rick.jpgOur friend Rick Smith of New York’s only all sake Shop, Sakaya, recently held a tasting devoted to Daiginjo. I found this tasting to be interesting on many levels. Instead of opting for a “vertical” tastings where one might compare three grades of sake from the same brewer, Rick-san chose to taste three Daiginjo sakes from different brewers! And what better treats to taste than daiginjo!

Now, Daiginjo, in some quarters, has a rap sheet of being expensive and elegant to the point of being vacant! However, Rick’s “Different Daiginjo” tasting shows us this is anything but the truth.    

   Kirinzan.jpg The first sake I tried was the Kirinzan Junmai Ginjo. I have to confess out the gate that I kinda of have a ‘sake crush’ on this brew. I mean, just look at that bottle. The guys up in Niigata know what they are doing when it comes to the packaging design! This fantastic Kirinzan sake is made using the largely Niigata-identified rice strain Gohyakumangoku. However, Gohyakumangoku is a rice with a little secret. It tends to crack when ground down to smaller and smaller sizes – which is exactly what is needed for daiginjos. So why go to the trouble to use a troublesome rice? for the same reason you’d climb Mount Fuji – because it’s there! The Brewers love a challenge. How is the taste? Bracingly clean and laced with a mild nuance of citrus-y goodness. A classic Niigata sake made with the signature soft & pillowy Niigata water. A beautiful bottle for a very beautiful product.

tamanohikari.jpgNext up was Tamanohikari Junmai Daiginjo.  The big story with Tamanohikari is the rice.  It’s made using an ancient strain of rice known as Omachi.  Omachi rice is sometimes called the ‘Grandfather’ of rice because it is so old (perhaps the oldest surviving rice strain?) and has not been cross-bred with any other rice varities which is so common with sake rice. Omachi rice is not known particularly for it’s fragrance, and that seems to me to lend the Tamanohikari a down to earth vibe that makes this a very like-able and quite approachable Junmai Daiginjo. The taste is quite delicious and this rice gives Tamonohikari a nice viscosity. Lovely to look at in the glass and lovely on the palate.

kuheiji_Daiginjo.jpgLast but not least was the Kamishibito Kuheiji Daiginjo Muroka.  Now this Daiginjo uses the most popular of any sake rice by far, Yamadanishiki. This Kuheiji is a “Muroka” sake. That means that this sake was not charcoal filtered at the end of the production process. This fine charcoal filtering can really clean the color of sake to a crystal clear color, and some argue, strip away some personality, too. I’ll just let that debate rage on and let you know that Muroka sake can have a unique richness you won’t find as easily in micro-filtered sake. In this case, Kuheiji a distinctly rich daiginjo! It is a wonderful rich and luxurious sake with the rice milled down to an amazing 40%. Nice clean finish with superior balance.

 All this in depth Daiginjo study has got me thinking… I have to get out there and taste more, more, more daiginjo grade sake!! Far from being vacant, Daiginjo is alive with nuance! This is not something to drink just because it’s there, but rather because it has such an expressive taste.

Oh, and if I ever really do climb Mount Fuji, note to self… Daiginjo in the fannypack.

otokoyama.jpgI was thrilled to recently get a close up look, and taste, of the latest offerings of Prestige Sake Imports. There was another rich array of selections from some of the best Prestige has to offer. Three breweries in particular were featured: Kaika, Otokoyama and Gokyo.

My first stop of the day was to visit with Mr. Hiroyuki Yamazaki representing Hokkaido’s Otokoyama Brewery. Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai has to be one of the most well known and best selling sakes in the U.S. You can really taste that this is a strong, very DRY Junmai with a hint of fruity-something melon-something. It stands up for itself. I enjoyed it. It is a good sake to have around for those informal times when something good and strong fits the bill.

