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 – 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 – 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 →

Joker Bourbon Barrel – Tasting

I was sorely tempted to title this review "And now for something completely different" but I'm trying to avoid cliches. Anyway, this is... Something completely different. Joker Bourbon Barrel, Seimeibuai 70%, Alcohol 30% Joker is from Murashige Shuzo, the Iwakuni kura responsible for the very good Kinkan Kuromatsu sake label, but I would hesitate to... Continue Reading →

Tangents: Dassai Shochu

I am not normally a shochu drinker, as I left my hard-spirit drinking days behind me long ago. However, I do occasionally enjoy some when I'm out on the town, and I appreciate its cultural place as Japan's native distilled spirit. Adding to that the big attention this particular one is getting, I figure it's... Continue Reading →

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