Brewed by the legendary Asabiraki Co., Ltd., the Nanburyu “Southern Stream” Junmai is a very drinkable junmai that is slightly dry yet silky smooth with a precise earthy flavor. Founded in the 4th year of the iconic Meiji Era, the village of Iwate [home of Asabiraki Co., Ltd.] has acquired the reputation of “the village of sake,” due to the loveable people in the Iwate prefecture who have been blessed with optimal sake rice, water, and a plethora of skill. The brewery’s name itself comes from an 8th century poem depicting the blessing of a ship as it leaves port. Brewed using the “Nanbu style” of crafting sake, Asabiraki Co., Ltd. has used skilled toji from the prestigious Nanbu Toji Guild since its inception. One of three elite brewing guilds in Japan, Nanbu style sake is heralded for its clean and crisp flavor. The bottle itself is gorgeous, with artwork depicting beautiful flora and fauna. Eager to understand this Nanburyu “Southern Stream” Junmai, I poured myself some of the chilled brew and was swept off my feet by its drinkability.
Moderately dry, the Nanburyu “Southern Stream” Junmai is your standard junmai. A clear brew, the “Southern Stream” has a solid base of earthy and woody flavors accompanied by a tinge of potato and mushroom tones. The brisk and smoky finish combined with an unmistakable tingly aftertaste is what really sets this sake apart from the rest. An amazing beverage to pair with a meal, I recommend this brew be paired with any number of soy sauce or miso-based dishes as the lack of extreme fragrance nicely complements cuisine with noticeable flavor. When choosing a sake to pair with any sort of fare, the most important thing to remember is that the brew shouldn’t distract you from the main dish or overwhelm the flavor of the cuisine.
Overall, Nanburyu “Southern Stream” Junmai is worth a try if you are looking for a moderately dry sake that speaks to earthy flavors. The perfect brew to sip on or pair with cuisine, its smooth and gentle taste will keep you coming back for more.