The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Sam Boulton

Over the years, the sake scene in the UK has got stronger, with most activity concentrated in London. This progress is gradually expanding out from the capital and Sam Boulton is one of the key movers.

The owner of Birmingham sake bar, Shibuya Underground, Boulton is keen to bring more awareness to nihonshu, shochu and awamori to UK consumers. He’s also a man after my own heart by being interested in a variety of obscure drinks that deserve more recognition.

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Pop Culture and Japan

Walking On The Wild Side Of Sake With The Miyoshikiku Brewery

The world of sake is made up of interesting folks who’ve dedicated themselves to keeping the rich history of Japan’s native drink alive. Folks who’re leaving their own unique mark and something very special is going on at the Miyoshikiku brewery in Tokushima Prefecture.

Meet Mamiya Ryōichirō, the 5th generation head of the Miyoshikiku brewery. A born RocknRolla with a taste for out of the box sake and a man I had the pleasure of interviewing alongside Kyoko Nagano.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Kyoko Nagano

The sake industry is filled with people who’re passionate about keeping Japan’s native drink alive domestically and overseas. Kyoko Nagano is one of those champions and works with small sake breweries all over Japan to spread the good word of nihonshu.

It was a pleasure to speak to Kyoko about her sake experiences and she’s got a lot of great information to share.

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Pop Culture and Japan

Sake, Shochu And Drinks Galore: Launching The Drink To That Newsletter

Being in a bar or a restaurant is transformative. Venues like that are an intersection of new cultures, communication, excitement and storytelling. Drinks play a vital role in creating these experiences, with Japanese drinks like sake and shochu elevating nights out, intimate lunches and conversations with friends.

Sake is one of my favourite drinks. But it’s not the only thing that floats my boat. I’m pleased to announce the launch of Drink To That, a newsletter for imbibing knowledge, celebrating the hospitality industry and providing content marketing tips for drink brands.

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Sake Reviews

Kikuchi Brewery Sake Is Awesome (Here’s Why)

What’s better than one bottle of sake? Three bottles of sake! Especially when they come from a brewery with the creative skills and history of the Kikuchi Sake Brewery in Okayama Prefecture. 

Read on to learn the stories and tasting profiles of three very different types of nihonshu: Sanzen tokubetsu junmai, Kiseki No Osake and Sanzen junmai daiginjo.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Tracey Delaney

Travelling to Japan can have a transformative effect, inspiring people to start careers firmly rooted in their love of The Land Of The Rising Sun. For Tracey Delaney, the opportunity to represent her school and go to Japan sparked a life-long appreciation for the country.

Since then she’s become a global ambassador, a sake sommelier and provided support to the UK’s first sparkling sake brewery. Read on to find out more about Tracey’s story.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Giulia Maglio

The sake industry is filled with a passionate community of folks who love spreading the good word of nihonshu. Being a part of it has put me in touch with so many great people and it’s been a pleasure to chat to Giulia Maglio, AKA Jiji Sake. 

Giulia is a sake sommelier, writer and podcast host dedicated to spreading the love of sake throughout Italy, Japan and beyond. In this interview, we talk about her experiences in Japan, her latest projects and where she sees the sake industry going. 

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Pop Culture and Japan

Unlocking The Mysteries Of Tinek And The Secret Brewing Techniques Of The Kamuni

The drinking traditions of different cultures is fascinating and Japanese sake is one of the most unique beverages on the planet. I enjoy drinking it so much that it inspired the creation of a fantastical drink that fits into the world of The Frontier, a horror western universe inhabited by monsters and gunslingers.

Tinek is the spirtual drink of the kamuni and you can learn more about it here.

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Flights Of Fantasy

Flights Of Fantasy: Itsano

Flights Of Fantasy examines the drinking habits of characters from fantasy and horror fiction and in this edition the spotlight is on Itsano from Tales Of The Frontier. A kamuni battle conductor, healer and warrior, Itsano would have a great love for sake because it has similar characteristics to tinek, the drink of his people.

Let’s take a closer look at the kind of nihonshu Itsano would drink.

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Tamagawa Red Label Heirloom Yamahai Gennshu Junmai Review

Browsing London Sake’s expansive range, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by choice. Sometimes, even for an experienced nihonshu connoisseur, the best approach is simply to choose a bottle with a beautifully, striking label and hope that the contents measure up. This tactic (which has generally served me well with both unfamiliar sake and craft beer purchases in the past) goes a way to explaining how I ended up in the possession of Tamagawa’s 2019 ‘Red Label’ Heirloom Yamahai Genshu.

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