Yamaguchi Sake Awards 2019

The Yamaguchi Sake Awards 山口県新酒鑑評会 is the prefectural step on the way to the Japan Sake awards 全国新酒鑑評会 and this year they were held on April 14. I was able to go to the awards dinner on the evening and got a chance to taste a gathering of all the best sakes in the prefecture,... Continue Reading →

Tangents: Dassai Shochu

I am not normally a shochu drinker, as I left my hard-spirit drinking days behind me long ago. However, I do occasionally enjoy some when I'm out on the town, and I appreciate its cultural place as Japan's native distilled spirit. Adding to that the big attention this particular one is getting, I figure it's... Continue Reading →

Kikukawa Honjozo – Tasting

This time, I'm stepping back from the premium sake to get something a little less hoity-toity, if you will. Today's brewery is Kodama Shuzo of Shimonoseki, whose main label is Chomon Kikukawa. Chomon Kikukawa Honjozo Genshu This is a very small brewery on the other side of the prefecture, and is very hard to find... Continue Reading →

Shoraku Tobingakoi – Tasting

Shoraku Daigjinjo Nama, Seimaibuai 35% This is a limited edition daiginjo from Chomonkyo brewers Okazaki Shuzo. I'm a sucker for tobingakoi (aka tobindori, shizuku, fukurotsuri) sakes, and Chomonkyo is always a pleasure, so this was a no-brainer for me. In the glass, this sake has a very clean aroma with hints of rice and a... Continue Reading →

Gokyo Risshun Asa Shibori – Tasting

Today's sake is a particularly special one, and one that I'm quite excited to share with you. But in order to explain why it's special, we need some cultural context. Heisei 31 , Tsuchi no Toi (the 36th year of a 60 year cycle), February 4thGokyo Junmai GinjoNamagenshu In the traditional Japanese calendar, the seasons... Continue Reading →

Ohmine Yukionna – Party Tasting

Suobijin on the Left, Yukionna on the right (junmai, seimaibuai 58%) On February 23rd, we hosted a goodbye party for a friend moving to Fukuoka, and I prepared a whole range of sakes to help celebrate. However, my plan was thrown slightly awry when a friend showed up with a whole isshobin (1.8 liters) of... Continue Reading →

Hatsumomiji Kaiten – Tasting

This sake is one of Hatumomiji's most premium brands. The name is a reference to the Kaiten "manned torpedoes" planned at the end of World War 2, and built and tested at a base on a small island off the coast of Shunan city. It's a sad local story, and one that lingers over the... Continue Reading →

Bun bun Junmai Ginjo – Tasting

As mentioned in my last post, Bun bun is the first sake developed by Shintani Shuzo toji Fumiko Shintani. The label features a rather cute drawing of Fumiko in a cat-motif kimono on one side, and a cartoon of her actual cat on the other side. Wakamusume Bun bun Junmai Ginjo. Yamada Nishiki at 60%... Continue Reading →

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