It still feels like summer out, but those days will soon be fleeting as fall makes it’s arrival. While we love and will miss summer, autumn has many charms that we embrace. The leaves change colors as nature weaves it beautiful magic, late season fruits and vegetables are in markets and stores — and being the sake lovers we are, it also makes us excited for the arrival of the Fall sakes, including one of our favorite kinds, Hiyaoroshi.
Sake brewing traditionally finishes in spring of each year, and a six month aging process helps smooth out the flavors, which is why the new batches of sake are usually released in the fall. Typically sake is pasteurized twice to ward off any unwanted enzymes that can spoil the taste. Remember, sake brewing goes back many centuries before the advent of refrigeration, so the extra measures to protect it were vital to a great brew. However, once it began to get cooler in the season, brewers would release a version that is only pasteurized once — this is known as Hiyaoroshi. Sake lovers eagerly awaited its arrival every fall. So do we!
In Japan, some prefectures like Nagano and Saga have set September 9 as their official day for releasing each year’s Hiyaoroshi.
Hiyaoroshi has a lively, clean flavor to it — very vibrant with wonderful aroma and a nice, smooth finish. We can’t wait to try some of this year’s versions and will be heading to one of our favorite sake stores in New York City — Sakaya in East Village — to enjoy some when they arrive in the U.S. next month. We're excited to find out what this year's winners will be.
We encourage and invite you to try this seasonal delight. But don’t wait too long. Hiyaoroshi is typically released in small batches, so the supply can go quickly. Kanpai!
Seasonal recommendation from Sakaya
Wakatake Onikoroshi Akino Ki-ippon Tokubetsu Junmai Namazume
若竹 秋の生一本 ひやおろし 特別純米生詰め
Uraksasumi Tokubetsu Junmai Namazume
浦霞 特別純米 ひやおろし 生詰め