Tatenokawa 33 Junmai Daiginjo

Tatenokawa Sake Brewery is one of those rare outfits that focuses exclusively on producing super-premium grade sake. That’s right, nothing but Junmai Daiginjo will do for the folks at this brewery. If you’re a fan of Junmai Daiginjo like I am, get to know the name Tatenokawa. Two of their sakes selected for import to the U.S. were recently approved for sale and the Brewery had a launch party of sorts with a tasting event at Kirayuya Sake Bar.

The two new sakes in question are Tatenokawa 33 Junmai Daiginjo and Tatenokawa 50 Junmai Daiginjo. The number in the name refers to the seimaibuai or rice milling percentage.

Mr. Kurosu with Tatenokawa 50

These are two wonderful sakes to taste together for the fun of a ‘contrast and compare’ milling rate experiment. Both sakes have a lot in common… same brewery, both Junmai Daiginjo, same Dewasansan sake rice, same water, same alcohol content and only extremely minor variations in SMV and acidity. The biggest difference is rice milling alone – 33% remaining vs. 50% remaining. The fun comes in when you realize how unique and different these sakes are from each other. Milling alone makes a big difference! I found the Tatenokawa 33% to be cleaner, quieter and super, duper stealthy smooth with enjoyable light juicy fruit flavors on the palate. The Tatenokawa 50% in comparison came across more full-bodied, rounder and heavier on the palate. Because of this, it also stood up better to the yummy grilled and fried izakaya food I was eating at the time. Both of these sakes shared the same Tatenokawa DNA, but each had a unique body. Now this is a scientific method I can really get behind.

Mr. Kurosu was the Tatenokawa representative who was on hand at Kirakuya and introducing these sakes to everyone. Those who bought a bottle received a Tatenokawa wooden masu as a gift – a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of a new V.I.S. (Very Important Sake) to the American market. Can’t wait for the other Tatenokawa brews to debut!


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