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 →

Yamaguchi Sake in the Wild

One interesting thing I'm noticing lately about the general Yamaguchi sake boom (this is the only prefecture in Japan where sake sales have gone up every year for the last 11 years) is that local people are taking more notice of these great Yamaguchi brews, too. It's not just Dassai, either. I'm seeing shops advertising... 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 →

Fukucho Cosmos – Tasting

This is a lovely Junmai Ginjo from Imada Shuzohonten in Hiroshima. The brewery has attracted some attention because they have one of the few women Toji in Japan. Miho Imada was recently profiled in Sake Today, in fact, so one can hope that this great kura will be getting more attention in the future. And... Continue Reading →

Event Announcement!

If anyone out there is in the eastern Yamaguchi area, I'm having a sake event! I'm hosting a very simple sake label-reading class and tasting at Tokuyama Station Library, and afterward we're going on a short tour of Hatsumomidi kura. You can sign up and get more info here: Facebook link Meetup Link It's free,... Continue Reading →

Shunan City Takushu pt. 2 – Tour

SO to finish up what I started in my last post, I'll talk this time about the third and final sakagura featured on this tour: Hatsumomiji (self-styled Hatsumimidi). This is a very interesting case, since Hatsumomidi is the only kura in Shunan to brew year-round in the Shikijozo style. The others all brew only in... Continue Reading →

Shunan City Takushu pt. 1- Tour

Shunan city, which is just a short drive or train ride from me here, is home to a surprising number of sakagura. The local tourist association has decided to capitalize on that by setting up what they call Takushu: a taxi tour of the three kura closest to Tokuyama station. (The name is a pun... Continue Reading →

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