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.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Kuncho Junmai Review” →
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.
Continue reading “Hinomaru Bekkaku Daiginjo Review: Nihonshu Fit For Royalty” →
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.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Hati Hati Junmai From Morikuni Sake Brewery Co. Ltd Review” →
When it comes to sake, ban ryu is an appropriate phrase to use, as it translates from Japanese to ‘a thousand ways.’ This sums up the many different paths to crafting nihonshu and the huge volume of styles that are waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
Nigorizake (cloudy) sake is a distinctive style with a unique set of flavour profiles, due to how it’s produced. It’s sake with rice particles that have been left over from the filtration process.
Rather than pressing the sake out of the moromi (main fermentation mash) through a fine filter, nigori is crafted with a mesh filter, leaving behind some of the solids, giving nigori it’s cloudy appearance.
A great nigori that I tried recently was produced by the Kuncho brewery located in Oita prefecture. The flavours were unlike anything I’ve experienced in drink form before.
Continue reading “Kuncho Nigori Review: All The Best Qualities Of Afternoon Tea Poured Into A Glass” →
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” →
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” →
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” →
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” →
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” →
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” →