One of my favorite Japanese words that I’ve learned so far is gentei (限定), which simply means limited, but is often applied to a seasonal product or limited release product. Gentei items are popular in Japan! Hakkaisan also has some seasonal products, one of which is sold only in December each year.
Hakkaisan’s once-a-year December release is Echigo de Soro Junmai Ginjo Shiboritate Nama Genshu. It is a long name so lets break down what it means!
- Echigo de Soro : Echigo is the old name for the Niigata region and de soro is an old fashioned way to say desu or “this is”, so the name means basically “This is Niigata!”
- Junmai Ginjo : Junmai Ginjo is the sake classification for this sake. To learn more, please visit our Sake Classifications page.
- Shiboritate : Shiboritate means “just pressed” or fresh from the sake press.
- Nama : Nama is a type of sake that is unpasteurized. Usually full bodied and juicy
- Genshu : Genshu is sake that is undiluted with water. These sakes are higher in alcohol, 17.5% in this case.
Drinking a shiboritate nama genshu is as close to drinking sake right from the press as you can get. And lucky for me, being at the brewery, I was able to get my hands on our Echigo de Soro Junmai Ginjo the day it was bottled! This is a sake to enjoy young and fresh. It does not get much younger or fresher than this! The taste is bright with soft hints of melon and slightly rich with clean finish that doesn’t linger. You can feel the full bodied weight of the higher alcohol but the sake overall has excellent balance. I recommend you drink this sake chilled to bring out the crisp flavors and finish.
Unfortunately, this sake is very limited and not yet sold in the U.S., but if you ever make it to Japan in December, please be sure to try one of my favorite gentei sakes!