A crane logo features on all Hakutsuru (white crane) products, which are made solely in Japan. Now Japan's top sake brand, Hakutsuru was founded in 1743 in Nada, a leading sake production district. It continues to follow millennium-old brewing traditions while also adopting contemporary techniques. Hakutsuruís finest quality sake, produced at its Kobe breweries, almost invariably receive Gold Awards at the prestigious Annual Japan Sake Awards. Pictured are examples of Hakutsuruís Geographical Indication (GI) certified Nadagogo sake.
Strawberry Nigori, made by a brewery with more than a century of experience, is an innovative sake-based liqueur that combines the mild and mellow taste of nigori (unfiltered) sake with the pleasant tartness and uplifting sweetness of fresh strawberries. This beautifully textured sake can be enjoyed alone as a digestif and is also delicious served over ice, shaken with soda water, or blended with milk for a Pina Colada-esque cocktail.
The very dry taste of Otokoyama has made it a long-esteemed favourite, both at home in Japan and overseas. It is made with pure and crisp snow-melt water from Mount Daisetsu in Hokkaido, where the cold climate is ideally suited to sake brewing. Its delicious dryness is characterized by subtle sourness and sharpness, with a clear hint of the natural umami of rice. Otokoyama pairs exceptionally well with sushi and sashimi, giving it a reputation as the ideal sake for classic Japanese cuisine.
Ozeki Corporation has been a leading sake manufacturer since 1711. As the popularity of sake grows globally, Ozeki is increasing its international presence in order to satisfy the diverse needs of its customers worldwide. Ozeki‚Äôs product lineup has also expanded beyond traditional sake to incorporate new styles including sparkling sake. Try the newly launched Hana-Fuga Yuzu 250ml (left), a sparkling blend of yuzu citrus fruit and sake that‚Äôs a perfect taste of Japan, or Ikezo Yuzu 180ml (right), which has a delightfully citrusy yuzu flavour and a jelly texture for a fun mouthfeel.
Both soft, refreshing Junmai-shu Urakasumi and smooth, elegant Junmai Ginjo Urakasumi Zen (premium sake where the rice has been highly polished) are brewed slowly at low temperatures, using Saura‚Äôs unique yeast. This careful process allows the sake to develop the elegant fragrance and soft taste that characterises the brand. Both are excellent accompaniments to fish and other dishes, their subtle, balanced flavour enhancing any meal. The Junmai Ginjo box and label are decorated with zenga, ink paintings inspired by zen philosophy. Both sake can be enjoyed either chilled, at room temperature, or slightly warmed.
Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabe-gura Kimoto Junmai is brewed using the Kimoto method, a traditional process that create complexity in aroma and taste. It is made with pure, natural water from Kobe's Nada district and 100% Gohyakumangoku rice. Fragrant and estery on the nose, with hints of meion, it is soft and cerealy on the palate. Medium-bodied with well-balanced acidity; serve chilled or at room temperature. This sake can be paired widely, including lightly seasoned starters and richer main courses.
The Hakushika brand is synonymous with good taste, quality and a sense of tradition. The brandís line-up of premium sake includes: Ginjo Namachozo, a fresh, flavoursome and elegant ginjo sake; Honjozo Yamadanishiki, luxurious and smooth and a showcase for premium Yamadanishiki rice; Chokara, a clean and crisp sake thatís refreshingly dry with a hint of umami; and Junmai Taruzake, matured in cedar barrels for a rich, complex and mellow taste.