Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
tanstaafl2

Sake mystery bottle

Recommended Posts

Digging through cabinets yesterday when I came across this bottle. It has probably been in there since about 2004. I received this from a Japanese acquaintance while traveling in Japan in November 2003. I doubt it was anything fancy but I can no longer recall any details about it at all.

IMG_5448mod.jpg

IMG_5447mod.jpg

IMG_5446mod.jpg

IMG_5444mod.jpg

Can anybody give me any info about the brand and type of Saki?

It has been in a cabinet (so not exposed to light) and fairly tightly sealed with a metal screw top but it has not been specifically temperature controlled, just the normal fluctuations in a house. Might have gotten a bit warm in the summer if we were gone for a week or two.

What is the shelf life of Saki anyway? It seems to smell OK, in as much as it smells like Saki to me. Doesn't seem like a vinegar or bad wine smell anyway.

Any insights appreciated!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno what your bottle is but you could start by spelling the beverage correctly...sake.

And, while I'm not saying your bottle is not safe to drink, to the best of my knowledge it is to be drunk the fresher the better.


Edited by CDRFloppingham (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sakes, generally speaking, don't age particularly well. That being said, I know a number of sake snobs that truly adore the flavor of aged sake, and will deliberately hold onto bottles for several years to get those sherry-like oxidized notes in them. Shelf like is typically around 6 months, somewhat less for the unfiltered or unpasteurized versions (you'd know - they go funky in a really unpleasant way).

Wish I could help you with the specific bottle, but it's not one that I'm familiar with. I'll ask around at work tonight and see if anyone's ever seen it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno what your bottle is but you could start by spelling the beverage correctly...sake.

And, while I'm not saying your bottle is not safe to drink, to the best of my knowledge it is to be drunk the fresher the better.

Your are quite correct! In my haste I spelled it a bit more phonetically than is appropriate. Can't fix it now though.

Although perhaps saké is better still. Or perhaps 酒 is even better! That appears to be the same as one of the Kanji script found in several places on the bottles label.

Of course in Japan I suppose it would be Nihonshu or 日本酒 if Wiki is to be believed.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sakes, generally speaking, don't age particularly well. That being said, I know a number of sake snobs that truly adore the flavor of aged sake, and will deliberately hold onto bottles for several years to get those sherry-like oxidized notes in them. Shelf like is typically around 6 months, somewhat less for the unfiltered or unpasteurized versions (you'd know - they go funky in a really unpleasant way).

Wish I could help you with the specific bottle, but it's not one that I'm familiar with. I'll ask around at work tonight and see if anyone's ever seen it.

Thanks. Hopefully someone will be familiar with it. It definitely doesn't smell funky at all but it has been a while since I have smelled fresh saké to compare. The smell is definitely robust and somewhat earthy but not at all unpleasant.

Probably won't drink it given the age and unknown effect on quality it might have.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only reason not to drink it would be if you didnt like the way it tastes. The alcohol means you arent dealing with a food safety issue.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's famous brand "Koshinokanbai", from Niigata: literally, "Winter plum of Koshi". Koshi is part of an old name for the Niigata region, "Koshi no kuni".

From esake.com

Koshi no Kanbai (Niigata Prefecture)*

"Cho Tokusen "Daiginjo

"Kin-muku" Junmai Ginjo

"Muku" Tokubetsu Junmai-shu

"Kokusen "Ginjo-shu

Ah, Koshi no Kanbai. Following the surge in popularity of smaller sake brands from the countryside, known as "jizake", Koshi no Kanbai became instantly quite famous. The hype continues today.

Which is not to say Koshi no Kanbai is undeserving; not at all. It is in fact quite wonderful, especially for fans of the dry and light style for which Niigata sake is known. Very mild fragrances and ultra clean flavor profiles describe this sake best. While Koshi no Kanbai sake is not all that hard to find, there are many grades, and the four premium grades above will call for a bit of searching. It can also be a bit expensive. Muku and Kin-muku are available in the US.

Kudos to you if you can work out what sake grade you have there. It should be fine to drink, health-wise. Like old beer, it might not taste its best. You can always cook with it.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's famous brand "Koshinokanbai", from Niigata: literally, "Winter plum of Koshi". Koshi is part of an old name for the Niigata region, "Koshi no kuni".

Ah, Koshi no Kanbai. Following the surge in popularity of smaller sake brands from the countryside, known as "jizake", Koshi no Kanbai became instantly quite famous. The hype continues today.

Which is not to say Koshi no Kanbai is undeserving; not at all. It is in fact quite wonderful, especially for fans of the dry and light style for which Niigata sake is known. Very mild fragrances and ultra clean flavor profiles describe this sake best. While Koshi no Kanbai sake is not all that hard to find, there are many grades, and the four premium grades above will call for a bit of searching. It can also be a bit expensive. Muku and Kin-muku are available in the US.

Kudos to you if you can work out what sake grade you have there. It should be fine to drink, health-wise. Like old beer, it might not taste its best. You can always cook with it.

Thanks! If I had to guess I would say it is perhaps Honjozo-shu (本醸造)? Not quite sure what the large character on the left side of the oval label is. The right one appears to be sake. I hate to let anything go to waste so I will give it a try. Will have to see if there is someone around here who knows enough about sake to let me know if it has any value left in drinking or if it needs to find a role in cooking.

Although I suppose if I like it as is then it doesn't really matter whether it is still drinkable by anyone else's standard.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It actually says at the top of the bottle that it should be drunk quickly.

And saké is just as bad as saki. Neither reflects the pronunciation of the word (and there is no accent aigu in Japanese)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...