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Haku-ryu: 大吟醸 白龍

To be quite honest I was a little reluctant about picking this one up last time I was in Niigata.  For one, I normally stick with namazake or junmai ginjo; I also love honjozo nama type sakes as well.  The other reason would be that just because something is/was made with labor intensive techniques doesn’t necessarily mean it will taste better than the not so labour intensive brands.   This is where I feel foreigners differ from Japanese in terms of what they look for in taste.

Westerners in general tend to agree that a better brewed or better refined sake will almost always taste better than any other sake.  Japanese drinkers tend to digress from this line of logic as all sake regardless of how it was brewed has its own unique distinction and that it should be appreciated for its own unique  flavor characteristics. 

There are some futsuu-shu,regular table sake, that I have fallen in love with over a daiginjo simply because of some of the more unique flavor profiles you can get from some table or special designation sake.  But let me not take the spotlight away from this delicious sake:
( Beautiful Shikuramen flower next to the sake)
special lips
( soft touch on the lips is how this sake feels from the start)

Other Name: White Dragon
Type of sake: Daiginjo.
Seimai Buai: Rice milled to 40%
Alcohol: 16-17% by volume
Rice: Yamada Nishiki and Takane Nishiki
Water: Underground water from Agano-fukuryuusui
Yeast: Kyokai #9
SMV: +5 Acidity: 1 Amino acids: 0.5
No sulfites, no preservatives.

This is a good sake, but not my favorite.  I have had better.  This a smooth sake.  Clean refined and lightly fruity.   As you may know from my previous postings though that I prefer a sake with a greater flavor dynamic, like this one for example, or this one.  And although Hakuryu is a winner of the monde award, it lacks the full dynamic I  personally look for in a sake.
It’s definitely worth a try though.  I highly recommend it for white fish, not red – less oily is better. 

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