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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