December 23, 2019

Pre-holiday FUK: late-night drinks

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There's bound to be drinking when DaRC is involved, and on this trip I went out for drinks each night after dinner - to a variety of bars.

After our dinner on the first night, we rushed over to Shuho (酒峰) for some sake.  We arrived at an earlier hour compared to my last visit, and it suddenly hit me that people do come here for food as well as sake...

We started with a round of something DaRC and I both like a lot:

Azumaichi Junmai Daiginjo Tobintori Show Selection (東一 純米大吟醸 斗瓶取り 選抜酒), BY28 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 39%.  Initially served too cold, showing banana notes but kinda oxidized.  Very smooth on the palate.  Sweet at first but gets a little drier.

I've been dying to open a particular bottle ever since my last visit...

Juyondai Junmai Daiginjo Ryusen (十四代  純米大吟醸  龍泉), BY27seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 35%.  Aged for 5 to 6 years before release.  Definitely fermented and yeasty nose, with fragrance like Chinese banana mochi roll, nice and complex.  Very, very soft on the palate, like Fiji Water.  Palate was a little short at first.  Much better with the second pour with a much longer finish.

Very, very happy that I finally got to taste a bottle of this sake.  About 10 years ago, I had a chance to buy a bottle but found it much too expensive... more than the top bottlings from Kokuryu (黒龍).  These days the secondary market prices have gone up 7 to 8 times since then...

After dinner on our second night, a few of us went to Bar Ant nearby for cocktails.

La France - vodka based with La France (ラ∙フランス) pear.  Very nice and sweet.

Kumquat - sweeter than expected, with lovely fragrance from the citrus fruit.

After our sushi dinner on the third night, DaRC led us to a bar famous for their whisky collection.  Once we stepped into Bar Kitchen, DaRC's eyes opened at the number of bottles along the walls. They seemed to have a ton of not just rare, but older and special bottlings.

Bruichladdich 3D The Peat Proposal - peaty for sure.

Bruichladdich "Jazz Bar Rondo" - 16-year-old, bottled in 2019 for the 60th anniversary of Jazz Bar Rondo in Saga.  Clearly sweeter, more caramel, and less peaty.  Cask strength.

Bruichladdich 18 Year - not so peaty, somewhat sweet, more power thanks to its age, and definitely burns more.

Glen Grant 23 Years Cyborg 009 - bottled in 2018.  Notes of sweet pear.

On our last night in Fukuoka, we returned to Shuho for more sake.  Ro Ro demanded that we return to open another specific bottle of sake...

Jikon Daiginjo (而今  大吟醸), BY27 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 40%. Aged for 3 years before release.  Floral and fragrant nose, and sweet like mochi, fermented rice.  A bit more dry on the palate with good depth, a little bitter finish after a sweet attack.  Second pour was more open, more powerful, with more fermented notes.

Azumaichi Daiginjo Tobintori Show Selection (東一 大吟醸 斗瓶取り 選抜酒), BY28 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 39%.  Reasonably smooth.

Toyosaku Daiginjo Time of Tsugaru Aged 20 Years (豊盃  大吟醸  津軽の時間 20年古酒), BY31 - definitely fermented and oxidized, really strong on the palate, actually dry but without the spiciness.

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