Otokoyama Yukishibare Tokubetsu Junmai Nama was also presenting a spring release nama. I found it to be an interesting nama that is a touch on the dry side, but otherwise quite balanced. I find this sake tends to be out-gunned in the big-bold-flavor department by other Namas out there, especially the muroka genshus of the world, but Otokoyama always deserves a look-see.

shimada_san.jpgNext, I enjoyed visiting with Mr. Yoshinori Shimada, Executive Director of Daiichi Sake Brewery, makers of Kaika brand sake. First I tried their Kaika Shiboritate Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu. (phew!) Juicy, Juicy Juicy! this nama is, well, Juicy… full of viscosity on the palate, the sweetness comes on strong and luscious. Full power muroka nama genshu – if that tickles your fancy.

Next I tried a really special treat: Kaika Tobindori Daiginjo Shizuku Genshu. This is a special, and quite expensive sake that comes in a striking package… a mini sake storage bottle in a fantastic blue color. In this case, the packaging measures up to the contents. This sake has light fruit salad on the palate with an elegant complexity throughout. The primary thing I noticed when tasting was how SMOOTH this puppy is. An elegant bottle for an elegant sake. Drink up!

gokyo_bridge.jpgMy final visit at the tasting was to visit with Mr. Hideki Fujioka of Sakai Brewery, the makers of Gokyo (“5 bridges”) brand sake. This sake is from Yamaguchi prefecture, and I was luck enough to visit this area of Japan on my last trip there. The actual Gokyo bridge is perhaps the most famous bridge in all of Japan… It’s gorgeous. Mr. Sakurai of Yamaguchi’s dassai was kind enought to take me there.

gokyo_arabashiri.jpgMy first taste of Gokyo sake was their spring release draft sake known as Gokyo Arabashiri Junmai Nama Genshu. Full cask strength and full of fruity flavors, this is a nama to sit up and take notice of. You’ll GO back to this GO-kyo again and again. Last but not least, I tried the Gokyo Junami. I found this to be a no nonsense, no frills and full bodied junmai. It’s more on the dry side and with a touch of creamed rice on the palate.

Prestige brings in some good sakes! please check out any sakes from these brewer’s if you get a chance, but be sure to never pass up a chance to sample the draft nama sakes that are only around in the beginning of the year. I can guarantee you’ll have a spring awakening all your own!

marumoto_san.jpgI was so honored and excited to recently meet Mr. Niichiro Marumoto, President of Okayama Prefecture’s Marumoto Sake Brewery – makers of well regarded Chikurin brand of sake which is imported by Joto Sake. I met Marumoto-san twice on his last trip to New York City, once at the recent Japan Society sake tasting and again at a tasting event at Sakaya.

Both times I met him, Marumoto-san was a tireless educator about his sake! He was enthusiastic and excited to answer questions and help people (myself included) understand better what makes Chikurin tick.

chikurin_junmai2.jpgI started by tasting the Chikurin Fukamari “Depth” Junmai. This sake is in the fuller and richer range of the two sakes we tasted. Very interesting to note that they add a small percentage of Koshu, or aged sake, to their junmai to ‘pump of the volume’ so to speak. Learning this explained a lot about what made the taste of this brew so intriguing. You can pick up on rice aromas in the nose. Marumoto-san confided that he was inspired by the essence of rich incense at the local temple when creating this sake. This must be one aspect of what the name “depth” refers to… fascinating!

chikurin_junmai_ginjo.jpgNext, i eagerly dove into Chikurn Karoyaka “Lightness”Junmai Ginjo. Lightness is well named. This sake if so easy to enjoy. it’s light yet with enough body to hold it perfectly together. An important note is that this sake is only pasteurized once instead of the usual 2 times giving more vibrancy to the sake. It is also easy to pick up on and enjoy the light fruits in this aromatic brew. This is a true winner in my book! loved it.

Besides the Chikurin brand, Marumoto brewery also makes the run away hit sake sparkling Hou Hou Shu Junmai. This confection is enjoyed by people far and wide! It’s sweet and lower alcohol adding to it’s appeal with some contingents that my not be 10o% on board with sake yet. Hou Hou Shu also comes in a version infused with rosehip and hibiscus if plain sparkling sake is not enough razzle dazzle for you. The bottle design is well executed and quite interesting.

bizen.jpgTowards the end of his visit, Marumoto-san surprised me with an really amazing omiyage gift… he gave me a beautiful small Bizen tokkuri. Bizen is a stoneware pottery that has been made for hundreds of years in Marumoto’s native prefecture of Okayama. Part of the beauty of Bizen is that is is completely unglazed.

