I'm in Colorado for nearly two weeks, first in Denver and then in Colorado Springs. Naturally, while I'm here, I am going to try to find new sakés to try.
Our first night here, we had dinner in a nice little Japanese restaraunt called Sushi Han. There were only a couple of choices for saké and they weren't even listed by name, so I chose the mystery "Junmai Ginjo" and hoped for the best. I was happy when they brought the bottle to the table and I found that they were serving Hakushika Junmai Ginjo (SMV +0, acidity 1.4). The aroma was very subtle, just barely rice I thought. But the taste: Chocolate! Chocolate rice! Really, once the idea of chocolate entered my mind, I couldn't think of anything else, except for the fact that this saké felt thick. It almost felt like it had the consistency of oil although that makes it sound unpleasant and it wasn't.
When we were finished with dinner, I covertly hid the bottle in my bag and I'm looking at it now and wondering what "BL.BL" means. It is stamped on the label in the manner that a bottling date usually is, so I tried googling "saké date on bottle" and had no luck with what I was looking for, but I did find a bizarre sounding movie. Saké Bottle Battle (2004) is described as follows:
A man and a woman, on their pivotal fourth date, dine together in a Japanese restaurant. But when the man demands that the woman steal a saké bottle for him, their individual truths -- alternately eccentric, kinky, and perfectly understandable -- cause them to bond in uniquely human fashion.
I have the feeling that this movie won't be in my netflix queue anytime soon.
Today I had the chance to stop in at Chateau Liquors, a very nice shop with a large selection of wines and a few sakés on the shelf as well. I bought one of each of everything that they had that I hadn't tried before:
Notice the bottle on the right is missing it's cap. That is because I decided to begin research on some of my new saké right away. Tentaka Kuni "Hawk in the Heavens" (SMV +3, seimaibuai 55%, acidity 2.1) was the first thing I tried. The aroma on this one was pretty light; only a bit of rice. There was a slight alcohol taste, but also a bit of fruit that I wasn't expecting from the scent. The acid was a little sharper than I like, but overall, I think this was a nicely balanced saké. I didn't finish the entire bottle, so I will try the rest later and compare the "fresh" and the "been open a few days" taste.
I believe that, barring a saké emergency that I must relay, the report on my Colorado trip will pick up in a few days when I reach Colorado Springs.