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 – Koshu Duo

The other day I dove into the very timely practice of "on-nomi" or online drinking parties. In this time of plague, it's pretty much the only way to get together for drinks these days. I met a few people from all over Japan and the world and my drinks of choice were to aged sakes,... Continue Reading →

Funagumi Comparison

Funagumi Junmai Hito-natsu Jukusei, Mori no Kura, Seimaibuai 65% (matured) Funagumi Junmai Satoshi, Mori no Kura, Seimaibuai 65% (fresh) This is a very interesting chance! Fukuoka's Mori no Kura offers a Funagumi junmai, which means that it's pressed in a traditional top-pressure tank, called a "fune" (boat) and bottled by hand directly from the press.... Continue Reading →

The Closing of the Year

Rather than do a regular old tasting note, review, or event update, I thought I'd take a look back at what this year was like for me in my sake journey. 2019 was a fairly big sake year for me. I led my first tasting class back in January, and did my first work translating... Continue Reading →

Tour of Nagayama Honke

Ube City's Nagayama Honke is a growing name in the sake world. Their label Taka is not only popular in Japan, but it's earning a name overseas as well. And I'm a fan myself, with the green label Choshu no Junmai taking a top spot in my favorites list. The Nagayama Honke main building, a... Continue Reading →

Event – Hatsumomiji Sake Festival

Shunan city sake brewery Hatsumomiji Shuzo, makers of popular brand Harada, held a small festival on November 16th and 17th to celebrate their 200th anniversary. Since I'm a fan of not only their sake, but the brewery staff as well (I've toured it twice and have met many of them several times at events), I... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Gokyo Mison

I love the fact that this sake exists. Gokyo maker Sakai Shuzo is an old, respectable sake maker that excels at making sake. Sakai isn't a marketing powerhouse like Dassai's Asahi Shuzo or Ohmine. Sakai makes sake, and makes it well. Even Gokyo fustsushu is good. They tend to avoid most fads pretty well, but... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Hinoshita Muso Junmai Koshu

Murashige Shuzo of Iwakuni is gaining attention with a wide range of new products, mostly in their Kinkan Kuromatsu label. The Hinoshita Muso label is a bit more adventurous, and this bottle is a particularly adventurous one. Hinoshita Muso Kimoto Junmai 60 Saito no Shizuku This is a junmai kimoto with a 60% seimaibuai, already... Continue Reading →

Tasting – Abu no Tsuru Goya

Abu no Tsuru is a little sakagura on the Sea of Japan side of Yamaguchi, and it produces some wonderful sake. This one is a very nice junmai with a seimaibuai of 58%. The King of Visual Pun Labels The new kuramoto and toji, Ryutaro Miyoshi, was formerly a designer and brings those skills to... Continue Reading →

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