Behold, Glorious Final Fantasy Sake

Illustration for article titled Behold, Glorious Final Fantasy Sake
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.


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.

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.



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.