I admit that a big reason why I bought this sake is the label, but what can I say? It does its job brilliantly. This super cute Halloween inspired sake is brewed by Takachiyo brewery in the Niigata prefecture.
The brewery has been around for more than 150 years and they are very particular with their sake. Takachiyo brews its sake using a type of sakamai, or sake rice, called Ipponjime.
Ipponjime was created in Niigata by combining Gohyakumangoku and Houmai rice. Similarly to Gohyakumangoku it produces a dry and clean style sake, but with a good boost of umami.
What is really special about this brewery is that they only use Ipponjime rice that either their kurabito cultivate or local farmers cultivate.
They are really keen to share all the love they have for their brewing style and their special rice, but once you look for more information about each single bottle, they share less compared to other breweries. For instance, they often don’t disclose the level of acidity, the sake meter value (which is the + or - symbol that a lot of breweries like to share with the consumers nowadays), and other information that they don’t find necessary to share. And this is because they prefer to let customers feel and taste freely without being bound by the conventional stereotypes. Personally I appreciate that, a lot.
What we know for sure about this Halloween sake is that it’s a junmai daiginjo muroka nama genshu origarami brewed using one of the latest milling techniques, called 扁平精米 or flat rice polishing.
After all these technicalities, let’s talk about the flavour.
Takachiyo is crisp, juicy and filled with umami.
As you open the bottle, it fizz almost like a sparkling sake would do, so you know something special is about to happen. Being an origarami type, this sake looks a bit cloudy with a gorgeous pearl colour.
On the nose orange peel, ripe plums and nectarines. The acidity and sweetness in this sake are so well balanced, and it kind of reminds me of a frizzy candy you would get on halloween. Takachiyo is juicy and refreshing with such a strong umami that is a real joy to drink. I keep thinking on how to pair it and, as I do so, I keep sipping on it. Maybe it’s a message that this sake is good even on its own.
Takachiyo has such a nice kick that revives you on every sip. The aftertaste reminds of oranges and mandarins and it makes it perfect to pair with chocolate covered orange treats.
This sake is so out of the ordinary and so unique that it deserves a special dish, something you don’t eat everyday, like duck a l'Orange.
As a special treat, I also used Takachiyo to prepare a Halloween-inspired cocktail. Here is the recipe:
- 60 ml of Takachiyo
- 30ml of vodka (non flavoured)
- blueberry juice
- a slice of lime
- sparkling water
In a cocktails shaker pour: sake, vodka, blueberry juice, ice and add the lime
Add ice (better if it’s crushed ice) in your favourite glass, pour the mix and add sparkling water and the blueberries