Abu no Tsuru is a little sakagura on the Sea of Japan side of Yamaguchi, and it produces some wonderful sake. This one is a very nice junmai with a seimaibuai of 58%.
The new kuramoto and toji, Ryutaro Miyoshi, was formerly a designer and brings those skills to his labels. Here, you see the name of the sake, 58, but he also gives a visual queue to how to say it. For in Japanese, numbers have a plurality of pronunciations, and Miyoshi has gone with Goya. Five can be pronounced Go and Eight can be Ya, but how do we know this is how it should be read here? That picture of a woman’s hand holding a bitter melon… Or Goya in Japanese.
Ah, the many layers!
But enough about the label! How is the sake?
Great. It’s a lighter junmai, with a fresh melon and apple aroma but with a deeper vein of umami in the mouth. It has a clean finish and is satisfying without being overwhelming.
It works well as either a meal sake with meats and richer foods, and as a sipping sake for off-times. Another great Abu no Tsuru sake, indeed.
If you can find it, grab it!