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Behold, Glorious Final Fantasy Sake

Illustration for article titled Behold, Glorious iFinal Fantasy/i Sake em/em
Image: Kokuryu, Square Enix, Yoshitaka Amano, japaaan

Sake maker Kokuryu produces excellent sake. The Fukui-based brewery is teaming up with Square Enix to make some more.

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In the mid-1970s, the brewery’s owner Masato Mizuno started aging their high-grade sake after being influenced by French wine maturation techniques. Kokuryu ages its daiginjo sake (sake with a rice polishing ratio of under 50 percent) at below zero temperatures to round out flavors and add complexity. The result is some great stuff!

This Final Fantasy-branded expression has a polishing ratio of 40 percent, which means that 60 percent of the grain was milled away, removing fats and proteins to help create a floral and fruity sake. In this case, that rice grain is Yamada Nishiki, the king of sake rice.

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Famed Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano painted the label and packaging art, which features a black dragon (“kokuryu” means “black dragon”).

As mag Japaaan notes, the Kokuryu Final Fantasy sake goes on sale January 29 in Japan. It’s priced at 5,400 yen ($47.59).

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

They should partner up with a whiskey as well. So come 10~12 years, they can release it at the same time the FFVII remake comes out!

/end joke

Now on topic, I’m having trouble picturing which way‘below-zero’ sake is different. Fuller body? Bolder notes? Don’t exactly get tannins off of rice so I’m curious. I know temperature is how you get the lager/ale distinction but I don’t believe I’ve had sake that’s gone under the same process. I’m a sucker for nigori so if it’s anything like that, I’m down.