Let me repeat the name " Ho-Ku-Shika." Not to be confused with another sake brewer in West Japan called HAkushika. That's very important because it's too easy to miss subtle pronunciations in Japanese, or mischaracterizations of the kanji. With that out of the way I would like to introduce a saké for this month.
Again, it's called Hokushika and it hails from Odate city, in Akita Prefecture in Tohoku. The significance for choosing this sake tonight was to bring up two points; one, about my experience in Odate, and two, about the type of saké I'm having tonight, which is the exact same sake I had up in Odate, in Akita Prefecture. For those of you who are not familiar with Akita, it is known for its extremely cold winters. It's these bitter cold winters that are perfect for brewing sake.
First, let's begin with the breakdown:
Nihonshu-do + 1
Rice: Yamada Nishiki and Akita Komachi
*雪中貯蔵 [Secchu - chozou] Snow cooled
*氷点熟成 [ Hyouten Jukusei.
If you are a beginner, then these terms will sink in eventually, just takes more drinking and more sniffing. A detailed explanation of the terms can be seen here. The flavor profiles may vary from one palate to the next. I picked up pear and honey dew melon. Clean finish with a tiny little burn down the hatch. After taste is refreshing and clean. I could drink this just like it is, and most of all it's seasonal and rare. This is why I harp on about visiting Japan and trying all of these seasonal rare sake. Stuff you cannot get outside of Japan. I highly recommend attending the sake fair in Niigata this year, too.
The first time I ever tried this wonderful sake was when I was staying at the Ainori Onsen Hotel in Nishi Karigasekiyama, right off the Ushu Highwa