Within the sake industry, there’s an ongoing debate between the merits of junmai and non-junmai sake. Junmai sake contains no added alcohol, while non-junmai contains a small batch of brewer’s alcohol.
Depending on preferences, some might argue that junmai daiginjo is the holy grail of sake because of its connotations of being premium and pure. Curious to find out about whether junmai daiginjo is a drink worth dying for, I recently tasted Ninki-Ichi Gold junmai daiginjo.
Why did I choose the bottle?
The Ninki-Ichi Gold sake was recommended to me during a visit to Peter Street Kitchen in Manchester by one of the bartenders. I was also interested to see how junmai daiginjo ranked among other sake that I’ve tasted.
Served chilled, this type of sake had a strong fruity aroma that reminded me of persimmons and apples. The fruity quality continued with a mixture of papaya and melon on the tongue. There was also a nuttiness that came through on the second and third sips, which created a combination of sweet and savoury flavours.
The beverage came with a clean finish, but I found the clash of tastes to be quite overpowering. A silky texture gathered at the back of the throat, which stopped the sake from being as smooth as I would have liked.
The Ninki-Ichi Gold junmai daiginjo isn’t my favourite sake and compared to other blends like the Cel-24 Eternal Spring, it lacked a lasting appeal. Where the drink truly succeeded for me was to inspire future tastings of junmai daiginjo blends. I would still recommend it to people who are interested in trying sake and broadening their knowledge of the different sake grades.
- ABV: 16%
- Category: Junmai daiginjo
- Seimaibuai/Rice Polishing Rate: 50%
- Rice: Gohyakumangoku
I’d love to hear any sake recommendations you might have. Maybe you’re a honjozo fan or a daiginjo devotee. Whatever your preference, feel free to leave a comment and let’s help to raise awareness of the sake industry together.