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 →

Tasting – Tenbi Junmai Ginjo

Choshu Shuzo is now well into the middle of its first brewing season, and toji Fujioka Miki has shipped out several batches of sake so far. I missed the last Tokubetsu Junmai, so I got hold of this third Junmai Ginjo to see how it has progressed since its first batch. Tenbi Junmai Ginjo, Nama... Continue Reading →

On Value and Price in Sake

I have recently been thinking so much about sake pricing, I almost confuse myself. It's a very big topic, and one that many people in the industry (particularly non-Japanese) seem to have strong opinions about. The primary reason, of course, is that within Japan most sake is very, very cheap, while outside Japan it is... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Harada Junmai Daiginjo

Harada Junmai Daiginjo, Rice Choshu Yamadanishiki Tokujo, Seimaibuai: 40% I rang in the New Year with a bottle of Hatsumomiji Shuzo's super premium Harada Junmai Daiginjo. This one is made with Yamadanishiki sake rice grown locally in Yamaguchi prefecture (the historical name for this area is Choshu). The rice is also ranked Tokujo, which is... Continue Reading →

Junmai Myths and Truths

Junmai sake, made with rice, rice koji, and water alone (except for yeasts, and the added lactic acid for sokujo. Oh, and also some flavor adjusting enzymes in some cases.) is all the rage with sake drinkers both in and out side of Japan. People like it because they feel it has tradition, because it... Continue Reading →

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