Konishi Gold, Hiyashibori, Daiginjo, Konishi Shuzo, Sake, Japan (15%)
About this SPIRIT
Alcoholic beverages made from rice, are based on the fermentation of rice starch which converts to natural sugars and alcohol. Unlike the production of beer which utilises mashing to convert starch to sugars, the rice beverage making relies on action of acids or enzymes like amylase.
Rice-based beverages typically have a higher alcohol content, 18%–25% abv, than still wine (9%–15%), and a higher alcohol content than the standard beers (usually 4%–6%).
Sake (a Japanese rice-based brewed alcohol) is misleadingly referred to as Rice Wine, although unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by means of a brewing process more akin to beer.
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I usually serve this chilled, in a white-wine glass. Bright and lifted on the nose, there are some pear notes, with beguiling hints of richness to come. The palate has a toothsome density that is beautifully lightened by touches of citrus zest and more pear. Dashes of umami give the moreish finish the tiniest bit of heft. This is utterly sublime with less-intense cheeses, and even better if said cheese is resting on a coarse oatcake, beside some celery batons.
Rob Whitehead, Spirits Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (June 2021)
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