Every once in a while, a label truly surprises me. I’m very familiar with the offerings of Nanbu Shozu’s Hanagaki line of sake, but I was completely unfamiliar with their Usu-NIgori Junmai Daiginjo. I was admittedly not even familiar with the concept of “Usu-Nigori,” which is a very light style of nigori that John Gautner describes in the following way:
There is also something known as usu-nigori, or thin nigori. This is nigorizake that has been pressed so that only a fine mist of lees remains within the bottle. Naturally this allows more of the original nature of the sake to come through, with only a bit of added acidity and big flavor coming through as a result of the remaining lees.
I’m not sure if it’s that “original nature” coming through, but this label has that crisp freshness that reminds me of drinking fresh sake in Japan. Combined with its silky texture and smooth flavor, It’s quite a treat!