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 →

Tasting – Taka Autumn Harmony

Taka Autumn Harmony As the pandemic continues to hold down dining and drinking opportunities, breweries are struggling to figure out what to do with backing up stocks. Many breweries are choosing to try new things--and many are trying their hand at adventurous blends. This is one such. Aki Harmony is a mix of two tokubetsu... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Fukucho Tokubetsu Junmai

Imada Shuzo Honten is in Higashi-Hiroshima city, some 90 kilometers up the Seto Inland Coast from where I sit. It's a small brewery, producing around 300 600 (correction) koku a year, but its presence in the sake brewing industry is growing increasingly prominent. It is currently run by kuramoto/toji Imada Miho--one of the few women... Continue Reading →

Event – Enjoying the Sake of Western Honshu

From Left to Right: Chiyomusumi Goriki 50 Junmai Ginjo (Chiyomusubi Shuzo, Tottori); Gassan Junmai Ginjo (Yoshida Shuzo, Shimane); Sake Hitosuji Honjozo (Toshimori Shuzo, Okayama) ; Kamoizumi Junmai (Kamoizumi Shuzo, Hiroshima) ; Gokyo Daiginjo Saito no Shizuku (Sakai Shuzo, Yamaguchi) On Saturday, November 21 the Hiroshima Tax Bureau sponsored an online seminar to show off sake... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Tenbi The First

Tenbi The First, nama genshu. Unlabeled junmai, due to unspecified seimaibuai. It is a rare thing to see a new sake brewery born. The hurdles to getting a new license to brew are wrapped in Catch-22 conditions, making it nigh impossible (by design) to start from scratch. However, old licenses are transferrable, and once you... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Go To Drink Gokyo

Go To Drink Tokyo, Junmai ginjō (Blend) The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on the world, and this is of course true of the sake world as well. Brewers have seen plummeting sales, which is bad, and also seen stock back up in their warehouses and tanks, which is very bad. If they don't make... Continue Reading →

New Newsletter!

Announcing the Ochoko Times! My new newsletter starting from November 15, 2020. I'm just getting the hang of it, but my plan is to send emails twice monthly, one in the middle and one at the end. The emails will feature western Japan sake news and reviews, event updates and recaps, and also look at... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Senpo Tensei Junmai Ginjo

Senpo Tensei Junmai GinjoYamadanishiki, 50% Seimaibuai Made with Kumamoto-sourced #9 yeast (so-called Kuma Kyu). This sake comes all the way from Kanagawa prefecture, and was made by small Kumazawa Shuzo. It was recommended by sake evangelist John Gauntner at an online event during the whole corona lockdown thing back in the spring, and has been... Continue Reading →

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