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 →

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 →

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 – Kinsuzume

Kinsuzume from Horie Sakaba in Iwakuni is getting a lot of buzz from local sake lovers, but the only reason I can get from anyone is that it's good. It is good! But I don't know why everyone is excited over goodness anymore. There is a ton of good Yamaguchi sake these days, so it... Continue Reading →

Hana Kaori – Tasting

This is a blast from the past for me, as it's one of the first sakes I tried when I was just getting into the drink 10 or so years ago. It was the premier label of Yamagata Honten back then, before Moriko and Bochozuru, and when I visited the kura I had some straight... Continue Reading →

Seiriki Ginjo – Tasting

This particular sake has eluded me for a while. It's from Shunan City's Nakamura Sakaba, the last local kura on my list, BUT! It is yet another example of a brew labeled and sold by one kura, but made by another. So... Who actually made it? I don't really know. Seiriki Ginjo (aruten), Seimaibuai 60%... Continue Reading →

Yamaguchi Sake Awards 2019

The Yamaguchi Sake Awards 山口県新酒鑑評会 is the prefectural step on the way to the Japan Sake awards 全国新酒鑑評会 and this year they were held on April 14. I was able to go to the awards dinner on the evening and got a chance to taste a gathering of all the best sakes in the prefecture,... 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 →

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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