Maruomoto-san wanted to show us the effect this local pottery could have on the taste of sake. We tasted Fukamari that was just slightly warmed in the Bizen Tokkuri and then some Fukamari straight from the bottle. The sake from the Tokkuri had a pronounced yet pleasant mineral taste that the sake from the bottle did not. It was really exciting to see concrete examples as to how serving and temperature can influence and/or improve the experience for the drinker. Side by side taste test are fun!
I really left this week with a new respect for Chikurin and I surely want to drink it some more to get even better acquainted with this sake brand and brewery. If you get a chance to try Chikurin, let me know what you think! kanpai, everyone!

hanami.jpgOk, one thing I’ve certainly learned in my pursuit to understand even a little bit about Japanese culture over the years is that the Japanese sure do love their cherry blossoms. There is even a specific word for the activity of “flower viewing” called Hanami which basically consists of picnicking under the cherry tree and admiring the beauty of the flowers and hoping a flower petal will float down and land in your sake cup.

welcome_cha-an.jpgWell our friend Chizuko-san, sake sommelier at Sakagura, hosted her own version of springtime Hanami at Cha-an tea house with a special emphasis on that delicious and ever more popular unpasteurized nama sake. I didn’t get a sakura petal to land in my cup, but I had some fantastic nama. The Chef at Ch-an, Tomoko Kato-san, provided course after course of really scrumptious appetizers.

Of the sakes served, here were some of the highlights that stood out for me:

Masumi Arabashiri Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu: This is rich and full and the fresh, fresh flavor is alive with a fruitiness that may come across a touch sweeter than it actually is. This sake tastes alive and makes me happy to be alive.

sake_slips.jpgEiko Fuji Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu: light and very elegant sake. I found this sake super refreshing and radiating luscious hints of all those summer fruits you love. more expensive and worth it.

Shutendouji Oh-Oni Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu: One cool thing about this sake is that the brewery uses home grown sake rice, which is not usually the case. The flavor of this sake is full-on genshu – you really feel the full weight of the almost 18% alcohol, but it is balanced with wonderful nama fruit and thankfully not too sweet.

Kamikokoro Toukagen Shiboritate Tokubetsu Junmai Nama Genshu: This sake is one of my favorites and winner of the 2007 Golden Masu Award for best nama. hazaah! Of course, one of my favorites! This Ohkayama sake always heralds the coming of spring and to me is “spring in a bottle”. On the sweet side and fruity, this is a very, very, very easy to drink sake. They use a peach yeast to give it an extra punch of strawberry-licious flavor. yum-o.

mika.JPGOther sakes of note that we tried were Dewazakura Oka Ginjo, Dassai Sparkling Nigori Nama and Wataribune Nama Ginjo. This tasting was stand up cocktail party style and very popular! It didn’t take long for ‘sake magic’ to kick in and everyone was chatting up a storm and comparing sake flavors and pronouncing their favorites. I think a few new sake fans were brought into the flock on this night. Thanks, Chizuko-san for spreading the word on Nama!

tentaka.jpgApril has seen an influx of very interesting sake brewers visiting Sakaya. This is always really exciting! The brewers are my Superstars – they are as close to the brewing process as you can get and they make the magic happen. Here are some highlights.

Mr. Munenorei Ozaki is President of Tentaka Shuzo Co. Ltd in Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. Ozaki-san was at Sakaya presenting two of his signature sakes. First, Tentaka Kuni “Hawk in the Heavens” Junmai. This sake is rich and on the dry side with hints of earthiness and fullness of flavor that I imagine would pair well with lots of types of food. Ozaki-san also presented the delicious “Silent Stream” Junmai Daiginjo. Wow, this stuff is good. it made me think that there was a magical sake stream of Junmai Daiginjo somewhere in Tochigi prefecture and Tentaka and discovered it and bottled it! This brew is expensive but I think worth every penny. It’s luscious, smooth and dreamy.

