Well who knew Ontario could make Sake! IZUMI of the North is the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company and the 1st Ontario Sake Brewery (the only one from my understanding). I happen to discover them this past week while enjoying a stroll through the Toronto Distillery District. Nestled in the cobble streets of this historic area of Toronto, is where IZUMI makes their traditionally Japanese rice nectar. I have always been curious about Sake – probably due to my fascination with Japanese culture … and alcohol – and supporting local business is important to me so it was only right to purchase myself a bottle.
Appearance : The reasonably priced 300 ml bottle with beautiful cultural design is clearly eye catching. The Sake is pure as water. Clear, clean, with maybe a slight yellowing but that may be a trick of the light or eye. The best descriptor for it appearance would be to say, clear and water white.
Aroma: With a medium intensity and an obvious reminiscent smell of boiled then cooled rice grain, its effect of smelling like a brewery and winery at once was my first impression. Distinctively present also are the aromatics of fruit and flower. More specifically spring floral, tropical fruits, and melon- fresh youthful banana, cantaloupe, even clove.
Taste: A sure warming presence of alcohol but not overbearing with a very slight rice grain sweetness. Much lighter in body and intensity than I expected with a reemergence of those aromas on taste but not as strong as in smell.
Mouthfeel: A residual slickness left behind much like after a glass of milk, but drying on the tongue – yet very light.
Finish: As the alcohol warmth subsides the flavors linger longer than expected, yet leaving you thirsty for more.
Overall: I was thoroughly impressed and very much enjoyed this! this product specifically needs to be kept refrigerated because it’s unpasteurized, which maintains a lot of that fruity character. I can see myself enjoying this as a lighter alternative to harder spirits or maybe substituted in cocktails to add a different dimension to the drink. Either way I would definitely recommend this others as a good introduction to the world of Sake. KANPAI!