Despite being only 13% ABV, Karuiwanoi Tokubetsu Junmai from Iwate prefecture is a genshu sake. It’s light and clean, mildly aromatic and when drunk chilled acidic and dry. The name Karuiwanoi is a portmanteau word consisting of “karui” meaning light (as not heavy) and Iwanoi, the name of the brewery which perfectly describes the sake. As Karuiwanoi gets warmer, it becomes more mellow and sweeter, reaching the sweet spot around a few degrees below room temperature with perfectly balanced sweetness and acidity.
Founded in 1917 in Shichigamura in Iwate prefecture, Iwanoi Shuzo was a joint-stock company with 175 shareholders, which was a bit unusual for the industry dominated by family-owned breweries.
Karuiwanoi Tokubetsu Junmai is a great sake to pair with various types of fish (both grilled and sashimi) as well as in my case grilled chicken. It has a nice acidity, which works perfectly with slightly greasy grilled meat, fish or vegetables.