mabuchi.JPGWith weekly tastings going on at Sakaya, there is a lot to taste and enjoy! It’s hard to keep up with all the goings on, but I will give the old college try. A recent highlight was Tamanohikari a.k.a. “Brilliant Jade”.

It was a wonderful treat to meet Mr. Kenzo Mabuchi-san, General Manager of Export for TamanoHikari Sake Brewing Co. He introduced me to three fantastic TamanoHikari sakes all imported from beautiful Kyoto Prefecture.

First, we were treated to Tamanohikari Junmai Daiginjo. The unique nuances of this glorious sake come from, among other things, the use of Bizen Omachi rice. This ancient rice strain is not commonly used for sake, and lends this exquisite Junamai Daiginjo a down to earth touch. “brilliant jade” is a crown jewel indeed! Everyone who tries this Junmai daiginjo seems to love it, myself included.

Next was the intriguing Tamanohikari Yamahai Junmai Ginjo. This is a unique yamahai, in that this sake is a junmai ginjo grade, milled to 60%. The higher acidity makes this yamahai perfect for pairing with lots of foods. tamanohikari_softpack.jpgthat earthy yamahai flavor comes thru powerfully without throwing the taste of balance. a dream sake for yamahai fans.

Last but not least is the Tamamohikari Tokusen Junmai Ginjo Paper Pack. This is really Tamanohikari’s “tokusen” junmai ginjo in a super unique package: a paper soft-pack, not unlike juicy-juice from your childhood lunchbox. The taste is lighter, dry and no-nonsense. Tamanohikari recommends freezing this pack and then pouring out for instant “sake slushies” On a hot summer day, what could be more refreshing? also perfect for picnics… the uses for paper pack sake seem endless!

Any of these fantastic sakes from Tamanohikari in Kyoto deserve a second look. Not only do they taste good, but each has something special that makes them really shine. Have you tried any of these sakes? if so, leave a comment and let me know what you think. In my book, “Brilliant Jade” really does sparkle.

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