Imada_san.jpgAnother brewer to visit Sakaya was Ms. Miho Imada of Imada Sake Brewery Co. Ltd. Ms. Imada is well known as one of the few female Master Brewers or Toji in Japan. Meeting Imada-san again was a big thrill for me. I have a great respect for her and her obvious dedication to making fantastic sake. She was presenting her signature sake Fukucho Biho “Moon On the Water” Junmai Ginjo. This sake really stayed with me and offered a long finish with just some mild hints of fruit. I really enjoyed this sake. Easy drinking and very easy to enjoy.

sudo_san.jpgNext, it was an honor to meet Mr. Yoshiyasu Sudo, President of the famous Sudo Honke Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture. Why so famous? Sudo Honke is recognized as the oldest brewery in Japan! Sudo-san is the 55th generation of his family to be making sake at this brewery… I feel this is kind of staggering as I can only trace my family back 3 generations at most. From my point of view, keeping a sake brewery going for that long in one family is an accomplishment to be proud of. Not surprisingly, Sado-san was pouring a wonderful brew called Sato no Homare “Pride of the Village” Junmai Ginjo. I found this sake to be aromatic and quite the classic example of a fantastically well-crafted Junmai Ginjo. The pictures I saw of Sudo Honke brewery were gorgeous and it makes perfect sense to me that such a beautiful place would inspire such a beautiful sake. 55 generations in the family business don’t hurt either.

Sakaya is just abuzz with activity these days! A great chance to try sake and meet brewers and importers and all kinds of sake people. I really enjoyed meeting all the brewers in town in town this month and I am really looking forward to what next month has to offer. same sake time, same sake channel!

sakaya.gifSakaya Tasting: Selections of Kagatobi sake
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

sakaya.gifNiigata Sake SENA Tasting at SAKAYA!
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

sakaya.gifSakaya Tasting: Sake Samurai Tasting!
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

Urakasumi Zen Junmai Ginjo (Miyagi)
15-16% Alc., Yamada Nishiki 50%, #12 yeast, +1

Kaiun Junmai Ginjo (Shizuoka)
16% Alc., Yamada Nishiki 50%, Shizuoka yeast, +5

Mantensei Junmai Ginjo (Tottori)
15-16% Alc., Yamada Nishiki 50%, not known, +3.5

sakaya.gifNishimoto Trading Company Tasting!

Denemon Junmai Ginjo,

Kudoki Jozu Junmai Ginjo

SAKAYA

324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)

New York, NY 10003

212.505.SAKE (7253)

www.sakayanyc.com

sakaya.gifSakaya Tasting: Selection of sakes from Joto importers
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

sakaya.gifWe  have just scheduled a visit from Mabuchi Keizo, from Tamano Hikari, the brewer of the tasty Junmai Daiginjo “Brilliant Jade.”  Keizo-san will be pouring his nihonshu from 6 to 8PM on Thursday, April 24.

SAKAYA324 E. 9th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenue)

NYC  10003

212.505.7253 (SAKE)

tasting_glasses.jpg

Here is information on what to expect in class – we always have fun!

sake_flowchart_tim.jpgThe Elements of Saké is a fun, informative and tasty way to dive into the world of premium saké. We’ll walk you through every step of the saké production process to show you how master brewers go from rice and water to what the Japanese call “the drink of the gods.”

Next, we’ll demystify the various saké classifications to help you find the brews that fit your taste and your budget.

Finally, we’d never leave out the delicious saké tastings that will help you evaluate and enjoy the ever-increasing variety of sakés that are becoming available. Kanpai!

