Rock Saké
Ultra Premium Saké — The highest grade saké in the world
Rock Saké® Junmai Daiginjo

Combining ancient Japanese artisan tradition with modern technology, Rock Saké ® brings the best of Asian refinement to the American palate. Its smooth, fresh flavor is hand crafted, using only the finest ingredients- all-natural California rice milled to 50%, and pure spring water from the coastal mountain ranges of Oregon. Our ultra-premium sake is gluten free, contains no sulfites, preservatives, or additives; just a delicate, crisp flavor that lightens the spirit and refreshes the body and soul.

The Sip Experience: Light floral and sweet citrus on the nose, perfectly balanced body with hints of rock melon and an even finish.

Rock Saké® Cloud

Rock Saké ® Cloud is “nigori” saké, which means “cloudy” in Japanese. This specially designated sake is roughly filtered, thus opaque in appearance, and has a slightly sweeter flavor. Before saké filtration techniques were modernized, all sakés were nigori, so this is the most traditional form of sake. Rock Saké Cloud is Junmai Ginjo quality – the rice used is polished down to 60% of its original size, and there is no distilled alcohol added during the brewing process. It contains no preservatives, no sulfites and is gluten free.

The Sip Experience: Fresh aroma, slightly sweet, hints of rock melon and coconut with a delicate finish.

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Rock Saké founder, Seth Podell, on the American boom of Saké

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The Rock Saké Story

Produced Locally
Rock Saké is brewed in Forest Grove, Oregon, then stored in a temperature controlled environment.

Fresh
Unlike wine, saké is best consumed fresh and generally does not age well. Imported saké can spend up to 12 weeks on a boat that may or may not be temperature controlled. Producing locally cuts down on transportation pollutants, and leaves a low carbon footprint.

The Rice
A unique strain of Calrose rice grown in the Sacramento valley of Northern California that is ideal for saké making.

Perfect for saké, yields light, aromatic flavors
Medium grain rice, perfectly suited for milling away the outer layer impurities. The rice grain is soft, and absorbs water easily, allowing the Koji to make its way into the center which makes it ideal for saké making. Also, locally grown it supports U.S farming.

The Water
Fresh mountain spring water from the coastal ranges of Oregon.

Ideal for making saké
Our water is naturally rich in potassium, magnesium, and phosphoric acid, all of the elements necessary for brewing great saké. Conversely, it is low in iron and manganese, both which adversely affect the color and taste of saké.

The Koji Mold & Yeast
Rock Saké is brewed in Forest Grove, Oregon, then stored in a temperature controlled environment.

Authentic Japanese tradition
Both are imported from Japan in efforts to make the highest quality tasting saké

The Class / Grade
Junmai / Daiginjo

Accounts for just 3.3% of the saké market, considered
ultra-premium.
Junmai – Pure
Refers to saké that is brewed from only pure rice and water with absolutley no alcohol added. Many saké breweries in Japan add distilled alcohol, usually ethanol, during the brewing process.

Daiginjo – 50% polished away
Saké is graded by the Japanese ‘Semaibui’ system that classifies saké based on the percentage of outer layer of rice polished away. Daiginjo saké has at least 50% polished away, making it ultra-premium. It is this process that defines that quality and helps create the flavor profile. The more the rice is polished, the cleaner, more pure and refined is the taste of the saké.

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An Introduction to Saké

Saké is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks in the world, yet it is swiftly becoming the drink of choice in America’s hippest restaurants. This all-natural, rice-based fermented alcohol beverage is brewed like beer, with a taste and alcoholic content similar to that of wine. Like wine, there are high-end and low-end varieties of sake. Saké is classified into eight categories, determined by the ingredients used and the brewing process.

Saké’s popularity in the United States is a recent phenomenon. Although a saké brewery was established in Hawaii in 1908, it has taken decades for awareness of the drink to extend beyond the Japanese community. The market’s growth today has been sparked by a younger demographic that is fascinated with Asian culture, cuisine, style and spirituality. This interest is fueling the burgeoning market for Japan’s national drink. There are over 600 brands of saké currently sold in the United States. In spite of the abundance of brands, the range of quality products and an Asian Fusion culture that is continually growing in popularity, there is still no differentiation among saké brands in the United States.

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The Brewing Process

Saké is a sum of its parts, and those parts include rice, water and koji. With such a short list of ingredients, the quality of each element becomes paramount. Of the 120,000 varieties of rice grown in the world, only 87 are registered sake rice. Likewise, the water used cannot be ordinary tap water – it must possess just the right balance of minerals. And then there is koji, the ingredient that performs the alchemy.

Like beer and wine, saké is a fermented brew. Although it contains 12 to 18 percent alcohol, it is classified as a wine in the United States because it is made from rice, which is a cereal. Unlike wine, saké has no sulfites and contains no additives or presevatives.
Water

Saké is 80% water; therefore, the high quality water is vital to producing high quality sake. The water most suitable for brewing saké is high in potassium, magnesium, and phosphoric acid. It must also have very low levels of iron and manganese, both of which cause discoloration and diminish the saké’s flavor.
Rice

As rice is the key to the quality of the saké, so is the preparation of the rice. Saké’s quality is determined by how much of the outer kernel of the rice is milled away. The milling process removes the protein and fatty acids in each rice kernel, leaving the dense starch packet at the kernel’s center. It is this starch that will be converted to fermentable sugars. When more of the outer surface of the rice is removed, the saké produced achieves a higher quality, with a lighter, more delicate flavor.
The Process

After the rice has been polished to the appropriate size, it is rinsed, soaked and steamed. It is at this point that the quality of the water makes its presence known. From here, approximately one-quarter of the steamed rice is set aside for making koji. The remaining steamed rice is cooled and used for the fermentation process.

Koji plays the same role in the saké brewing process as yeast does in the making of beer and wine. It is made by sprinkling fungi spores (aspergillis oryzae) over steamed rice and maintaining it in a controlled, high-temperature, high-humidity setting for 48 hours. Koji and yeast are then placed together in a tank of water and mixed. Steamed rice is added next, the yeast begins to multiply, and fermentation begins. The fermentation process creates a mixture of liquids and solids. The liquid, removed by filtration, is saké. After the saké is extracted, it is pasteurized to terminate the enzyme activity. It may also be ultra-filtered to remove the enzymes.

The saké brewing process is a month-long endeavor. Sake matures in aging tanks for about six months before it is bottled. If kept cool and out of direct sunlight, it can retain its original flavor for up to two years.

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Saké Grades

Saké is differentiated by the Seimaibuai classification, which is based upon the percentage of original rice that remains after the milling process. As the grade improves, so do the refinement, fragrance, and complexity of the saké.

Futsu – Normal table sake, not premium, rice milled down to about 80 percent.
Honjozo – Brewed using distilled alcohol, rice milled down to at least 70 percent.
Junmai – Brewed with nothing but rice, water, and koji, no added alcohol, rice milled down to at least 70 percent.
Ginjo – Brewed using distilled alcohol, rice milled down to at least 60 percent.
Junmai-Ginjo – Brewed with nothing but rice, water and koji, no added alcohol, rice milled down to at least 60 percent.
Daiginjo – Brewed using distilled alcohol, rice milled down to at least 50 percent.
Junmai Daiginjo – Brewed with nothing but rice, water and koji, no added alcohol, rice milled down to at least 50 percent.

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