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Reviews for 2016

August 2016 - US Sake

August 2016 - US Sake
This month's Wine feature is US Sake Wines

US Sake Reviews

Kenbishi  Mizuho Junmai
96 points
$38
Bright straw color. Complex, umami meaty aromas and flavors of tamari, beef bouillon, marinated mushrooms, and roasted plantains with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, epic, long hint of latte and cocoa, spicy roasted chestnuts, and cocoa cream finish. A rich and savory sake that brings a suitcase of umami to the party.
Okunomatsu  Tokubetsu Junmai
95 points
$26
Pale white gold color. Tropical aromas and flavors of ripe pineapple, nougat, and delicate sweet and peppery spices with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long cantaloupe salad, radish sprouts, young coconut, and turmeric tea finish. A rich, fruity, and satisfying junmai that is a benchmark of the category.
Mizbasho  Ginjo Sake
94 points
$25
White gold color. Fruity aromas and flavors of tropical fruit salad, honeyed apple, tapioca, and anise with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length coconut water and spicy baked banana finish. A wonderfully refreshing sake that will liven up any meal or get together and will appeal to Chardonnay drinkers.
Mizbasho  Junmai Daiginjo
93 points
$29
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of pineapple husk, Asian pear, and anise seed with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and an even, refreshing, medium-length nectarine custard, spiced melon, radish, and ginger finish. A delightfully fruity and delicate spicy daiginjo.
Yaegaki  "Mu" Junmai Daiginjo
93 points
$30
Pale silvery straw color. Earthy aromas and flavors of waxy honeycomb and apple, macadamia brittle, fennel, and leaves with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long coconut milk, papaya custard, and water chestnut finish. A rich, round and creamy sake with interesting savory, earthy nuances.
Ichishima  Junmai Sake
93 points
$35
Silvery straw color. Creamy, minerally aromas and flavors of clay pot, ground nuts, toasted coconut milk, and banana leaf with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, engaging, medium-length sweet cream, caramelized pear, and dried pineapple finish. A lively and attractive sake that will cover a lot of bases.
Yaegaki  "Mu" Black Label Junmai Daiginjo
93 points
$50
Brilliant silvery emerald straw color. Buttery, candied floral piney aromas and flavors of rice pudding, cinnamon roll, dried tropical fruits, and dusty balsa with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, medium-long coconut cream, delicate spiced nuts, and pepper finish. A fruity, engaging sake.
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co. Ltd.  "Horai Kaden Tedukuri" Junmai Ginjo Sake
92 points
$11
Best Buy
Clear color. Tropical aromas and flavors of ripe pineapple and papaya, baked coconut, anise seed, and goat’s milk with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, compelling, medium-long sweet cream, spicy almond brittle, radish, and hint caramelized bacon finish. A vibrantly delicious tropical fruit-driven sake that is sure to please.
92 points $11 Best Buy
Hatsumago  Junmai Sake
91 points
$20
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of almond nougat, coconut water, melon and papaya, and kohlrabi with a silky, bright, dryish light body and a smooth, breezy hint of anise finish. A very clean and flavorful junmai with excellent balance and length.
Kurosawa  Junmai Kimoto Sake
90 points
$20
Medium straw color. Green, creamy aromas and flavors of dried citrus and melon in cream, bamboo, Greek yogurt, and caulk with a silky, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy honey baked apple, jicama, and green pineapple and coconut finish. An appetizing sake for the table.
Kenbishi  Kuromatsu Honjozo Sake
90 points
$35
Silvery straw color. Interesting, umami aromas and flavors of marinated mushrooms, cacao nib, hint of tamari, and rice cake with a satiny, vibrant, medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length chocolate coconut milk, jicama, and radish finish. An intriguing cocoa-accented sake with great table appeal.
Ichishima  Junmai Daiginjo Sake
90 points
$70
White gold color. Grainy aromas and flavors of rice flakes, baked pear in cream, almond skin, and hint of crayon with a bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy peppered jicama, rice pudding with powdered sugar, and cashew brittle finish. A pleasant, relaxing sake with a nice creaminess.
Shichiken  Junmai Sake
89 points
$26
White gold color. Interesting, exotic smoky aromas of grilled pineapple and mango, toasted herbs, pickled melon rind, and cashew fruit with a satiny, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, complex, medium-long spiced melon in cream and overripe yellow apple finish. A buoyant and flavorful junmai with a pleasing creamy, roundness.
Hananomai  Junmai Ginjo Sake
88 points
$20
Emerald straw color. Toasty aromas and flavors of coconut macaroon and taffy, caramel nougat nut bar, powdered milk, and hint of latex and clay with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, refreshing, breezy horchata, melon in cream, daikon, and hint of green mint tea finish. A solid, well made junmai ginjo.
Four Fox  Junmai Daiginjo Sake
88 points
$60
White gold color. Dusty aromas and flavors of powdered milk and almond flour with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity body and an effortless, charming, breezy papaya, cream of rice cereal, and cashew fruit finish. An interesting grain-forward daiginjo.
Ichishima  Ginnoyorokobi Daiginjo
88 points
$170
Silver color. Dusty, earthy aromas and flavors of gravel, mushroom, vanilla yogurt, and bark with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and an engaging, medium-length dried papaya, coconut milk, and mulch finish.
Yaegaki  Kurobin Black Bottle
87 points
$20
Pale white gold color. Fruity aromas and flavors of Asian pear, buttermilk, honeyed nuts, and coconut water with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, delightful, breezy apple, starfruit, and water chestnut finish. A savory and nicely structured sake that will go great with tempura.
Yaegaki  Draft Sake
85 points
$5
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Umami aromas and flavors of overripe melon and papaya, seaweed salad, honeyed potato peel, and marinated mushrooms with a round, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, compelling, breezy melon balls, creamy rice pudding, nougat, and radish sprouts finish. A round, savory sake sipper.
85 points $5 Best Buy
Ichishima  Silk Deluxe Junmai Sake
85 points
$32
White gold color. Savory, umami aromas and flavors of marinated mushrooms, macadamia brittle, toasted meringue, and dried pear with a supple, off-dry body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length powdered sugared pineapple and peach, persimmon, and coconut rice pudding finish. A notably sweet and fruity sake that will pair nicely with spicy foods or desserts.
Ichishima  Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake
85 points
$32
Silver color. Earthy aromas and flavors of dusty sweet potato, lemon-lavender talc, and roasted chestnuts with a bright, dry body and a smooth, swift melon ride and hint of citrus finish. A light and round sake for carefree enjoyment.
Makiri  Junmai Ginjo
84 points
$20
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of dried papaya and mango, nutskin, and leafy earth with a silky, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and an even, engaging, cheery delicate spice, rice pudding, fruit pith, and egg shell finish. A pleasant ginjo quaffer.
Ichishima  Seishu Sake
84 points
$27
Light silver color. Citrusy, fruity aromas and flavors of plantain, bamboo, and macadamia nut with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity light body and a sleek, breezy melon rind, daikon, papaya, and rice paper finish. A solid sake for the table.
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