Tasting – Taka Tokubetsu Junmai Jikagumi

My first fresh bottle of sake this year is Taka's Tokubetsu Junmai Jikagumi 60, a fresh Shinshu just for this season. Taka Tokubetsu Junmai Jikagumi, 60 Seimaibuai, Yamaguchi-Grown Yamada Nishiki Another jikagumi! For those who missed it from the Ageo ode, jikagumi sake is bottled directly from a wood press, as yet another variation of... 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 →

Tour of Nagayama Honke

Ube City's Nagayama Honke is a growing name in the sake world. Their label Taka is not only popular in Japan, but it's earning a name overseas as well. And I'm a fan myself, with the green label Choshu no Junmai taking a top spot in my favorites list. The Nagayama Honke main building, a... 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 – 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 – Abu no Tsuru Goya

Abu no Tsuru is a little sakagura on the Sea of Japan side of Yamaguchi, and it produces some wonderful sake. This one is a very nice junmai with a seimaibuai of 58%. The King of Visual Pun Labels The new kuramoto and toji, Ryutaro Miyoshi, was formerly a designer and brings those skills to... Continue Reading →

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