Rice: Yamada Nishiki & Tamasakae, milled 50% Yeast: K-9 ABV: 15.5%
When a producer’s business card reads “sake brewer & fungi investigator,” it’s a clear indicator that you’re headed towards a pretty funky ferment! Tottori, Japan, is the birthplace of shabu shabu made with lamb meat, and this is precisely the style of sake one would seek out to drink with that type of cuisine. The nose is quite intensely umami, with aromas of smoked meat, honey, soy-braised shiitake mushrooms, red miso, and a hint of floral. This is achieved by very heavy propagation of koji enzyme on the steamed rice, for higher amino acid and glucose levels, and 3 years of aging in tank, which lets these savory notes settle into more of a roasted, caramelized roundness. The high milling rate (this sake could technically classify as daiginjo at 50% polished) and minerality in the water result in a finish that is surprisingly clean and does not leave any of the lingering soy and molasses notes generally associated with aged sake. An ideal pairing with dry aged beef, steak tartare, marinated anchovies, and of course, mushrooms of any kind.