Livedoor News has an interesting feature on a vote for which curious sake names drinkers wish people would stop making fun of, and a close look at the top three.
The results are based on a survey carried out by the Goo Ranking Editorial Department “Research Plus” monitor. 500 men and women in their 20s to 40s were surveyed, and could give multiple responses.
Number 1: Chō Do-S (超ドS, “Super Sadist”)
A name that makes you think you misread something, this junmai daiginjō sake comes from the Watanabe brewery in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. The name comes from the beating taken by the top-grade Yamada Nishiki rice brought in from the famed growing areas of Hyōgo Prefecture – it’s milled for 150 hours to leave only the shinpaku starch core. The sake is also brewed slowly at low temperatures, which stresses the yeast and causes it to release desirable flavour compounds. This cruel and unusual treatment gave them the idea for the brand name.
Number 2: Shinigami (死神, “God of Death”)
Already featured on this site (A sake called… death?), the name of this sake from the Kamofuku brewery in Shimane Prefecture sends a shiver down the spine of the prospective drinker. Launched at the height of the tanrei-karakuchi (smooth and dry) style’s popularity, this mellow and umami-laden junmai signalled it was bucking the prevailing trend by refusing to choose a name associated with good fortune and instead picking one that stood for the worst misfortune possible.
Number 3: Yoru no Teiō (夜の帝王, “Emperor of the Night”)
It sounds like some suspicious energy drink, but this is a real tokubetsu junmai sake from the Fujii brewery in Hiroshima Prefecture. It has a mellow mouthfeel and is a popular sake to drink with meals. The origin of the name isn’t completely clear, but the “emperor” part is supposed to signify its great affinity with any kind of food.
You can find the entire list with 43 entries here. (Japanese) [Ones that stood out were Saitei Yarō (最低野郎, roughly translates as “Scum”) at no. 6, Onna-nakase (おんな泣かせ, “Heart-breaker”, literally “Making Women Cry”) at no. 7, Sake wo Uru Inu, Sake wo Tsukuru Neko (酒を売る犬 酒を造る猫, “sake-selling dog, sake-making cat” – see Sake cats and dogs) at no. 12, Iro-otoko (色おとこ, “Sexy Man”) at no. 15 and Tamagawa’s Hitokui Iwa (人喰い岩, “Man-Eating Rock”) at no. 18.]
- Original article (Japanese, Livedoor News, 25 July 2018)
- Watanabe brewery (Japanese)
- Watanabe brewery (English)
- Kamofuku brewery (Japanese) Beware of the ’90s site design.
- Kamofuku brewery Shinigami page (Japanese) If you really want to see the animated blood-spattered 180 ml cup and floating skull and bottle. Such ’90s.
- Fujii brewery (Japanese)