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 →

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 →

Yaoshin Shuzo Tour

Location: 山口県岩国市今津町3-18-9/ 3-18-9 Imazumachi, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Open to Public: Yes, by appointment Cost: 200 yen for disposable clean suits Production: 1,000 Koku (18,000 liters) produced from September through March On Saturday, January 29th I had the perfect excuse opportunity to visit Yaoshin Shuzo, makers of Gangi, when a friend came to the area and the... 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 →

Five blue – Tasting

Today I've got something from Iwakuni powerhouse Sakai Shuzo, makers of Gokyo. Sakai has a reputation as a very staid, traditional kura but they've recently been trying some more modern things with labels designs and such, and this is clearly one of them. There is a whole line of "five" branded sakes, of different colors.... Continue Reading →

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