Tasting – Fukucho Tokubetsu Junmai

Imada Shuzo Honten is in Higashi-Hiroshima city, some 90 kilometers up the Seto Inland Coast from where I sit. It's a small brewery, producing around 300 koku a year, but its presence in the sake brewing industry is growing increasingly prominent. It is currently run by kuramoto/toji Imada Miho--one of the few women holding either... Continue Reading →

Event – Enjoying the Sake of Western Honshu

From Left to Right: Chiyomusumi Goriki 50 Junmai Ginjo (Chiyomusubi Shuzo, Tottori); Gassan Junmai Ginjo (Yoshida Shuzo, Shimane); Sake Hitosuji Honjozo (Toshimori Shuzo, Okayama) ; Kamoizumi Junmai (Kamoizumi Shuzo, Hiroshima) ; Gokyo Daiginjo Saito no Shizuku (Sakai Shuzo, Yamaguchi) On Saturday, November 21 the Hiroshima Tax Bureau sponsored an online seminar to show off sake... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Tenbi The First

Tenbi The First, nama genshu. Unlabeled junmai, due to unspecified seimaibuai. It is a rare thing to see a new sake brewery born. The hurdles to getting a new license to brew are wrapped in Catch-22 conditions, making it nigh impossible (by design) to start from scratch. However, old licenses are transferrable, and once you... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Go To Drink Gokyo

Go To Drink Tokyo, Junmai ginjō (Blend) The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on the world, and this is of course true of the sake world as well. Brewers have seen plummeting sales, which is bad, and also seen stock back up in their warehouses and tanks, which is very bad. If they don't make... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Senpo Tensei Junmai Ginjo

Senpo Tensei Junmai GinjoYamadanishiki, 50% Seimaibuai Made with Kumamoto-sourced #9 yeast (so-called Kuma Kyu). This sake comes all the way from Kanagawa prefecture, and was made by small Kumazawa Shuzo. It was recommended by sake evangelist John Gauntner at an online event during the whole corona lockdown thing back in the spring, and has been... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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