Matsuri and World Sake Import present a tasting dinner. Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Reception: 6:30 pm • Dinner: 7:00 pm. Six courses & six premium sakes. $75 (excluding tax and gratuity) RSVP: (212) 243.6400
email: [email protected]
Matsuri is located at: 369 W 16th Street, New York, NY 1001

astor_tim.jpgPlease join me!! I am teaching a sake 101 class at the new Astor center called the “Elements of Sake.” This class is a fun, informative and tasty way to dive into the world of premium saké. We’ll walk you through every step of the saké production process to show you how master brewers go from rice and water to what the Japanese call “the drink of the gods.” Next, we’ll demystify the various saké classifications to help you find the brews that fit your taste and your budget. Finally, we’d never leave out the delicious saké tastings that will help you evaluate and enjoy the ever-increasing variety of sakés that are becoming available. Kanpai!

This class takes place at Astor Center. Please visit the website to Register for this class

399 Lafayette St. NY, NY 10003 (At East 4th Street) PHONE: (212) 674-7501

tim_photo.jpgSorry, this class is now sold out.

Please see our information for the Next sake class on July 28th.

Please join me!! I am teaching a sake 101 class at the new Astor center called the “Elements of Sake.” This class is a fun, informative and tasty way to dive into the world of premium saké. We’ll walk you through every step of the saké production process to show you how master brewers go from rice and water to what the Japanese call “the drink of the gods.” Next, we’ll demystify the various saké classifications to help you find the brews that fit your taste and your budget. Finally, we’d never leave out the delicious saké tastings that will help you evaluate and enjoy the ever-increasing variety of sakés that are becoming available. Kanpai!

This class takes place at Astor Center. Please visit the website to Register for this class

399 Lafayette St. NY, NY 10003 (At East 4th Street) PHONE: (212) 674-7501

SAKAGURA presents The annual “OHANAMI” Sake Tasting Event 2008.
Sakagura is very excited to announce the arrival of our anticipated Sake Tasting Event in 2008. The tasting event will feature over 50 selections include newly arrived sakes that are yet to be  introduced in the New York market carefully chosen from sake masters who have been taking  an active part in the Japanese sake industry in the U.S. market.

It would take a life time consume all the different varieties of sake available, but we believe these selections will open up new regions of the palette for tasters.
Sakagura will be decorated with fresh real cherry blossoms.
We welcome you to join us and let us “KANPAI” under sakura trees!

*Please note that there will be a BUFFET STYLE SAKE TASTING.
(Sorry, NO SEATING)

*****************************************************************

Schedule:        Monday,  April 21st
1st Round       18:15 pm – 20:15pm
2ndRound      21:00 pm – 23:00pm

Admission:      $75 per person (sake tasting fee, food, tax, and gratuity included)

Guests:            140 guests limited    *Prompt RSVPs are recommended.

RSVP Hotline:  212-953-SAKE (7253)
Credit card number is required to process the reservation.
(48-hour Cancellation policy)

We will be taking reservations starting 4/4 (Friday) through 4/17 (Thursday).
Reservations will be standing by Monday through Friday after 3pm and
Saturday and Sunday after 5pm to 7pm.

SAKAGURA
211 East 43rd Street B1F
New York, NY 10017
www.sakagura.com <http://www.sakagura.com>

The Tenugui. Price: $45 per person per session, including takehome gifts!
Space is limited to 25 people per session, so please call 212-974-6012 to reserve your spot today! Learn how to wrap gifts and other items the Japanese way! Chiemi Matsuda will present the enduring art of TENUGUI, or Japanese cotton wrapping. With over 15 years experience in Japanese design, Ms. Matsuda is owner of Sora Arts, located here in Manhattan. Each guest receives a tenugui to take home! Read more at www.sora-arts.com.

The Eighth Spring Akita Sake Tasting Event

Akita Sake Club was established in June 2006 to introduce AKITA Prefecture’s sake, food, and goods
to the people in the NYC area. This Spring, ASC is proud to announce “The Akita Sake Tasting Event” on May 1, 2009.

Please join over 22 visiting sake brewers from Akita and different all across Japan to taste over 25 of finest sakes we have chosen for you to try.

