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 →

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 →

Tasting – Wakamusume Botan Nama

Wakamusume is a perennial favorite in this house. Not only does little Shintani Shuzo (Japanese link) make great sake, but the couple making it are simply lovely people. And with times as they are, I want to do everything I can to support local business like them: and that means buying sake! I saw on... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Toyo Bijin Jundo Ichizu

It appears a month has passed since my last post! How time flies. I haven't left sake behind, have no fear, I just seem to have been too busy to blog. But I have my notes, and there are some interesting things to report on. Yamaguchi's "other" famous brand, Toyo Bijin from Sumikawa Shuzo has... Continue Reading →

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