Japanese Cuisine

A Rum Revelation: Santa Maria Gold Is A Must-Try Japanese Rum

Santa Maria gold rum is an agricole rum made from sugar cane and produced in Okinawa.

Japan produces some of the most unique spirits in the world, namely shochu and awamori. The production of western spirits such as gin has increased rapidly and it’s also worth keeping an eye out for Japanese rum.

I recently tried my first Japanese rum in the form of Santa Maria gold and found it to be a revelation. Soft and delicate, the Santa Maria gold is unlike any kind of rum I’ve tasted before. Continue reading “A Rum Revelation: Santa Maria Gold Is A Must-Try Japanese Rum”

Shochu Reviews

Iichiko Shochu Review: A Spirit That’s As Great As Its Name!

Iichko shochu is made from barley and comes from the Sanwa Shurui Company in Oita Prefecture.

Japanese shochu has quickly developed into one of my favourite spirits for its versatility and cornucopia of base ingredients. One of the best I’ve tried lately is Iichiko, a refreshing mugi (barely) shochu produced by the Sanwa Shurui Company in Oita Prefecture. Light, airy and aromatic, it’s not hard to see why Iichiko is one of the leading honkaku (authentic) shochus in the world. Continue reading “Iichiko Shochu Review: A Spirit That’s As Great As Its Name!”

Japanese Cuisine · Pop Culture and Japan

Step Into Sake Heaven With A Visit To The UK’s First Independent Sake Bar And Shop Moto

Moto is the UK's first independent sake bar and shop.

There’s a drink revolution going on in the UK and it’s all to do with Japanese sake. And if you want to experience it firsthand, then London is one of the best places to step into the world of nihonshu at Moto, the UK’s first independent sake bar and shop. While sake has always been a staple of menus in Japanese restaurants, Moto has taken it a step further by making the alcohol the star of the show and the results are electrifying. Continue reading “Step Into Sake Heaven With A Visit To The UK’s First Independent Sake Bar And Shop Moto”

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”

Japanese Cuisine

Ki No Bi Gin Review: More Complex Than Your Average Mother’s Ruin

Ki No Bi Gin has a complex bouquet of flavours that will please a lot of drinkers.

The gin boom over the last decade has led to an unprecedented amount of variations being brought out. It feels like everyone and their mum has jumped on the gin train, riding it towards an alcohol nirvana. The Japanese market is no different, with the likes of Etsu and Roku duking it out for the attention of consumers.

Ki No Bi is another Japanese gin that’s enjoyed tremendous success. Introduced in 2016, this flavourful drink brings together the best of western and eastern brewing techniques. Continue reading “Ki No Bi Gin Review: More Complex Than Your Average Mother’s Ruin”

Pop Culture and Japan

Sake On Air Review: How To Discern The Aromas Of Sake

The sake flavour wheel shows the different aromas that can be applied to nihonshu.

Japanese sake offers drinkers some of the most diverse flavours in the world. But there’s a lot of misconceptions surrounding sake, and it’s helpful to hear from experts who can educate the public on what makes Japanese alcohol outstanding. Sake on Air is exactly the kind of podcast you want to listen to for expert advice.

An episode I’ve found extremely interesting is the aroma of sake and how our sense of smell contributes towards enjoying a drink. Hosted by Chris Hughes, Rebekah Wilson-Lye and Sebastien Lemoine, sake aromas is a must-hear episode for anyone with an interest in Japanese alcohol. Continue reading “Sake On Air Review: How To Discern The Aromas Of Sake”

Sake Reviews

Katsuyama Ken Junmai Ginjo: An All-Rounder Sake Fit For A Samurai Lord

Katsuyama Ken sake has a rich, dry flavour with woody and sweet undercurrents.

Since discovering the versatility of sake, I’ve been on a mission to broaden my knowledge of nihonshu and try as many different blends as possible. And this crusade has inspired me to collaborate with sake breweries and suppliers. That’s why I’m pleased to announce Yamato Magazine’s first nihonshu collaboration with Ueno Gourmet, a premium sake supplier based in Germany.

In exchange for an honest review, Ueno Gourmet kindly sent over a bottle of Katsuyama Ken Junmai Ginjo to try. Continue reading “Katsuyama Ken Junmai Ginjo: An All-Rounder Sake Fit For A Samurai Lord”