Exquisite, complex, and fruity are the three words that come to mind. Usu-nigori is sake that has some sake yeast, rice and koji in the bottle while the bulk remains behind on the filtering cloth..i.e… a light nigori that has a pino coloda(ish) flavor to it. Normal sake is usually filtered to remove excess solid such as rice. However, in nigori type sake nothing is removed and you get a cloudy almost milky colored sake. The Usu-nigori is just a lighter and more flavorsome version of nigori.
( The cloudy soft white sediment at the bottle makes this a true winter sake)
This sake hails from Fukui Prefecture, home of the Koshi-hikari premium rice grain, which is popularized in Niigata Prefecture, the single most recognizable prefecture for sake in the world by Westerners.
The brewery is called Kokuryu Shuzo and the rice used is called Gohyaku-mangoku and it’s grown right in Fukui, which is quite nice actually considering that a lot of breweries get their sake rice from other prefectures. The rice is polished away at 65% placing it as a top class sake, despite there being no classification on the bottle.
( listening to the studio version of Kenny G’s Esther, not the live version. And admiring the light cloudy texture of this sake).
The flavor profile for this sake is complex and fruity. It’s not very often you get to enjoy a complex fruity sake that dazzles the senses and conjures up images of bygone days with a lover or a friend relaxing in a hot mineral spring. I absolutely adored this sake. And the bouquet which further enhanced the clean and smooth texture which left a very clean and sublime after-taste moved me. A big difference from the white dragon label on a previous post.
If I had to dress black dragon in flesh form it would look like her, a spry 42 year old Fukui beauty:
Light makes up, no fillers, slight dimple in the chin for uniqueness. Great looking folds in the eyes which only serve to further enhance her already beautiful smile, especially the right eye. Nice long ridge across the nose lends an air of intelligence – good nose for a sake cup. Last but not least, black hair! Black always works well against fair skinned flesh tones. And as I’ve said before, Japan can be saved by these women.