My previous post, about the Yamaguchi Sake Awards, intimated that I got a chance to try some amazing sakes, and this is the payoff!
Yes, I got to try the very best sakes in Yamaguchi. Oohh lala!
First on the list is Yachiyo Shuzo’s Room. Yachiyo (Japanese link)is one of the kura I’d not yet had a chance to try. It’s in Hagi, and is largely undistributed on this side of the prefecture…That is changing, though, because of this one sake: Room. Yachiyo is reimagining itself, with the current Toji making room for his granddaughter (yes! another woman toji!) and this being her first solo brew. It’s getting media attention, with newspaper articles and TV features, and I finally got a cup full.
Room is wonderful. It’s a smooth, easy drinking daigijnjo with a full bodied umami balance. It has melon and pineapple notes, with a lovely banana aroma and clean, sharp finish. It’s going to sell like CRAZY.
Another amazing new sake I tried is Bochozuru, a label recently revived by venerable Yamagata Honten. The Kuramoto and toji, Toshiro Yamagata, helped usher me into the world of sake years ago and he, the current head of the Yamaguchi Sakagura Association, recommended this one to me himself.
It was wonderful. Full flavored apple and peach with a big strong sour note and clear, sharp balance. The finish lingers with some mild astringency, but it a pleasant remnant of a lovely drink.
I also got another valuable chance to get a taste of Toyobijin maker Sumikawa Shuzo’s Jipang tobindori. It was as amazing as the last time!
There were any number of other great sakes there. Wakamusume, Nakashimaya Kotobuki, Kinfundo Shiboritate Ginjo… The list goes on.
The Yamaguchi sake world is boiling over with amazing brews, and I hope you can find some near you.