• 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

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    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 1 week, 1 day 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]

  • Denshin “Yuki” (snow) 伝心雪. What a great name for this sake! Den 伝 (to impart, to transmit). Shin 心 (heart).
    The beautiful, cloudy bottle makes me think of snow. The initial nose reminds me of winter. With a 55% polishing rate the Gohyakumangoku-Yamadanishiki rice is steamed and fermented to perfection. I could spend all night with this…[Read more]

  • Hanahato Koshu brewed in Hiroshima is a real experience. With a nihonshudo 日本酒度 Sake Meter Value (SMV) of -44, this is one sweet lady. The sando 酸度 (acidity) is 3.5. Most sake is between 1.0-1.9. This is a rich, sweet dessert sake, aged 8 years. To me it has the taste of very concentrated raisins, apricots, and and filberts. I love it. …[Read more]

  • The brewery that makes Chiyonosono “Sacred Power” was founded in 1896. Licated in Yamaga City in Kumamoto Prefecture. (That’s way south, folks).
    With a seimaibuai 精米歩合 of 55% this junmai ginjo 純米吟醸 was created to please. Not too heavy, not too light, it has a taste that is … (You guessed it.) It’s just right. Drinkable ochoko お猪口 after…[Read more]

  • Gokyo 五橋 純米酒 (5 bridges) junmai (pure rice) sake is one of my favorites.
    Starting from the outside (beautiful bottle) and working my way in (wonderful flavor), this is the total package. Is it a flashy, fruity brew? No.
    Is it straight ahead great sake that you can enjoy any day of the week? Yes.
    Yamadanishiki 山田錦 (the King of Sake Rice) is…[Read more]

  • Wataribune 55 純米吟醸 junmai ginjo is brewed in Ibaraki using Wataribune rice polished to 55%. It has a rich, full taste. Frequently when friends are new to sake I recommend a lighter, fruitier brew. But Wataribune 55 is an exception. This sake is unique. It is truly special. It is a “must try before you die” Nihonshu. If they are serving sake…[Read more]

  • LaMonte Heflick’s profile was updated 1 week, 3 days ago

  • Miyasaka みやさか 純米 is a mild, affordable junmai with a seimaibuai 精米歩合 (polishing rate) of 55%. It is brewed in Nagano a bus red away from Tokyo. When I visited the brewery in Feb 2014 I was impressed with the entire operation. It was nice to meet Keith Norem (from California) who was our host for the day. Miyasaka is very easy to drink. It has…[Read more]

  • Suigei 酔鯨特別純米 “Drunken Whale” (I like the name) is brewed in Kochi Prefecture. Akitauho rice is polished to 55%. This is a tokubetsu 特別 (special) junmai 純米 (pure rice) sake. No brewer’s alcohol アルコール has been added. I noted a slight “sake” nose to it when I first opened the bottle. You might know what I’m talking about. It’s “that scent”…[Read more]

  • Sorry about the error in the previous review. “Hand over” should read “hang over.” But to reiterate: No hangover with good sake. Kanpai, my fellow sake sippers. 乾杯

  • I’m almost certain Crosby, Stills, and Nash were singing about a woman when they recorded “Lady of the Island” in the 60s. But the lyrics ring true today for my love affair with Muzuho Kuromatsu Kenbishi.
    “Holding you close undisturbed
    before the fire
    The pressure in my chest
    when you breathe in my ear
    We both knew this would happen…[Read more]

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