• Rick and Hiroko-san have been true inspirations to me. Rick is my sake guru.
    He pointed the way 道 on my journey into the World of Sake. I owe him a lot. Since first discovering Nihonshu 日本酒 about 3 years ago I have tried 320 different brews to date, as well as, 26 shochu 焼酎. I attended John Gauntner’s Level 1 sake course at Las Colinas in…[Read more]

  • Light, fruity, slightly sweet, smooth and refined. This brew will put the finishing touch on your summer deck party. (It did for me.) Great with food. A good introduction for the beginner. Pour generous amounts into wine glasses or guinomi ぐいのみ. This is not a shy, wimpy brew. It’s a party sake. Have big fun instead of drinking boring beers…[Read more]

  • When I was back in high school the boys would say, “She has good numbers.”
    Somebody would chime in, “She’s a perfect 10.”
    Or “She’s 36-24-36.”
    Well, here’s a Nanbu Bijin 南部美人 (Southern Beauty) with terrific numbers. She’s a Gunotome (type of rice) beauty from Iwate (prefecture in Japan). Her seimaibuai 精米歩合 (rice polished) is 55%. And her…[Read more]

  • I have had 315 日本酒, 19 焼酎, and about 8 古酒. Koshu is aged sake. “Intentionally aged” I might add because typically you want to drink your sake brews young (within the first 18 months) preferably within the first 6 months of the bottling date. Aged sake is not for everyone. It can be rather pungent, earthy, and ripe. One attribute that may be…[Read more]

  • Superb Sake comes in many forms. And this is one of them. Manabito or “true blue” -one you can depend on. Kimoto 生酛 labor intensive, traditional pole rammed takaneminori rice polished to 55% 精米歩合. This is a Junmai Ginjo 純米吟醸. It’s full bodied, rich, robust flavor roars over the palate like waves crashing on a rocky shoreline. Wow! This is…[Read more]

  • Yuki 雪 (snow) kage 影 (shadow) Tokubetsu 特別 (special) junmai 純米 (pure rice) sake at $24 (TrueSake.com) is a great value. It is a solid, straight-ahead junmai with a slightly dry steamed rice/subtle fruity taste. It is brewed in Nigata prefecture. The SMV is +4 and the acidity is relatively low at 1.3. Easy to drink with food or just by itself.…[Read more]

  • 登龍特別純米酒 Toryu (登 ascending, climbing and 龍 dragon) is a pleasant, full-bodied brew. I recently enjoyed a glass with my brother. Compared to the Tsukasabotan Hana that we drank first, the Toryu was not sweet at all. And we both agreed that is was good with food.
    This brew can stand alone too. Give this one a try, my friends. It’s brewed in…[Read more]

  • Sihomare Tokubetsu 特別 (special) Junmai 純米 (pure rice) Kimoto 生酛 (labor intensive, pole rammed brew) is wonderful. There is a dry tail. But before that a great full bodied celebration in the mouth. And before that a wonderful clear, fresh fruit scent on the nose. Wait. Yes, before that a moment to admire a beautiful label on a carmel bottle. …[Read more]

  • Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku Junmai Daiginjo 南部美人心白純米大吟醸 is from the area of Japan called Tohoku in Iwate prefecture to be more precise. Nanbu Bijin means “Southern Beauty,” and that (a beauty) it is. Shinpaku refers to the “white 白 heart 心” or starchy center of the rice grain (Yamadanishiki 山田錦, in this case) which has been polished to 50%. Yeast #9…[Read more]

  • Sawanoi 澤乃井 is brewed by Ozawa Shuzo in Tokyo 東京. The rice is polished to 65% and fermented in the labor intensive kimoto 生酛 style. It’s not too sweet, not too dry; I think it’s just right.
    Alcohol is 16.5%. Okay. But the acidity is
    2.1. That’s maybe where the lively taste comes from. Deep, rich, and layered, I like it best at room…[Read more]

  • The toji 杜氏 (master brewer) and the dedicated kurabito 蔵人 (brewery workers) at Takijiman Shuzo in Mie, Japan get my heartfelt thanks for creating such a wonderful junmai 純米 (pure rice sake). This brew was made by polishing the famous Yamadanishiki 山田錦 sakemai 酒米 (sake rice) to 60% remaining, and hitting the +2.0 SMV midpoint, a perfect balance…[Read more]

  • Looks aren’t everything. But this brew is beautifully packaged Wow! Check out that label. It steps up and speaks loudly: Drink Me! From Ishikawa Prefecture the
    Yoshida Sake Brewery has a winner here.
    This is a yamahai-style 山廃 junmai 純米 (pure rice sake) with a seimaibuai 精米歩合 (rice polishing) of 60%. The
    SMV of +6 says that it is…[Read more]

  • Shichi Hon Yari 七本鎗 (7 spears) has one of coolest labels in the World of Sake, complete with a samurai poised to hurl a spear. Wow! I loved the movie Shogun with Richard Chamberlin. Remember that one? If you don’t, check it out. It’s well worth it. Anyway sake enthusiasts, this is a great 酒. Brewed in Shiga Prefecture by the fine folks at…[Read more]

  • Just like all of those sake bottles that read 純米酒 (junmaishu = pure rice sake) in bold kanji, often much larger than anything else even the name of the sake, this brew says Okarakuchi お辛口. That let’s you know right off the bat that this is a “dry” brew. From Ryujin Shuzo kura 蔵 (brewery) in beautiful Gunma Prefecture here is a sake with a…[Read more]

  • From Nate Shuzoten Sake Brewery 蔵 in Wakayama, Japan comes the “Black Bull.” What a cool looking sake bottle! The
    Seimaibuai 精米歩合 (rice polishing rate) is 50%. The SMV is +3.0 which is very close to the perceived midpoint/average (+2.0) between sweet and dry. Classified as a Junmai Ginjo 純米吟醸 with Omachi rice polished to a degree (50%) that it…[Read more]

  • Interesting. I have never had a sake cup? Well, once I tried a small “can” of Kikusui. Are they glass? Akishika looks like it’s a glass. Good? LaMonte

  • In reply to: View

    Interesting. I have never had a sake cup? Well, once I tried a small “can” of Kikusui. Are they glass? Akishika looks like it’s a glass. Good? LaMonte

  • I agree with Sake Guru Timothy Sullivan. This nigori にごりfrom Saiya Shuzo brewery in mountainous Akita uses Gin No Sei rice with a seimaibuai 精米歩合 (polishing rate) of 50% and a Nihonshudo 日本酒度 (dry-sweet sake meter value) of +1.0. It is classified as a Junmai Ginjo. The percentage by volume of alcohol アルコール is 16.5%. The sando 酸度 (acidity) is…[Read more]

  • LaMonte Heflick’s profile was updated 5 months, 1 week ago

  • When I asked Rick Smith at Sakaya in New York if he could send me a bottle if Kikuhime junmai yamahai, he said, “Yes, but only in 1.8 l bottles.” Not problem, friends. Once you’ve tried this yamahai of yamahais you’ll want it around in big bottles. “Umami (rich) and funky flavors,” is how sake guru Timothy Sullivan describes it. Rick Smith, my…[Read more]

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