Tasting – Gokyo Toratan Hiyaoroshi

Toratan Hiyaoroshi, (Technically junmai). Made with unclassified yamadanishiki rice Gokyo released two hiyaoroshi this year. One was made with a yamadanishiki/nihonbare blend, and the other, this one, was made with yamadanishiki grown by the Toratan agricultural collective near Iwakuni city. The rice used for this one was "unclassified," meaning that for some reason it did... Continue Reading →

Sake Professional Course

If there is one good thing that the pandemic has brought, it is an absolute GLUT of online classes, webinars and seminars that I normally wouldn't have access to from humble Yamaguchi. Thus did my chance to become a Certified Sake Professional appear. A Certified Sake Professional is Me! With the pandemic still making in-person... Continue Reading →

Hiyaoroshi – An Ode to Autumn

This season, which has nearly passed us by, is the season of rich food, cool breezes, and the joys of autumn sake: hiyaoroshi. In the simplest explanation, this sake was pressed in the spring, tanked and pasteurized once, then bottled and shipped in autumn without the second pasteurization. In technical terms, this makes it namazume.... Continue Reading →

Daruma Masamune Koshu Study

Daruma Masamune is a label used by Gifu Prefecture brewery Shiraki Tsunesuke Shoten (English link). They are a very unusual brewery, in that their main focus is on koshu: aged sake. Many breweries store some of their sake away for sale farther down the road (Gokyo releases a 15-17 year old koshu every year, for... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai

Nagayama Honke Shuzojo is much more well-known for its Taka label, but within Yamaguchi they also continue on their traditional Otokoyama label. There are actually twelve or so breweries in Japan who use this name, and so Nagayama keeps Otokoyama within the local market only to avoid confusion. Understandable, but somewhat unfortunate, since this retro... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Gokyo Ride? Black

The more I learn about Sakai Shuzo, and the more Gokyo I drink, the more of a fan I become. What once struck me as a frumpy old-man sake has become almost iconic to me, and the main reason is every single thing they make is just what I want from it. Their futsushu, their... Continue Reading →

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