Sake Navigator Class

On Saturday, May 19th I took a three hour course for "Sake Navigator" certification from the Sake Service Institute (Japanese Link)( (SSI). It was a really interesting day, and worth discussing. First, some background. SSI is a Japan-based international organization dedicated to promoting Sake and offering education on the topic. It is also Japan's leading Sake... Continue Reading →

Obligatory Dassai Article

Whenever I talk to people about Sake and mention I live in Yamaguchi, the conversation inevitably turns to Dassai. This is understandable, since clearly Dassai is immensely famous (perhaps the single most famous sake in the world?). The brewery, Asahi Shuzo, is on TV, in newspapers, and making huge waves in the brewing world with... Continue Reading →

Shoin Junmai Daiginjo – Tasting

In the cup this time is a limited Junmai Daiginjo from Shunan city's own Yamagata Honten. This bottle is named after and dedicated to Yoshida Shoin, a historical figure from Hagi, Yamaguchi, who was somewhat influential in the Meiji Restoration as a teacher of many of the more famous figures. The man himself died young... Continue Reading →

Hinoshita Musou – Tasting

This sake is from Murashige Shuzo, more commonly known for their brand Kinkan Kuromatsu. It's another Iwakuni sake with a reputation for winning awards and making good sake, though it's still overshadowed by Gokyo and (of course) Dassai. I've had Kinkan Kuromatsu a few times at events and restaurants, but this was my first time... Continue Reading →

Suigei “Drunken Whale” – Tasting

  I like to focus on Yamaguchi and the surrounding prefectures on this blog, since they seem to get fairly little attention compared to, say, Niigata or Fukushima. I think it's fair to say that Kochi prefecture, on the nearby island of Shikoku, is close enough to qualify. Plus, this sake is called Drunken Whale. I... Continue Reading →

Ohmine: A New Kura, a New Image

The sake world in Yamaguchi has been abuzz lately with some new faces. I previously talked a little about Abu no Tsuru, a re-opened kura under the sponsorship of Sumikawa Shuzo of Toyo Bijin fame. Sumikawa is also supporting another renewed kura, Ohmine. Ohmine's website says it was closed for 50 years, and reopened in... Continue Reading →

Chomonkyo Junmai Muroka – Tasting

Chomonkyo is a brand from Okazaki Shuzo in, you guessed it, Chomonkyo Yamaguchi. They've won several awards with this brew, and I can see why. This is a mildly golden, flavorful, sweet junmai. It's got a mild apple top note and a light aftertaste that barely lingers. It's a good summer drink, refreshing and mild,... Continue Reading →

Guru Guru Yamaguchi no Sake Event

Twice a year, Yamaguchi sakagura and several gourmet Japanese restaurants near Tokuyama station in Shunan host the Guruguru Yamaguchi no Sake event. For a 7000 yen ticket, you get a name tag and the right to visit 5 restaurants, each of which hosts 1 or 2 different sake brewers for a tasting and pairing experience.... Continue Reading →

Hakubotan Honjozo – Tasting

        I picked this little beauty up at a local shop based on the label design alone. Isn't it pretty? This is a honjozo, meaning it's made with a 60% milling ratio like a Ginjo, but also includes some brewer's alcohol in the process, as opposed to a junmai. This is actually... Continue Reading →

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