In With the New

For those wondering about the "out with the old" part, I guess I'd point you toward the latest issue of my newsletter, the Ochoko Times, in which I talk about my Sake of the Year 2022 (Spoiler alert: Ibi Barrel). Here, I want to look forward to 2023. Whether the pandemic has subsided or not,... Continue Reading →

Background domain changes/housekeeping

For longtime followers, some of your links or RSS feeds might go through an old domain: EasternSmooth.com or easternsmoothcom.wordpress.com. I'm going to let that expire and focus on the Yamaguchisake.com domain, so now might be a good time to update any of those old links. The internal address is yamaguchisake.wordpress.com as well, for any that... Continue Reading →

Musing on an unwelcome trend

There's a sake trend that I first noticed last year but has become increasingly common, and I'm actually quite unhappy about it. I'm not sure what the real name is, but I'm calling it "faux nama." In other words, there is a move toward sake that is actually pasteurized but retains many of the traits... Continue Reading →

The Futsushu Trail Continues

Astonishing. It's been eight months since my last post here! Thank M*sk for waking me up to how much time I've been wasting on Twitter and reminding me that I have other places to put my thoughts down. So, here we are back on the Yamaguchi sake futsushu trail, looking for all the single-serving sized... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Ride? Black 2021

Gokyo brewer Sakai Shuzo's Ride? Black was my favorite sake of 2020. This super-limited release is part of the brewery's annual Nomi no Ichi event, which in past years focused on bringing together its contract shops to taste special, rare brews to bid on which shop would carry them. The last two Nomi no Ichi... Continue Reading →

A Kind of Achievement

My blog has been quiet for several months. Various things have come and gone, but much of it is due to a general lack of focus and attention span that could as easily be attributed to age as to the pandemic. But I have not been entirely lax in my work. For, in the shadowy... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Wakamusume Usuhanazakura

Wakamusume Usuhanazakura Junmai Ginjo, Saito no Shizuku Rice, Seimaibuai 60% Local nano-brewery Shintani Shuzo has become enormously popular after winning platinum in the 2020 KuraMaster awards in France, and now is basically only available by reservation. I luckily got my name on a list for this latest namagenshu pressing. I'm a big fan of Wakamusume,... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Dassai Kimoto 45

Despite the fact that Asahi Shuzo is a mere 30 minute drive from my house, I just don't drink that much Dassai. I suppose it's just too ubiquitous, too famous, and, well, too expensive for me to pay much attention to. I genuinely feel like Yamaguchi has such an embarrassment of riches when it comes... Continue Reading →

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