All About Japan

Drink 'Everlong' with Foo Fighters' New Sake

Alcohol Sake Music

It’s not every day an American band announces it will be releasing its very own sake, but that’s what happened when rock royalty Foo Fighters uploaded a surprising new video on their official YouTube channel.

The near two-minute clip shows Japanese brewers involved in the process of making sake, as the band’s track “Shame Shame” from their upcoming album Medicine at Midnight plays alongside the visuals. The short clip, filmed in black-and-white like the official “Shame Shame” music video, was uploaded with the following message:

“To commemorate the release of ‘Medicine At Midnight’, Japanese sake brand “TATENOKAWA” that produces top-quality Junmai Daiginjo sake has collaborated with Foo Fighters. Based on the preference of the sake-loving band members, TATENOKAWA has specially created two types of Daiginjo sake. Please enjoy ‘HANSHO (Midnight)’ while listening to their fantastic new album.”

For those new to the world of sake, or wanting to know more about the collaboration, Tatenokawa, the brand producing the limited-edition tipple, has been making sake at their brewery in Yamagata Prefecture for 180 years.

The Foo Fighters, who say they love sake, remotely tested a number of different offerings from the brewery, and the sake they chose as their favorite was used to create two new varieties to mark the release of the band’s upcoming album.

Both varieties are classified as junmai daiginjo, which is regarded as the highest-grade sake. “Junmai” refers to a pure sake, made from only rice, water, and koji mold, with no extra alcohol added, while “Daiginjo” is the term used for sake containing rice that has been highly polished, with at least 50-percent of the outer grain layer removed. This results in a sake that is easy to drink, with an elegant balance between acidity and umami.

The first Foo Fighters sake is called Foo Fighters x Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo Hansho Ao, with ”Hansho Ao” translating to “Midnight Blue“.

Brewed with the “pop side” of Foo Fighters in mind, Hansho Ao uses 100-percent locally sourced Dewa rice from Yamagata Prefecture, polished to 50 percent. Said to display a gorgeous aroma with a gentle mouthfeel and light sweetness, Tatenokawa describes this sake as a combination that will “heal your daily fatigue and permeate your entire body“, which sounds like the same effects you’d get after listening to the band’s music.

The second limited-edition variety is the Foo Fighters × Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo Hansho Gin, with “Hansho Gin” translating to “Midnight Silver.“

This sake is based on the “rock side” of the Foos and is made with 50-percent polished Omachi rice sourced from Okayama Prefecture. According to Tatenokawa, this version displays an excellent depth and sharp aftertaste with a firm body to provide you with “vitality for tomorrow”.

Both 720-milliliter (24.3-ounce) bottles will retail for 3,080 yen (US$29.66) and become available on February 5, to coincide with the band’s new album release. There’ll also be a “Foo Fighters × Tatenokawa Complete Box Set” containing both bottles and a copy of the new album sold in a special gift box, although price details for the product are yet to be announced.

The new collaboration items can be purchased through the brewery’s official online shop–where pre-orders will begin mid-late January–distributor stores, and Tower Records in Japan. While Tatenokawa does ship some sake internationally,

Related stories:

Japan’s most popular sake brand runs full-page ad asking people to stop paying so much for it
Dassai sake matcha truffles bring two esteemed Japanese companies together for limited time
Sake on ice! Akita sake brewery has special brewing process that is spinning up tons of interest
Japan has new sake Kit Kats produced by a 393-year-old Hyogo sake brewer