Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Kubota Senjyu (1000 Long Lives) Ginjo By Asahi-Shuzo

Considering Asahi-Shuzo is the largest sake producer in Niigata prefecture the washi paper label of its Kubota Senjyu (1000 Long Lives) is a charmingly personal touch. And whilst online retailers seem caught between the technicalities of whether to best market as ginjo or tokubetsu (special) honjozo, the brewery’s own website is happy to promote the Kubota range for its‘subtle flavo[u]r’ and ‘mellow… and gentle taste.’

Continue reading “Guest Post: Kubota Senjyu (1000 Long Lives) Ginjo By Asahi-Shuzo”

Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Dassai 45 Junmai Dai Ginjo by Asahi-Shuzo Co. Ltd Review

That this isn’t even Dassai 45’s first review in Yamato Magazine is testament to its popularity in the world of English-speaking sake enthusiasts. Asahi-Shuzo’s flagship junmai daiginjo is probably largely behind the brewery’s decision (and ability) to open a new premises in New York. That it is amongst the most recognisable and celebrated sakes in the West is undeniable. Continue reading “Guest Post: Dassai 45 Junmai Dai Ginjo by Asahi-Shuzo Co. Ltd Review”

Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Katafune (Lagoon Boat) Junmai by Takeda Shuzo Co. Review

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) judges can’t get enough of Takedo Shuzo’s Katafune range sakes, which scooped top awards in the 2013 and 2015 competitions. According to its website the brewery, located in the western port city of Niigata, was established in 1866 and is currently proudly managed by the ninth and tenth generation of its founder Seizaemon Takeda. 

I chilled a bottle of Katafune Junmai and decided to forego the label recommendation (‘an excellent drink with dinner’), interested instead in how the sake carried itself. 

Continue reading “Guest Post: Katafune (Lagoon Boat) Junmai by Takeda Shuzo Co. Review”

Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Tensai Touji no Nyukonshu (Brewer’s Perfection) by Watanabe Sake Brewery Co., Ltd (Hourai) Review

Despite accounting for a large majority of all sake consumed within Japan, futsushu remains the least desirable classification in the West. For most sake is an unusual and somewhat luxurious product, consumed on special occasions. Sampling premium styles with bold, distinctive flavours makes the experience worthwhile and memorable. Futsushu’s reputation as simple ‘table sake’ doesn’t play well to this. For those who do wish to give futsushu a go, Yucho Brewery’s Choya is by far the obvious choice, being inexpensive and readily available.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Tensai Touji no Nyukonshu (Brewer’s Perfection) by Watanabe Sake Brewery Co., Ltd (Hourai) Review”

Sake Reviews

Choya Futsushu Sake Review: A Highly Sessionable Nihonshu

Choya futsushu sake has notes of banana, pineapple, oats, pear and grapefruit.

Among the many exciting aspects of sake are the different grades with their own distinctive characteristics, like the savoury qualities of a good honjozo. Futsushu (ordinary/table) nihonshu has a mixed reputation, despite being the most common type of sake, accounting for 75% of all sake produced in Japan. 

Compared to premium grades like a daiginjo, futsushu can be derided as being ‘low-quality’ and that is simply untrue. After tasting Choya futsushu sake, I can say that there’s a lot to enjoy about the category. 

Continue reading “Choya Futsushu Sake Review: A Highly Sessionable Nihonshu”

Sake Reviews

Gozenshu 9 Junmai Sake Review: Become A Bodaimoto Believer

Gozenshu 9 Junmai is made with the ancient production method of bodaimoto.

One of the most exciting aspects of sake is the production method, especially when you begin to see the distinctions in flavour profile between modern methods like the Sokujomoto process and specialist methods like Yamahai.

The most ancient form of sake production is the bodaimoto method, which originated in the 14thcentury and can be traced to Nara. Sake produced in this style brings on unique flavours, which is definitely the case with Gozenshu 9 Junmai. Continue reading “Gozenshu 9 Junmai Sake Review: Become A Bodaimoto Believer”

Sake Reviews

Dassai 45 Sake Review: Nihonshu With The Best Qualities Of White Wine

Dassai 45 was remanufactured from Dassai 50 to bring added complexity to the taste.

Dassai sake, produced by the Asahi Brewery of Yamaguchi Prefecture, has earned a reputation for being one of the best types of nihonshu on the market. Falling into the premium junmai daiginjo grade, the Dassai range is characterised by a high rice polishing rate that unlocks fruity and floral flavours.

After tasting the sexy Dassai 23, I fell down the rabbit hole of wanting to discover the entire Dassai range and have got around to sampling Dassai 45. Continue reading “Dassai 45 Sake Review: Nihonshu With The Best Qualities Of White Wine”

Sake Reviews

Dassai 39 Review: Elegance In A Glass

Dassai 39 is a delightful junmai daiginjo sake that has been milled down to 39%.

For sake connoisseurs, junmai daiginjo is considered the Holy Grail of nihonshu because of the high milling rice rate and floral flavours. So, when you try a bottle of Dassai produced by the Asahi brewery of Yamaguchi Prefecture, you know you’re in for a delightful drinking experience.

The Dassai brand specialises in junmai daiginjo sake that goes all the way to a sexy 23% polishing rate, making it one of the most popular sake brands in the world. And after cracking open a bottle of Dassai 39, my appreciation for the brand has intensified. Continue reading “Dassai 39 Review: Elegance In A Glass”

Sake Reviews

Tobiroku Festival Of Stars Sparkling Sake Review: Elegant And Astringent

Tobiroku translates to festival of stars. It's an elegant and smooth tasting sparkling sake.

Sake is becoming increasingly popular in the west, with more consumers seeking more information about the different grades and tasting profiles. And to cater to the tastes of a new generation of nihonshu drinkers, some breweries have developed sparkling sake that has similar notes of champagne or prosecco.

A must-try sparkling sake is the Tobiroku ginjo produced by the Dewazakura brewery of Yamagata Prefecture. Airy, light and elegant, the Tobiroku has a star-inspired name that’s sure to bring joy on a night out with friends. Continue reading “Tobiroku Festival Of Stars Sparkling Sake Review: Elegant And Astringent”

Sake Reviews

Dassai 23 Review: A Glorious Junmai Daiginjo With A 23% Sex Appeal

Dassai 23 is an elegant and ultra-premium junmai daiginjo sake.

There are certain sake breweries that acquire a reputation for having some of the best tasting nihonshu in the world. The Asahi brewery (not to be confused with the beer brand!) based in Yamaguchi, is known for making ultra-premium junmai daiginjo under the Dassai brand. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Dassai and finally got the chance to try their cream of the crop sake – Dassai 23. Continue reading “Dassai 23 Review: A Glorious Junmai Daiginjo With A 23% Sex Appeal”