Namazake is a term that is commonly seen in Japan, and is becoming more and more common outside of Japan as well, especially in North America. In short, Namazake means raw or fresh, as a Sake term it refers to unpasteurized Sake.

Sake breweries pasteurize Sake, in order to kill off the bacteria that may be there. Also, pasteurization will kill enzymes that will speed up the aging of Sake. It is a process of stabilizing Sake.

After pressing and until heat-treating, the unpasteurized sake is called nama (indicating live or raw). Until pasteurization, the new sake has a characteristic freshness of taste and aroma. Also, the various enzymes remain in an active state in nama-zake, and, although the greater part of yeast and other micro-organisms are removed during the pressing process, a certain quantity remains. For these reasons, unpasteurized sake is very prone to change during storage.

Namazake are fresher in taste with fruitier aromas, whereas conventional pasteurized Sake has a more subtle and soft flavor and usually more suited with food. It is usually best to be consumed as quickly as possible. It can last up to 6 months if unopened and for 2 weeks after opened.

Generally, Namazake has the highest degree of freshness and it has to always be stored in a fridge whether opened or unopened. You do not want to allow the enzymes or bacteria to deteriorate the Sake as Hiochi-kin (Sake deteriorating bacteria) becomes inactive under 10°C or 50°F.

Currently, we are carrying ‘Moon on the Water’, a premium Junmai Ginjo Namazake Sake. Made by one of Japan’s only female brewery owners in Hiroshima, the birthplace of Ginjo Sake, which is known for remarkably soft water that requires expert skill to use in sake production. This Junmai Ginjo is bottled immediately without charcoal filtering.

This Sake has a fruity nose of lime and melon with bold hints of fennel, white pepper and allspice. The flavors gravitate to ripe cantaloupe and anise while the minerality from the soft water is evident in the finish. It is a natural match for sweet, succulent shellfish like lobster and scallops. We have obtained a great price for this ready to enjoy premium Sake and are happy to pass our savings on to you. Only $29.99 for this truly special Namazake.

Cheers,

Bryant

Wine Buyer