Long ago, on one of my jaunts to Japan, we took a tour of a sake brewery. Though they took us through the process back then, I actually learned about making sake years later from the too-cute anime, Moyashimon. So, you see my knowledge of sake isn’t, ah, refined, shall we say. With that caveat out of the way…
Toronto’s first sake brewery (appropriately located in the Distillery District) has hung its sugidama above the door, so I belly up to the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company‘s tasting bar on a sunny afternoon to see what they have to offer.
I opt for the tasting flight, allowing me to try the Nama-nama, Demodori Musume (unpasteurized), and Teion Sakura (low-temperature, high koji ratio). We also try the Nama-cho and the Shiboritate (just-pressed sake). Luckily, I’m sharing the small cups with friends, so I avoid achieving the screaming-red “I’ve been drinking” face, while still being able to taste a broad range of sake.
Of them all, my favourite is the Shiboritate. Lulled by its floral and velvety start, it kicks you in the mouth as it goes down. I was told that the taste will change from day-to-day since it’s a young press. Hopefully, it’ll be as good next time!
Bottle size options are small and HUGE. They also offer salad dressing and sake kasu (the lees leftover from the sake production) for you to take home and use in your own recipes. A small selection of sake cups (even a few cedar masu too!) and bottles and other branded paraphernalia round-out the store. It’s a pretty small space for tasting (6 seats) but makes for a nice addition to the Distillery crawl.
More at The Ontario Spring Water Sake Company
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