Toku Saké launches Junmai Daiginjo in UK on-trade

Toku Saké, a new super premium saké, has announced the release of Junmai Daiginjo, its debut liquid. 

Brewed in Asahikawa, a city in Japan’s coldest prefecture, Hokkaido, Toku uses techniques developed over 120 years by one of the region's oldest breweries. 

Grace Hunt, head of advocacy at Toku Saké, said: “The quality of and demand for Japanese food and drink is universally recognised, most recently evidenced in the boom in Japanese whisky. We believe the opportunity for a contemporary, super premium saké is enormous. 

“Toku is the embodiment of the dichotomy between the cutting edge technology of Japan and its ancient ritualistic heritage. Founded on the idea of bringing a contemporary, versatile liquid to a Western audience,” Hunt added.

Asahikawa experiences long and cold winters with below-freezing average monthly temperatures from November to March, making an ideal climate for brewing saké.

Water for the liquid is taken fresh from the Daisetsuzan mountain range, combined with Yamadanishiki rice and fermented in freezing conditions to keep it pure. 

The Toji (master brewer) visits to check its progress, a slow process with slight changes to the conditions made by hand, as the mash is gently stirred, pressed then stored raw at freezing temperatures before being filtered and stored at -4°C until it is ready to be bottled.

Toku consulted a selection of the UK’s top bartenders, sommeliers and saké specialists to inform its packaging, as well as partnering with bartender and sommelier, Stuart Hudson, to develop a range of seven serve.

1,500 bottles of the 16% abv saké will be available exclusively in the on-trade, for a WSP of £80, through prestige accounts including The Aubrey at Mandarin Oriental, where the launch event was hosted.