You can also savor some of Akita’s delicacies such as Inaniwa cold noodle, Akita miso flavor fried chicken, Iburi gakko (Smoked radish pickles), and many others. For our environment’s sake, if you attended our last sake tasting event, please bring your sake glass !
Guest musicians will be performing Japanese Drum for our guests.

Organizer:[ASC: Akita Sake Club]
Sponsor:[Sun Pop International Corporation]

Date: May 1, 2009 (Friday)
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc.
15 West 44th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10036

Space is limited and reservation is required. Please pay the admission fee by Cash (No change, please) at the reception desk on May 1, 2009.
Admission Fee: $50
Reservation/Contact: Masatoshi Yamamoto
Sun Pop International Corporation
211 East 43rd Street, Suite 1702, New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-682-4393
Fax: 212-682-4392
e-mail: [email protected]
http://ascc.blog55.fc2.com

Sakaya Tasting: Rick’s selection of “Dramatically Different Daiginjo’s”
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

Sakaya Tasting: New Spring Release Namazake Arrivals from Japan Prestige Sake Imports
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

Sakaya Tasting: Andrew Richardson from World Sake Imports
SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

Sakaya Tasting: Otokoyama Brewer from Hokkaido

SAKAYA
324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

gauntner_san.jpgThe Japan Society yearly tasting event is a real hum-dinger and one of the true not-to-be-missed events of the sake social calendar in NYC. This year was extra fun as Sake Sensei and all around great guy John Gauntner was going to lecture on the 100 year anniversary of the Japan National Sake Appraisal.

John’s lecture was really fantastic and I always learn something new anytime I get to hear him speak on the subject of sake. One interesting fact I came away with: did you know that the Japanese government employees professional sake tasters? it’s a real job… for reals! And what to the government tasters do during those times of the year when there are no tastings? well, they practice of course!

Tsushima_san.jpgAfter John’s lecture, and a fun kagami biraki, we were all unleashed onto the tasting floor and boy, oh boy was it crowded. Be careful not to get in between a determined New Yorker and their free sake sample. You may lose a finger or worse.

After the crowds died down a bit, I was able to get my bearings and took at look at the breweries represented at this tasting. There were some old friends I knew well and some new breweries I had yet to meet. Very exciting!

We we lucky to have:

  • Takasago Sake Brewing Co – Hokkaido
  • Nanbubijin Inc – Iwate
  • Akita Seishu Co – Akita
  • Kaetsu Sake Brewing Co – Niigata
  • Okunomatsu Sake Brewing Co – Fukushima
  • Tentaka Sake Brewing Co – Tochigi
  • Sudo-Honke, Inc – Ibaraki
  • Daimon Sake Brewing Co – Osaka
  • Marumoto Sake Brewing Co – Okayama
  • Imada Sake Brewing Co – Hiroshima
  • Rihaku Skae Brewing Co – Shimane
  • Asahi Sake Brewign Co – Yamaguchi
  • Tenzan Sake Brewing Co – Saga

Ito_san.jpgPhew! There was a lot to explore!

I stopped by the Okunomatsu Table and met Takeshi Tsushima-san who is General Manager for the Brewery. I was happy to taste their delicious Okunomatsu Ginjo and a very special opportunity to taste their Sparkling Junmai Daiginjo!! This is the Sparkling sake used to shower winning formula one racers. I’ve been wanting to try this brew and this was my chance! It was an interesting mix of bubbly and complexity. cool!

I also visited with Akiko Ito-san from Akita Seishu Brewery. They make the world famous super dry Kariho Namahage Yamahai Junmai. Ito-san also introduced me to Kariho Rokushu Junmai Ginjo which was a more refined and softer older brother to Namahage. ok, at this point I was getting really happy!

I visited with many other brewers and sake community friends and generally had a great time. A final note about this particular tasting was that several brewers brought their “competition sake” from japan to give us a sneak peek. Competition sake is it’s own thing and I didn’t get to try a lot of it on this night, but the few I did try were special and borderline overwhelming and every bit as John says… “daiginjo on steroids” – best part? it’s legal.