Hailing not from Japan but from sunny Forest Grove, Oregon, Rock Sake is a contender that could bring a blush to any yakuza.
Available in two varieties, we tried them both. (Both are 15% alcohol.)
Rock Sake Junmai Ginjo is the company’s traditional, filtered sake that drinkers will be most familiar with. The sake is clear, with a traditional, cantaloupe nose. The melon is stronger on the body, and it plays with an earthen clay character that gives it both a backbone and a touch of funk. Perhaps some fig notes on the top of things. Overall very pleasant, though the finish is a touch out of whack. B+
Rock Sake Cloud is roughly-filtered “nigori” sake, and I liked this a bit better. The same melon character is there, but it’s a little better balanced. Somewhat sweeter, with more pronounced honeydew character and a softer, slightly salty finish. Easy-drinking, and with even less bite than the Junmai. I like it! A-
both about $18 (375ml) / rocksake.com