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 →

Tasting – Kinsuzume Junmai Ginjo Yamahai

Horie Sakaba (Link in Japanese, auto-translate is enabled) is the oldest running sake brewery in Yamaguchi. They've been brewing in the mountains outside Iwakuni City since 1764, and in recent years have been gaining a very serious reputation. Part of that is the relative rarity--even here in Yamaguchi, it can be hard to find bottles... Continue Reading →

The Drinks Still Flow

Things seem to have slipped by unnoticed for a while, haven't they? The age of corona is changing all kinds of things, and my approach to sake is certainly one of them. The complete cancellation of sake events all over Japan and the overall drop in sales has led to all kinds of complications for... Continue Reading →

SSA Shochu Advisor Course

The recent covid-related lockdown has, oddly, had a positive effect on some things. For instance, the plentiful online drinking parties increased my connections with like-minded people in far off places that I otherwise never would have made. One of those connections is Sachiko Miyagi, who works for the Sake School of America as an instructor... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Gokyo Futsushu

Modern sake markets are all too often focused on the premium side. Junmai, ginjo, koshu-all of these styles command high prices and are marketed to more elevated customers. But the fact remains: futsushu is far and away the market leader in Japan. It is often looked down upon as something inferior, but in many ways... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Hagi Sake Duo

At a recent On-nomi I focused my drinking on a pair of sakes from Hagi city in Yamaguchi. Hagi is a major brewing city in Yamaguchi prefecture, and locals are growing increasingly vocal about their ingredients, including locally grown rice, and Hagi's spring water. Migaki 6 Tokubetsu Junmai, Hagi grown Yamada Nishiki, Seimeibuai 60% The... Continue Reading →

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