Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sake Tasting Notes

Many thanks to Yoshi Murakami for making our first Sake tasting an informative and memorable one! Below are the notes from the tasting.

Shinrai “Thunder Boy”(Tokubetsu-Junmai)
This Junmai is clean, crisp, and beginner friendly with delicate dryness and smoothly dissolving finish. When warmed, this sake presents itself with a curious alter ego of intensely focused personality with a pleasant dried fruit-driven maturity. Enjoy chilled, room temperature, or gently warmed.

This sake is a real treat, for it is a good lesson in contradiction. The lesson is... that it is complex in its simplicity; it is sweet yet dry, it's chewy but soft, and it seems a bit dull even though it is vast in flavor. The nose shows marshmallowy fruit, and yet the granular fragrance of the rice adds a welcome nuance. This sake is round and easy to drink for the novice, and yet interesting enough for even the seasoned sake lover.

Kobe No Kaze
This sake is very round and smooth on the palate. It is very approachable, yet it has some unique flavors like sweet nougat and green tea with a pleasant nuance and mouth feel of honey-cured bacon fat. All of these facets come together seamlessly and create what can only be described as umami. Enjoy as a cocktail, but be astounded when this sake is paired with a hearty, white sauce Italian dish.

Classification of sake:

Ingredients: Rice, Water, Koji mold, Yeast, Rice, Water, Koji mold, Yeast, & Distilled Alcohol.

Seimai buai (Polishing Rate) =% of the rice which remains after grinding.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Father's Day Weekend Kickoff: Beer and Sausage Tasting Class

The Best of the Wurst

We kicked off Father's Day weekend in the best way we could think of: Beer and Sausages! Aly was back to lead an informative and tasty class on some perfect beer and sausage pairings. Below are her notes!

1. Julius Echter Hefe Weiss (4.9% ABV)
Rabbit, Pork and Ginger Sausage (D'Artagnan)

a. This foggy pale yellow brew has a powerful aroma of banana and clove, typical of the German Hefeweizen yeast used. These pale, moist sausages, which contain no artificial ingredients, preservatives or colorings, at first bite give off a subtle, light flavor that works in tandem with the barley and wheat malt, bringing out the sweet caramelized notes of the grilled sausage. But, wait a moment and ginger and a hint of garlic descend on the palate, giving the sausage an Asian flair the complements the peppery notes of this Hefeweizen.

b. Suggested Condiments: House Roasted Veggies (with scallions or roasted sesame seeds

2.Prohibition Ale (6.10% ABV)
Mergeuz Sausage (Fabrique Delices)

a. Bittering hops play a large role in this American Red/Amber Ale, which isn't typical of all beers this style. The ale goes through several layers of alternating biscuity, toffee malt tones and piney hops, illustrating the amazing complexity of this beer. The medium carbonation and crisp hops simultaneously refresh the palette from the heat of the spicy Mediterranean beef and lamb sausage. Citrusy and sour esters beckon the diner for another round of this pairing

b. Suggested Condiments: Harissa

3.Gouden Carolus Cuvee van der Keizer (10% ABV)
Chicken Apple Sausage (House Made)

a. Deep raisin and brown sugar from this Belgian Strong Ale brings out the caramelized flavors of the grilled chicken and apple sausage. One wouldn't notice that behind the green apple and sweetbread aroma, this full-bodied ale weighs in at a whopping 10% ABV. The dry, crisp finish of the brew invites one to revisit the chicken apple sausage for another succulent bite.

b. Suggested Condiments: Grilled Onions, Sweet Maui Mustard ((or other sweet mustard))

4. Dragoons Dry Irish Stout (5% ABV)
Venison and Cherry Sausage (D'Artagnan)

a. An exemplary Irish Stout with generous hops and a strong roasted character. The tastes of dark bitter chocolate and coffee swirl together in a medium-bodied, almost creamy, brew and marry well with the sweet tart cherries in the sausage. Venison's lean nature isn't overpowered by the low carbonation, which gives way to the slight dryness on the finish.

b. Suggested Condiments: House Made Pickles