Flights Of Fantasy matches sake with different fantasy characters, using bottles that compliment personality and motivations. If there were ever a character who liked to discover new drinks and get thoroughly sloshed it’s Brasti Goodbow from Sebastien De Castell’s The Greatcoats series.
Irreverent, impulsive and supremely confident in his mastery of the bow, Brasti is the kind of guy who’d make an excellent drinking buddy. His sake flights are brash, masculine and have more to them than meets the eye.
Brasti is part of the trio that makes up the core group of The Greatcoats Quartet, fighting alongside his friends Falcio Val Mond and Kest Murrowson. But unlike them, Brasti is constantly overlooked and underestimated. Falcio and Kest’s exploits are well-known across the land of Tristia, while Brasti has felt the need to compensate by turning everything into a joke and basically coming across as an arrogant ass.
This parrels the relationship that futsushu sake has with premium sake grades like ginjo and daiginjo. Futsushu is ‘ordinary’ table sake, while ginjo and daiginjo is considered to be more expensive and prized for how it’s made. It could be argued that futsushu sake lives in the shadow of premium nihonshu, just like Brasti does with Kest and Falcio.
But there’s much more to Brasti than what’s on the surface and that is the same for Choya futsushu. Far more than being ordinary, Choya futushu has plenty going on. Bright, bold and smooth, it’s an excellent sake to drink warm or cold.
Taka Noble Arrow
Brasti is a man of simple pleasures who could reel off his five favourite things on one hand: women, alcohol, making fun of Falcio and Kest, poaching and archery. With the possible exceptions of the first and third activities, archery is Brasti’s biggest love and he’ll tell anyone who listens that the bow is superior to the sword.
So of course, he’d choose a sake that extols the virtues of archery with the Taka Noble Arrow. He’d definitely break out a bottle to celebrate taking down knights with one of his bows like Intemperance or Insult.
The Noble Arrow is a junmai tokubetsu (special) sake made from a blend of yamada nishiki and hattan nishiki rice that’s been milled to 60%.
Takahiro Nagayama, the owner of the Taka brewery, brings his love of Burgundy wine into the equation. The Noble Arrow features qualities of Chablis wine, with high minerality and acidity that’s as sharp as an arrowhead.
Brasti has always been the kind of person who beats to the sound of his own drum. In his own mind, he’s never fit the characteristics of what a typical Greatcoat is and never lost sight of his personal ideals.
The same can be said for the Nanbu Bijin brewery of Iwate, who’re focused on developing their own unique sake like Aiyama. The sake takes its name from the rice used to make it, which is a rare strain that’s hard to cultivate due to its tall height and large rice ears. But the Nanbu brewery loves a challenge and has crafted a phenomenal junmai daiginjo with a 50% rice polishing rate.
The Aiyama has all the flavours a poacher like Brasti could want. Gamey, savoury qualities mingle with sweetness and underlying umami notes.
Are you a fan of The Greatcoats? Be sure to check out the Falcio edition of Flights Of Fantasy and see which types of nihonshu represent The First Cantor.