the locals who live there. Sake will differ in taste depending on what region of Japan you are in. The beverage usually has an alcoholic content of 14-17 percent. Since sake is made out of rice, the grains are milled to a certain degree.
He began by saying sake was served from a whole range of temperatures. You cold drink it either hot or cold. The temperature will affect the taste. Drinking it hot will give a rounder taste. However for premium sake, it is normally served slightly chilled. There were two grades of premium sake; Ginjo and Daiginjo. The grains for Ginjo sake are 40 percent milled away and it is considered to be “super premium sake”. Daiginjo is at least 50 percent milled away and is classified as “ultra premium sake”.
Mueller describes these as the “Nine great sakes of Japan”.
- ) Junamai Daiginjyo
milled to 23 percent, alcohol content is 16 percent by volume, serving temp is 50-50 degrees fahrenheit.
2.) Junmai Daiginjyo
milled to 35 percent, alcohol content is 16 percent by volume, serving temp is 41 degrees fahrenheit.
3.) Junmai Daishinsyu
Milled to 38 percent, alcohol content is seven percent by volume, serving temp is 50 degrees fahrenheit.
Milled to 40/50 percent, alcohol content is 16 percent by volume, serving temp is 50-59 degrees fahrenheit.
5.) Aizu Homare
Milled to 40/50 percent, alcohol content is 16 percent by volume, serving temp is 41-50 degrees fahrenheit.
Milled to 45 percent, alcohol content is 15 percent by volume, serving temp is 41 degrees fahrenheit.
Milled to 50 percent, alcohol content is 15 percent by volume, serving temp is 50-59 degrees fahrenheit
8.) Mizubasho Pure
Millled (n/a), alcoholic content is 13 percent by volume, serving temp is 41-46 fahrenheit.
9.) Kishu Umeshu
Milled (n/a), alcoholic content is 20 percent by volume, The brewing begins the day the plums are picked, that’s why there is no milling.
According to Lexi Grant from Pierson Grant “the ultimate goal is for sake to become a staple of Orlando’s restaurant, catering and hospitality industry, allowing both residents and visitors to experience sake and Japanese culture in Orlando”.