An interesting one.
I grade sake by its aroma. The stronger its aroma, the better. I also take its price into grading. If something is way too expensive, that’s going to affect its grading negatively unless it has got a God-tier aroma or something to offset its price.
I also take its taste into account although it’s not a significant factor. But, if something tastes unique in a positive way, then bonus points.
Tozai Snow Maiden Junmai Nigori Sake
Costing 23 CAD for a 720ml bottle, this sake sits in middle of range.
This is unfiltered sake and, therefore, is cloudy. I will say that it is more cloudy than others I’ve experienced.
It’s cloudy enough that you can see some sort of particles floating on surface. It was not possible to pick it up by my camera, but I did see some faint layer of bits floating on surface.
Like all unfiltered sake, this one has a sugar content which is 32g/l, but you won’t taste any sugary content. In fact, it has an aroma which tastes like …. rice.
Yes, rice. If you’ve ever cooked rice, you may recall soaking it in water. It tastes/smells just like soaked raw rice. I realize that is a weird taste to begin with, but that is what I’ve tasted.
Overall, it’s not too bad. It doesn’t wow me but doesn’t make me frown, either. You will hardly taste the ethanol due to the aroma. So, a good price coupled with a rather unique aroma means I grade this as decent.