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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 →

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 →

Gokyo CODE:AHK – Tasting

Gokyo is revealing itself to be one of the most interesting kura in Yamaguchi. Sakai Shuzo, the makers, is a traditional kura in the sense that they tend not to market like many of the "hip" new kura  and rely more on quality and word of mouth, both of which are stellar. However, that's not... Continue Reading →

Ginjo Comparison – Tasting

There is a large hotel not 2 minutes' walk from my house, and their restaurant is what I like to call "Bubble Fancy." It's a remnant of Japan's heady days of high wealth in the 80s and 90s, with furnishings that were once clearly the height of luxury...but now with 30 or so years of... Continue Reading →

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