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 →

Tasting – Nakasu Sake

It makes me sad how difficult it will be to explain the pun behind this sake's name in English. But we'll get to that. No need to cry. Nakasu sake is is from Hatsumomiji, the makers behind Harada sake. It's a local favorite, and a kura I've visited a few times. I like their sake,... 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 →

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 →

Ohmine Yukionna – Party Tasting

Suobijin on the Left, Yukionna on the right (junmai, seimaibuai 58%) On February 23rd, we hosted a goodbye party for a friend moving to Fukuoka, and I prepared a whole range of sakes to help celebrate. However, my plan was thrown slightly awry when a friend showed up with a whole isshobin (1.8 liters) of... Continue Reading →

Hatsumomiji Kaiten – Tasting

This sake is one of Hatumomiji's most premium brands. The name is a reference to the Kaiten "manned torpedoes" planned at the end of World War 2, and built and tested at a base on a small island off the coast of Shunan city. It's a sad local story, and one that lingers over the... 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 →

A Visit to Shintani Shuzo

Shintani Shuzo Location: Tokuji, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi PrefectureOpen to the Public: NoProduction: 50 Koku (9,000 liters), Shiki Jozo (year-round production) On January 19th, I had the pleasure of visiting Wakamusume maker Shintani Shuzo, and talking with Toji Fumiko Shintani. It was mostly a business meeting, but I did get to see the kura and talk... Continue Reading →

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