You know whiskey advent calendars and wine advent calendars and beer advent calendars. Now sake gets its due, courtesy of Namazake Paul, perhaps the most noteworthy online seller of sake in the U.S.
Namazake Paul’s advent calendar — the only one of its kind — is quite the production, featuring 23 180ml cups of sake — many glass, suitable for turning into votives — and one full-size bottle for December 24. It’s a massive box that will command the surface upon which you put it. But hey, it’s only for a month, right?
Unless you’re a sake pro, you probably won’t know much about the sakes in the box beforehand — particularly since every style of sake (all from Japan) is represented here, including Futsu-shu, Honjozo, Junmai, Ginjo, Daiginjo, Namachozo, Yamahai, Kimoto, and Nigori. Fortunately a tasting booklet describing each sake is included, so you can keep notes on the sakes and styles you particularly liked as you go.
At press time I have only tasted through about a third of the samples because I wanted to get this post up in time for holiday shopping, but I’ve found all the sakes worthwhile and flavorful, with my particular favorites (so far) being Chiyomusubi “Kitaro Jungin” and Hiraizumi Yamahai Tokubetsu Honjozo, though again it’s fun to watch these styles swing from sweeter to more savory and back again, all evoking the inimitable melon-meets-mushroom notes of good sake.
The asking price is steep, but it’s hard to overstate how much you’re getting in this box — nearly five liters of sake in total. If there’s a loved one in your life that really wants to take a deep dive into the sake category, this is the perfect way to give them a December to remember.
A / $300