The sake under review today is a nigorizake from Shirakawa-go, Gifu Prefecture, home of the famous gasshō-zukuri, or thatched-roof houses, which is one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Shirakawa-go is also famous for its Doburoku Festival. What is the difference between these two types of sake? “The difference between doburoku and nigorizake is that while nigorizake is partially filtered, doburoku is unfiltered, although often the terms are used interchangeably.”*
Miwa Shuzo’s nigorizake has a wonderful mouthfeel. It is thick and coats the tongue like heavy cream. It gives one a pleasing tingle, what the Italians might describe as frizzante. The alcohol by volume is 14.5%. The nose is vaguely and pleasantly reminiscent of cheese. The finish is long and characterized by a wonderful sweetness. The sweetness level may be too much for some, but one of us loved it. This is dessert in a glass. Keep the cake in the oven, and serve it another day: you have everything you need here.
N.B. This nigorizake is nama, not heat treated, and thus has a short shelf life. Keep it refrigerated and drink it soon.
*Drinking Japan: It’s Not Just Sake, O’Connor & O’Connor, (Sanshusha, 2019, p. 43).
Recommendation level (out of five stars):
We have written a book. For more information on Japanese beverages, please check it out. You can get it at fine offline and online booksellers in Japan, including Rakuten, HMV books.