Flights of Fantasy creates a saking tasting menu based on the personalities of different fantasy characters. Falcio Val Mond from Sebastien De Castell’s The Greatcoats series is one of my favourite fantasy heroes because of his complexity, stubborn idealism and swashbuckling attitude.
The First Cantor of The Greatcoats has dedicated his life to bringing justice to his homeland of Tristia, so his choices of sake would be loud, indomitable and have an air of adventure.
Falcio’s exploits are known across Tristia and his reputation as a duelist and magistrate have gone beyond his control. Falcio is capable of great courage, but he’s also reckless, arrogant, shortsighted and belligerent. For better or worse, he’s one of the most famous men in the country and a lot of that has to do with deliberately throwing himself into impossible situations and talking too much when he should be fighting. In other words, he’s complicated.
Dassai 23 has a similarly complex reputation in the sake world. The Dassai brand is known across the world as a top-quality junmai daiginjo, yet some might call it overpriced or overrated.
Dassai 23 is a stubbornly self-assured sake. It’s elegant, graceful and comes with a sumptuous 23% rice polishing rate. The perfect drink for a duelist who favours skill and wit in battle.
Suehiro Ken The Sword Daiginjo
Ever since he was a child, Falcio was determined to be a Greatcoat and he took up the sword to defend the land against injustice. His weapons of choice are dual rapiers and a suitable sake to reflect his love for elegant blades is Suehiro Ken Daiginjo.
Translating to ‘the sword’ in English, this daiginjo is produced by the Suehiro brewery located in Fukushima Prefecture. With a rice polishing rate of 40%, the nihonshu is as sharp as its namesake: peach, melon, banana and citrus zip across the tongue.
There’s also an underlying dryness that matches Falcio’s biting sense of humour and sarcasm.
Kokuryu Number 88
Luck has never been on Falcio’s side. He’s constantly pitted against overwhelming odds and evil doers who’re usually far smarter than he is, so he’s learned to use humour as a defence mechanism as much as a way to change the odds in his favour.
With that in mind, Falcio would likely choose an ironic sake like Kokuryu Number 88. In Japanese culture, the number 8 is considered lucky because the kanji symbol (八) looks as if it’s spreading out and seems auspicious. So, the number 88 is considered to be twice as lucky! Falcio would pour himself a glass to toast how unlucky he was with his friends Brasti and Kest.
Kokuryu Number 88 is a junmai daiginjo sake made by the Kokuryu brewery in Fukui Prefecture. Polished down to 35%, this nihonshu swings between sweetness and acidity as quickly as swords crossing. Soft, bitter notes linger in the finish and there’s flavours of orange, rice and honey flickering together.