The French have a wonderful word—assemblage. Actually, the French have a number of wonderful words; it’s just too bad that we at drinkingjapan.org do not know how to pronounce them correctly. What is assemblage? Well, it is, to use the more prosaic English word, blending. And why blend? Well, there are many reasons for doing so. The blender might desire to give a young wine a bit more gravitas by adding a little wine from an older vintage, or maybe he seeks to mask a perceived deficiency by adding a more dominant and untainted flavor. For those engaging in assemblage, the most important question to be answered is the one that is repeatedly asked by Blendtec founder Tom Dickson: “Will it blend?” Mr. Dickson, who is undoubtedly the most prominent proponent of the don’t-try-this-at-home, -boys-and-girls, school of marketing, tosses an assortment of items ranging from rakes to garden hoses, iPhones to hockey pucks into his blenders to answer that ultimate question. From what we have seen, the answer is always in the affirmative. If you have not had the opportunity to see the dynamic Dickson chop, pulverize, mince, and liquefy, we encourage you to check out one of his many videos on YouTube. You might want to start with “Crowbar,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifzdez7FRbk. But the answer to the question that suits our purposes here today has nothing to do with adding heft, covering up faults, or savage attacks on inanimate objects. Simply put, it is “to create a beverage that is greater than the sum of its parts.” And recently we tasted an unusual beverage that does just that—Sakuho Terroir Le Liquore de Pomme (佐久穂テロワール リキュール デ ポム).
Sakuho Terroir Le Liquore de Pomme is an alcoholic beverage produced by Kurosawa Sake Brewery (黒澤酒造) for Ringoya SUDA (りんごやSUDA), both of which are located in Nagano Prefecture. The color is light brown; the abv is 6%; it is slightly sparkling; and it is a blend. The components? Sake, apple juice, and prune juice. Readers, of course, will be wondering whether this pastiche is palatable, and the answer is a resounding “YES.” And this is why: 1) the nihonshu imbues the beverage with sake-esque qualities; 2) the apple-juice component provides an element of fresh fruit; and 3) the prune juice, not surprisingly, adds some oxidative notes. It is our opinion that Sakuho Terroir Le Liquore de Pomme represents a new category of beverage. The question now is not “Will it blend?,” because we know that it does, but “What should we call it?”
Recommendation level (out of five stars):
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