Gekkeikan Horin Junmai Daiginjo Saké Review

horin-sakeIt’s not often I’m given the chance to try a new Saké, today I’m drinking Gekkeikan Horin Junmai Daiginjo. This Saké pours clear with a very slight yellow tinge to the coloring. I’ve not had nearly as many Saké brands as I’ve had rum, tequila, beer or other beverages but this “brew” brings some great unique flavors to my palate. If you’ve never tried Saké it’s time to drink along with me as we explore a few tasting properties of this Gekkeikan.

First, you’ll notice the nose is subtle, lightly sweet with a subtle chocolate-like flavoring along with some lime and light caramel flavors. The yeast flavoring of the Saké keeps your senses tuned to a typical Saké profile but the additional complexities in the nose make it inviting. Those new to Saké will need to first adapt to its aromas to start looking for the more subtle flavorings.

Tasting the Horin chilled is our first attack on the liquid. The taste is sweet yet acidic and light with a slight burn in the finish even while chilled. The burning sensation makes sense considering the 15% alcohol by volume within the Horin Junmai Daiginjo — take it slow or you could get a bit tipsy. The sweetness of the attack leads into a yeasty acidic mid-palate to a dry alcohol finish. Taking a quick breath after the sip leaves me with a pear and melon-like aftertaste.

Taking an opportunity to try Horin at room temperature was interesting as it toned down on the sweet factor while bringing up the alcohols on the finish. Overall, most of the flavors are retained or amplified at room temperature and this is extremely important if you believe you’re drinking a higher end product. Warm temperatures will bring out imperfections easily and Horin isn’t showing any imperfections on my palate.

If you’ve never had a chance to explore Saké you should give Gekkeikan Horin Junmai Daiginjo a taste. A 720ml bottle will cost roughly USD $30 so make sure you’re willing to explore the Saké before you buy it. This may change your perspective on some of the cheaper brews sold at some restaurants around the United States.

Still want more? Listen to our Saké podcast episode!


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  • Reply
    Kim Tak Gu
    March 23, 2013 at 12:31 am

    I was fortunate to purchase a bottle for 8 USD. It was on clearance. I found it mild and sweet chilled….very nice chilled. On the contrary however, it was more palatable hot.

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