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Sep 8, 2010 09:27 AM

Sake at the SAQ

Someone tell me the best Sake to buy online from the SAQ? The stores that I have been to only carry Hakutsuru which to be frank I use to cook with but doesn't delight my taste buds. October 1 is National Sake Day.

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  1. If you're going to buy online, why limit yourself to the SAQ?

    I'm sure you can find much better Sake elsewhere.

    1 Reply
    1. re: OliverB

      yeah but nearly impossible to import.

    2. The blue 300 mL Hakutsuru daiginjo is palatable.

      If you're going to buy strictly from the SAQ, Takasago, Kuromatsu-Hakushika, Tamanohikari and Masukagami are all very good. Gekkeikan Horin is very popular in the US if you want to consider it. All are meant to drink cool/cool.

      Some private import but not a whole lot. If you were really looking for something different, Air Canada has a seat sale for Tokyo, or you can make a quick run to NYC. Or Vancouver as Canada's only sake brewer is on Granville Island.

      1. I am not a sake specialist but my friend likes it very much and he gets his from a local asian grocery store. I tasted it and it was very good (and cheaper)

        I don't know the brand, other then the bottle was large and green tinted. Sorry can't be more useful but it just goes to show that SAQ isn't your only option.

        9 Replies
        1. re: SourberryLily

          I didn't know there was a black market for sake.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Why do you thin it's black market? It's possible... but there are other stores the SAQ that sell alcohol that the SAQ does not stock. I am not clear on the law but i think part of it is alcoholic %.

            1. re: SourberryLily

              The only alcohol that can be sold in grocery stores or deps are beer, cider, certain wines bottled in Quebec and all those horrid malt-based beverages. Everything else must be sold at the SAQ. Sake is one of those. If your friend is buying sake at a grocery store and it's not salted cooking sake, it's without a doubt black market stuff.

              1. re: SnackHappy

                FWIW, this is also applied to mirin.

                1. re: wattacetti

                  thanks wattacelli et al I will go with your suggestions. Is there a black market in Sake, I have not heard about that one but I guess it wouldn't be wise to mention it here.

                  Ordering via internet outside of Canada is an absolute luck; the RCMP would probably deliver it and something else...LOL

                  but Ontario.......

                  1. re: blondee_47

                    I presume you've checked (here) and (ON)

          2. re: SourberryLily

            How about a hint which store this is? I would like to go confirm this.

            1. re: The Chemist

              Myamoto (victoria st.) has 8%abv salted cooking sake.... :-)

              1. re: Maximilien

                Oh i don't know where he bought it. It was my friend who bought it at the corner of his street. He lives in Côte-des-neiges so its possible it's on Victoria St like Maximilien says.

                All i know is it was a large green tinted, 750ml (approx) bottle.

          3. The LCBO has a much larger selection I go to Hawksbury to buy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: finefoodie55

              «The LCBO has a much larger selection»

              Care to justify that claim?

              The LCBO's website currently lists 18 sake products, ranging in price from $6.55 to $17.95 (not counting a $22 gift pack). Several of those are the same product but in different size bottles, and a couple of others are plum wines (one of them Korean), not technically sake.

              The SAQ's website currently lists 23 sake products (not counting a $25 gift pack), ranging in price from $7 to $81.50, with several bottles in the $20 to $50 range. Only a few are different size bottles of the same product. None of the products are plum wines.

              If the original poster is willing to purchase sake by the case, Juni brings in several fine ones on a private import basis. What's more, some of them are available at the resto by the glass, so you can try before you buy.