Whether it’s a springtime picnic, backyard barbecue, or an afternoon in the sun, bring along a Namazake to enhance the season.
What makes Namazake Unique?
“Nama” means fresh and refers to “unpasteurized” sake. Pasteurization is the second to last step in the sake brewing process and kills off any remaining yeast and enzymes left in the bottle post-brew. In the creation of a Namazake, this step is bypassed, and you are left with a fresher, livelier and more fragrant flavor. This specialty sake is typically enjoyed in Spring at the end of the traditional brewing period as a toast to the changing of seasons in Japan. It is a rare, but cherished drink that is meant to be celebrated and treated as such.
Namas tend to be noticeably different from pasteurized sake in a variety of ways, including flavor, but most of all, storing and TLC. They must be kept refrigerated to remain fresh and are meant to be consumed within six months of purchase. Serve your Nama chilled for best results but be sure to savor every last drop, quickly, as they are meant to be drank in full soon after opening. Though traditionally sake is sipped from an ochoko or “small ceramic cup,” don’t be afraid to treat your sake as nicely as your wine by swirling and sipping from your favorite wine glass. This ensures you get every ounce of yummy aromas and a flavor filled mouthfeel from each sip.
Fukucho Moon on the Water Namazake
Fukucho Brewery is located in Hiroshima, Japan. The brewery president or “Toji,” Miho Imada is one of a select few female brewery presidents in a male dominated industry. Miho-san has revived a local rice that hadn’t been used for hundreds of years and brought new life to it through her sake creations.
Tasting Notes: Moon on the Water Namazake is the perfect representation of just that, alive and bright. It is intensely aromatic and filled with smells of fresh pineapple, violet, and key lime pie. Be sure to bring this sake to your next crab feed, pair with a charcuterie board of goat cheese and fig or enjoy with your next citrus-tinged dessert.
Takahiro Nagayama Noble Arrow
Taka Brewery is located in Yamaguchi, Japan. The Master Brewer or “Toji,” Takahiro Nagayama, has named this sake after the first character of his name, “Taka,” meaning “Noble.” A true reflection of his unwavering discipline to his brewing technique and precision.
Tasting Notes: Noble Arrow Namazake is elegant in every sense of the word. With fresh aromas of lemon curd, Hefeweizen, and guava, the brightness shines through each sip. It is creamy, luxurious, and tends to leave a hint of spearmint and herbal notes on the palette. Make sure this Nama tags along to your next seafood dinner.
Ama No To Heaven’s Door Namazake
Asamai Brewery is located in Akita, Japan. Brewery president, Moriya-san is a critically acclaimed chef who brews his sake specifically to enhance a meal. He is sure to use rice and materials grown in fields within seeing distance from his brewery.
Tasting Notes: Heaven’s Door Namazake showcases the grain and liveliness of the resources used. While sipping you may notice notes of charred pizza crust and roasted peanuts with a salty passion fruit finish, but most of all a rich texture you are guaranteed to crave. Try this sake with game birds, delicious pork ribs, or wild mushrooms.
Rihaku Origin of Purity Namazake
Rihaku Brewery is located in Shimane, Japan. The brewery uses one of the only rice strains that has been grown consistently in Japan and is one of the most difficult to harvest. By utilizing one of the best Omachi growers in the country, Rihaku has crafted this one-of-a-kind, pure and balanced Namazake, Origin of Purity.
Tasting Notes: A truly robust and powerful expression of the Nama category with layers of blackberry, lime, and toasted seaweed. Cook up your favorite steak or sip as you enjoy cured meats. Origin of Purity can handle even the richest of proteins.
The tale of Namazake is long and well deserved. The flavors are unmatched and the variation from one Nama to the next is a big reason they are so cherished in Japan. Whether you are buying your first bottle of sake or you are a connoisseur of all things brewed, Namas are a refreshing touch to add to any occasion. Sip. Live. Breathe. Namazake
Find various flavors of Namazake in our refrigerated saké cases only at our Greenbrae, Sausalito, SF Pacific Heights, SF Twin Peaks and Burlingame locations.