We tasted the complete lineup of Sakari Sake recently, and our favorite of the group was the Junmai Daiginjo No. 11. A brewery since 1889 based in Nishinomiya in Hyogo Prefecture, Sakari was founded by young and ambitious people looking to change Japan through Sake and a little over 20 years later would become the official Sake for the Imperial Household. Sakari learned their techniques from the Old Tamba Sake Brewers, nationally considered the best Brewmasters producing some of Japan's most famous Sake for centuries. Sakari is one of the few Sake breweries that are adamant about respecting nature and the land creating very pure Sake while also being naturally vegetarian, gluten-free, and free of preservatives. The Junmai Daiginjo No. 11 is the best Sakari has to offer made with the natural resources of Nishinomiya, including subsoil water which comes from Rokko Mountain, which is used for its excellent mineral content delivering a superior, clean, and crisp sake. Next is locally grown Yamada Nishiki, referred to as the King of Rice, featuring a large grain that is vital for polishing down and making Sake. To start the process of fermentation, Koji is used, which is a mold that begins to break down the starch of the rice into glucose which is required for fermentation to start while at the same time the enzymes in Koji help produce the Amino Acids in Sake. For fermentation, a particular strain of yeast-based off 600 other strains was cultivated in the Sakari brewery, aptly named the Sakari Yeast. It is a unique yeast used for most of the production only at Sakari Brewery. No. 11 is Sakari's crown jewel and is made by polishing 50% of the rice. It is a gorgeous sake that shows an excellent balance between fruit and earth, starting with fresh, exotic, and tropical notes like persimmon and pineapple. As it opens up, the fruit becomes high toned and takes a side step letting the more savory flavors and minerals come through like steamed rice, beeswax, wild herbs, straw, and parmesan rind. The palate is silky, showing excellent power and richness without losing balance and energy, with an exceptional level of purity and grace at this price point. We like this Sake because it is not just a generic showing of flowers and fruit like many are; It has character and complexity that show the depth of flavors Sake can achieve. We have low pricing on some of the only bottles available in the USA now, and it is highly recommended for those looking to try something new.