Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Kanpai Brewery Kumo Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori Review

Kanpai Brewery tokubetsu nigori sake.

As the only affordable sake brewery currently operating in the UK, all eyes are indeed on Kanpai. Yet, the Peckham-based business have much more to recommend them than simple default.  Sake enthusiasts Lucy and Tom Wilson opened the trendy microbrewery in 2017, and quickly won the respect of other aficionados across the country, and most impressively of all, from industry operatives and experts back in Japan.

Covered several times already in Yamato Magazine (along with several gushing pieces in the national press), there’s no need for another extensive history here. It’s enough to say that all of the praise is deserved and that Kanpai are in no small part responsible for the ever-increasing interest in sake across Britain.

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Cody’s Junmai Daiginjo Review

Cody's junmai daiginjo.

Watanabe Sake Brewery’s decision to take on Cody Brailsford as assistant-head brewer is famous throughout the world of nihonshu. The enthusiastic American rose through the ranks from apprentice to assistant head brewer, determined to share the joys of beautifully crafted Japanese sake with the Western world, presented in a way it could easily relate to.

The Hourai Cody’s Sake range has undeniably achieved that, its catchy names (see Cody’s Ninja Junmai) and trendy bottles stand out against a sometimes-impenetrable wall of kanji and tradition in sake lists. And whilst Cody is admittedly still a way off from his ultimate goal of having the US President drink his sake, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible, considering the ever-growing reputation of him and his produce.

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Sake Reviews

Gozenshu 1859 Prototype Review: Sake With As Many Names As It Has Flavours

Gozenshu 1859 prototype sake.

Sake brewing requires a tremendous amount of precision and dedication to craft a high-quality product. Breweries such as Gozenshu have built their reputation on creating sake that is as delicious as it is creative. The brand has no problem flexing its creative muscles and that’s exactly what Gozenshu did with the 1859 Prototype. 

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Sake Reviews

Hayashi Honten Golden Amber Junmai Koshu Review: Bizarre And Beautiful

Golden Amber junmai koshu.

The world of sake is one of constant experimentation and versatility. Breweries with centuries of experience create products that demonstrate their sake making skills, and one brewery that’s particularly innovative in Hayashi Honten in Gifu Prefecture.

This is evident in the brewery’s Golden Amber junmai koshu, a complex drink full of wonderful contradictions.

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Shochikubai Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai Review

It’s easy to brand Takara Shuzo Co. Ltd as nothing more than an offshoot of the Takara Group (Japan’s leading corporation for alcohol-related business and biotechnology) and all the negative connotations that can come with multinational mass-production. Yet, the brewery, based in the Nada ward of Kobe (one of Japan’s major nihonshu producing regions), have skilfully blended the best parts of traditional sake-making methods and the advantages of modern technology, to create beautiful, authentic, contemporary sake.

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Sake Reviews

Ozeki Hana Awaka Sparkling Sake Review: Fragrant, Flowery And Beats The Hell Out Of Prosecco

Ozeki Hana Awaka sparkling flower sake.

The Ozeki sake brewery is one of the powerhouses of the sake industry, producing a wide range of memorable nihonshu. Founded in 1711 and based in Nada, the brewery has made a name for itself with several innovations, like the famous one cup sake produced during the 1964 Olympics in Japan.

That spirit of innovation can be felt throughout all the Ozeki products and a bottle I enjoyed tasting recently was Ozeki Hana Awaka. With an elegant, unexpected flavour profile, this sparkling sake has plenty going on.

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Kuncho Honzojo Review

Kuncho honjozo.

Having already provided a profile on Kuncho Shuzo Co. Ltd in a previous review of their fantastic Kaorucho Junmai, there’s not a lot to add about the ever-popular, Kyushu-based brewery here. That online references to their history and methods of production are minimal is perhaps best respected; especially if it allows their wonderful products to speak for themselves!

Instead, I wanted to say a few words on honjozo, the classification of the Kuncho brew I’ll be opening up today.

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Kuncho Junmai Review

 

Kuncho Junmai sake.

Whilst Kuncho’s English language online presence is unfortunately minimal, it’s clear that they’re a highly respectable brewery, extremely proud of their underground water supply, and wholly committed to producing excellent quality ‘old-fashioned, unchanging taste’ sake. Housed in a beautifully grand, late-Genroku period (1688-1704) building in Hita city, in the Oita prefecture of Kyoshu island, Kuncho also operate a sake museum and shop.

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Sake Reviews

Hinomaru Bekkaku Daiginjo Review: Nihonshu Fit For Royalty

Hinomaru Bekkau daiginjo is produced by Hinomaru Jozo in Akita Prefecture.

In the sake world, daiginjo is a phrase that’s associated with high-quality craftsmanship. The same can be said for sake across all categories, yet daiginjo is often positioned at the top because of the high rice polishing rate that goes into its production. In the case of Bekkaku daiginjo, the association with exceptional sake is spot on.

Elegant, smooth and enchanting, the Bekkaku daiginjo is nihonshu fit for royalty. 

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Hati Hati Junmai From Morikuni Sake Brewery Co. Ltd Review

Morikuni Shuzo are clearly a sake brewery that like to do things differently. In a world dominated largely by companies established hundreds of years ago and proudly narrating their rich histories on their websites, this small brewery (founded in 2005) has had to carve out its own quirks.

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