Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Hati Hati Junmai From Morikuni Sake Brewery Co. Ltd Review

Morikuni Shuzo are clearly a sake brewery that like to do things differently. In a world dominated largely by companies established hundreds of years ago and proudly narrating their rich histories on their websites, this small brewery (founded in 2005) has had to carve out its own quirks.

Being the only brewery located on Shodo-shima Island is certainly a convenient (calculated?) start, yet Morikuni has decided to push the boundaries of sake production itself. One such example being its Sui Sui Sui; a beautifully rich and sweet nihonshu, created specifically with European food pairings in mind (see my own glowing review here).

Right from the off, the brewery’s junmai offering Hati Hati suggests similar innovation and intrigue, its stylishly stubby 300ml bottle instantly setting it apart from the typical long-necked vessels the majority of sake is presented in. Examining the bottle in more detail, the 88% seimaibuai (rice milling ratio) further adds to the nonconformity. Although there is no industry requirement to do so, the vast majority of junmai classification sake uses rice milled down to 70% or below. Hati Hati certainly succeeds in making an impression.

Cap eagerly unscrewed, below is my review.

Appearance: Transparent, non-carbonated body with a very slight, straw coloured hue; a result of its muroka (minimal filtering) style.

Nose: There is a gentle rice and cereal aroma, with little in the way of floral or fruity notes.

Palate: Hati Hati is a full-bodied rice-driven umami sake. Slightly acidic, rough booziness and a short and dry finish. Above all, clean, crisp and surprisingly easy to drink.

Verdict: Considering its outwards projection as a trendy and unusual sake, Hati Hati boasts an unpredictably traditional flavour profile. Yet, far from a disappointment, this is clearly a masterfully crafted, no-frills junmai, perfect for casual sipping or pairing with just about any meal.

Grade: Junmai

ABV: 17%

Seimaibuai/Rice Polishing Ratio: 88%

Rice: Senbonnishiki 

Bio: Jordan Smithcroft is a Manchester-based healthcare worker with an interest in Japanese culture, including Studio Ghibli, Haruki Murakami and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Having travelled to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto in 2019, he hopes to return to see more of Japan in the near future.

Jordan was shortlisted for the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Best Young Beer Writer in 2016 and has since expanded his interest into sake. He is currently undertaking the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) sake qualification in the hopes of becoming a judge and educator.

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