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” →
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” →
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” →
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” →
Yamato Magazine was created to help promote Japanese related brands and one of the most rewarding aspects of running the magazine has been to raise awareness of different sake breweries and suppliers, such as Ueno Gourmet, a premium sake supplier based in Germany.
They were kind enough to send a bottle of Toko Junmai sake to try in exchange for an honest review. Crafted by the venerable Toko brewery, this sake is sure to appeal to sake purists who value high-quality nihonshu that doesn’t have any brewer’s alcohol in it. Continue reading “Toko Junmai Sake Review: Umami For Days” →
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” →
The beauty of Japanese sake is that there are so many different types, ranging from light and fruity daiginjo, to savoury honjozo. A unique type of nihonshu I enjoyed tasting recently was Yamato Shizuku Yamahai.
Crafted by the Akita Seishu brewery, the Yamato Shizuku is a special type of sake for me because it marks the first time I’ve tried nihonshu crafted in the yamahai style. Continue reading “Yamato Shizuku Junmai Yamahai Review: A Drink For All Seasons” →
Shochu is one of Japan’s most exciting beverages. There’s a huge variety of ingredients and every type has its own unique flavour and profile. One of the most interesting types I’ve tried recently is Kuro Kirishima shochu supplied by Japanese restaurant Shoryu in Manchester.
Tasting this particular kind of shochu was a big deal because it officially signifies that I’ve tried all the shochu that Shoryu has to offer (Can you tell how much I enjoy eating there?). Continue reading “Kuro Kirishima Shochu Review: Deceptively Complex And Smooth As Hell” →