In Japan, temperature starts to go down from September and cool wind brings the Autumn. New labels will appear in the showcases of bottle shops and restaurants from September. The labels are HIYAOROSHI（ひやおろし）which are only available from September to November. This article describes what it is and why it is so special.
How sake nouveau to be HIYAOROSHI
Sake is normally brewed during the winter. Some of newly brewed sake are sold as sake nouveau with no pasteurization. Most of newly brewed sake is pasteurized and stored in barrels or bottles. Those pasteurized sake are pasteurized again before delivering to each market. Most of breweries live their life to sell those twice pasteurized general labels.
But in autumn, there are some limited sake whose 2nd pasteurization is skipped appear in the market. We call this limited sake as HIYAOROSHI.
Pasteurization is very important step to stabilize the taste and commercialize sake, however the step tends to lose the uniqueness which each sake originally has. You can enjoy the obvious difference of each sake with HIYAOROSHI.
Its rich taste
Since HIYAOROSHI matured for more than half year, the taste normally becomes milder and richer than fresh sake nouveau. Some sake which have fruity fresh aroma tends to turn more glamorous and condensed full-body type.
Components consist sake are combined well and roughness of sake nouveau fades away. I think sake nouveau’s rough but young and fresh taste is unique and fantastic. Sake nouveau reminds me of the arrival of new year and make me feel refreshed.
Contrary to sake nouveau, HIYAOROSHI’s roundish and well-balanced taste makes us feel very calm and warm.
HIYAOROSHI comes along with the arrival of cold Autumn. According to our perfect hot sake guide, full-body type rich and mind sake is good for hot sake. Consequently, we Japanese love to drink HIYAOROSHI in hot style.
3 types of HIYAOROSHI
・Natsugoshi Sake（Begging of Autumn）
This is early HIYAOROSHI released in the beginning of September. Its roughness and bitterness fades out but the taste if still lighter. We can enjoy the best of both Summer fresh sake and Autumn matured sake.
・Akidashi Ichiban Sake（Mid of Autumn）
It’s a perfect HIYAOROSHI released in the mid of Autumn. Balance of flavor reaches the climax.
・Banshu Uma Sake（End of Autumn）
It’s just like a ripened fruits released just before new brewery season comes. Taste, aroma and everything gets super condensed and the mildness and richness becomes very strong which cannot be compared with sake nouveau. This type of sake matches with dishes with rich taste like beef steak in consequence.
Autumn is the best season of the year for various kind of vegetable, mushroom, seafood and gibier in Japan. The flavor of veggies and mushroom become stronger and be more juicy. Seafood and gibier store fat and its taste becomes much richer. HIYAOROSHI is also released in this gourmet season. As written above, HIYAOROSHI has richer taste, so that it must be the perfect partner of those seasonal rich foods.
I recommend to enjoy pairing with foods which have strong savor usually spoil the flavor of sake. HIYAOROSHI shows us another face of sake and its possibility.
1 Oct, the day of sake
As a reference, I would like to touch upon an event during HIYAOROSHI season.
1 Oct is the day of sake which celebrates the harvest of brewery rice and new brewery season.
Sake breweries count years in special way with using “brewery year” starting from October and ending on next September. It’s very important day for brewers. Let’s give a toast with HIYAOROSHI on 1 October.
2 HIYAOROSHI of SAKEMARU
AZAKURA TOKUBETSUJUNMAI HIYAOROSHI
Even though it’s matured for more than half year, the aroma is still fresh and fruity like apple. Once you take a sip, apple pie like creamy and condensed sweetness spreads all around the mouth.
The first impression is full-body type but it will be changed on the way sake goes through your throat. The rich sweetness transforms to spicy driness. It’s very good sake picking the best of both Summer fresh sake and Autumn matured sake.
It’s also great for chilled and hot.
IKIOIMASAMUNE JUNMAI HIYAOROSHI
It’s matured for over half year in the refrigerator whose temperature is controlled at 5 degrees.
Brewery rice MIYAMANISHIKI is originally produced in Nagano prefecture and gives very rich umami and clear after taste by slowly maturing.
Aroma is like mellow fruit such as banana. Gentle but rich attack makes you feel very relaxed. Thanks to maturing for long time, texture and taste gets smoother and more gentle, despite the taste is originally roundish as it is.
What we should strain our eyes is its unique finish. Its very clear and transparent like mineral, but the flavor lasts very long. The long lasting flavor is very gentle but vibrant. I can be good partner of intensely flavored foods.