PR Times reports on a new launch by Clear on their sake e-commerce site SAKE100 (“Sake Hundred”). The site aims to sell premium, high-priced sake and this is their third product to date.
New offering Amairo (天彩, the colour of heaven) was released on 24 October 2018 as an unusual dessert sake.
The article describes it as completely unique, with a surprising richness delivering honey-like sweetness accompanied by distinctive acidity and rounded umami to build up a many-layered flavour. The brand is positioning itself as a completely new way to enjoy sake, with the slogan “Blissful Dessert Sake”.
The sake’s unique taste is created through what the article calls ruijō-shikomi (累乗仕込み, exponential brewing), where part of the brewing water is replaced by sake resulting in deep sweetness and umami. [The ancient and revived 貴醸酒 kijōshu style of brewing.] Amairo goes one step further, using this sake brewed with sake in a further round of brewing to blend sweetness, acidity and umami into a deep and rich flavour profile. [So kijōshu squared?]
Clear’s partner in production is the Miyoshino brewery in Nara, famous for their Hanatomoe label. The brewery was founded in the town of Miyoshino over 100 years ago, and the local climate of high humidity is supposed to have contributed to the growth of fermentation techniques. The brewery’s philosophy is operate in accordance with the blessings of nature and express their local area through the sake they produce.
Amairo will cost JPY 7,300 (tax included) for a 500 ml bottle.
SAKE100 was launched in July 2018 and aims to bring sake drinkers “the bottle you’ll be proud of for 100 years”. [Might make more sense if you think about Japanese life expectancy, or just take it as a figure of speech.] All sake sold on the site will be original collaborations between Clear and individual breweries. The site aims to create a market for higher-priced sake by selling luxury products for occasional consumption rather than everyday drinking.
Their first two launches were Byakko (百光) from the Tatenokawa brewery in Yamagata, made from organic rice milled to 18% (JPY 16,800 tax included for a 729 ml bottle), and Shinho (深豊) from Kazuma Shuzō in Ishikawa, a kimoto junmai muroka genshu that brings out all the umami present in its locally-grown rice.