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Takashi Otaka “Ryu”

This sake hailing from Kanagawa, Prefecture, an area in Japan not known for its sake production, I introduce to you “ryu” or “りゅう,” created by Takashi Otaka.  This sake was born and raised in Yokohama and embodies some of the texture of this city and its landscape.   Very easy to drink, sort of like the city when it comes to easy living and convenience.  

Yokohama, like this sake, leaves a tingly after-taste in the mouth; once you visit this city, you’ll never forget it.  It’s one of those destinations you must try to visit at least once.  Yokohama, like the sake, is not a popular tourist destination, at least not when you compare it up to places like Kyoto or Hiroshima, or even Osaka. 

For those of you who have never been to, or even heard of Kanagawa, Yokohama, then it’s a good place to get to know about.  It’s now celebrating its 150th year anniversary of its opening to throngs of Japanese and foreigners.  It’s a port city, and one with a unique history of its own.

At any rate, since I call Kanagawa my home it wouldn’t be fair to exclude this part of Japan from my sake collection; they do produce some nice ones and tonight I would like to introduce this red label version called “Ryu.”  There are 10  labels: red, black, and white, being the most popular, and each with there own distinctive flavors.  Tonight I drink red.

The initial taste called “kuchi-atari” in Japanese is quite interesting; easy to drink,  the flavors spread evenly across the palate covering the whole inside of the mouth with a distinctive sweetness and depth, even leaving a pleasant aroma in the inner nose cavity, as well.   The acid level is low, around plus 4, so this also makes it sweet.  There is also a sour element to it that’s actually quite pleasant.  The rice used is called “go-hyaku-mangoku,” a premium rice used primarily for brewing sake only.  The rice itself hails from Niigata, though. Other than that this is an authentically made sake from Yokohama.  

View Larger Map'>Map to the brewery

A very nice tail, or finish(after-taste), a little banana.  Lovely nose! 

flower jukujo


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