39 Sakes in 39 Days:  Day 35 Kitsukura Barrel-Aged Taru

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39 Sakes in 39 Days:  Day 35 Kitsukura barrel-aged taru sake


We are celebrating Ten Thousand Waves’ 39th birthday with 39 sakes in 39 days at their marvelous Japanese restaurant, Izanami.  Today we’ll be talking about some more finishing touches of sake making, specifically pasteurization.

Without pasteurization, sake can easily deteriorate by a type of lactic acid bacteria called “Hiochi Kin” in Japanese.  If any bacteria gets into sake, the sake becomes white and cloudy with a bad odor.  Sake breweries pasteurize sake in order to kill off the bacteria that may be there.  Also, pasteurization will kill enzymes that accelerate the aging of sake.  Sake without pasteurization can change its flavor and aroma quite easily and quickly.  So it is important to pasteurize sake to stabilize and maintain the quality.

Our 35th sake is Kitsukura barrel-aged taru sake, a honjozo with a milling rate of 55% and a sake meter value of +3.  This sake is aged 3 months in cedar barrels with refreshingly earthy aromas and flavors of cedar barrels infusing the sake. The Taru is also excellent gently warmed.  Mateo told us that whiskey lovers really love this sake.  We really enjoyed the Taru and thought it paired beautifully with Chef Kiko’s wagyu bavette steak and spicy sausage kushiyaki.

And now you can taste Kitsukura and the other fabulous sakes in this week’s flight.  In celebration of the 39th anniversary of the Waves, they bring you 39 sakes to enjoy each week featuring a different aspect of sake.  Taste the weekly flight from now until March 8th and get a stamp in your sake passport.  Collect stamps and win fantastic prizes!  On Fridays, go to santafe.com/contests/honeys-sake-symposium to enter our contest where you name all of the 5 sakes I’ve talked about that week (hint: you can read my blogs in case you missed hearing me talk about them).  On Mondays, we will draw one correct entry and that person will receive two $39 gift certificates to Izanami and a private hot tub for two at Ten Thousand Waves.  On March 9th we will draw our grand prize winner and that person will receive a complete therapeutic massage for two, a private hot tub for two, a multi-course dinner for two at Izanami and an overnight stay at Ten Thousand Waves.  We’re celebrating 39 years of Ten Thousand Waves- your passport to relaxation, from your friends at 98-1 Radio Free Santa Fe.