TY KU Junmai Ginjo Sake (15% alcohol) – Along with Distilleria Serralles (who make the fine Don Q rums), TY KU is one of the few alcoholic products to receive the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award. Based on the quality of the sake that arrived in a gift box recently, I can see why.
Sake is not an easy beverage to make, and there are many, many styles. What you should know is that the highest classification is Junmai which is pure and unadulterated, similar to what you want in a 100% blue agave tequila. You don’t get additional flavorings, colorings or alcohol added into the mix, which indicates a less than stellar product. Low end sakes are the ones served hot to cover up their inadequacies. Junmai Ginjo is made from rice that has been polished to such a high degree that it loses 45% of it’s outer covering, leaving only the heart of the rice. This is then fermented not only using yeast, but also a proprietary domesticated fungus called Koji (Aspergillus oryzae). Sounds weird, but this combination is so efficient at turning rice sugars into alcohol, that you end up with an initial alcohol level of 14-20%. So, kudos for fungus!
TY KU Junmai Ginjo is clear with a delicate nose of herbal characteristics, mellow spices and some stone fruit elements. The initial taste is very smooth and balanced, with no hint of bitterness or biting acidity. As the flavor goes on, there is a lot of cream on the palate with slight high notes of pepper and apricot. This is excellent to drink on its own (cold, naturally), or used in a cocktail. Honestly, I’d hate to see a sake of this high quality be knocked into a glass of beer to make a “sake bomb”. However, the gift kit does contain a pair of sake cups and two sets of hashi (otherwise known as chopsticks), so instead use these gifts to drink this luscious beverage on its own with a plate of sushi. GSN Rating: A-
For more information about TY KU go to: http://www.trytyku.com