Skip to main content

Kokuryu Tarekuchi Black Dragon!

Exquisite, complex, and fruity are the three words that come to mind.  Usu-nigori is sake that has some  sake yeast, rice and koji in the bottle while the bulk remains behind on the filtering cloth..i.e… a light nigori that has a pino coloda(ish) flavor to it.   Normal sake is usually filtered to remove excess solid such as rice.  However, in nigori type sake nothing is removed and you get a cloudy almost milky colored sake.  The Usu-nigori is just a lighter and more flavorsome version of nigori. 
IMG_6404
( The cloudy soft white sediment at the bottle makes this a true winter sake)

This sake hails from Fukui Prefecture, home of the Koshi-hikari premium rice grain, which is popularized in Niigata Prefecture, the single most recognizable prefecture for sake in the world by Westerners.

The brewery is called Kokuryu Shuzo and the rice used is called Gohyaku-mangoku and it’s grown right in Fukui, which is quite nice actually considering that a lot of breweries get their sake rice from other prefectures.   The rice is polished away at 65% placing it as a top class sake, despite there being no classification on the bottle. 
IMG_6409
( listening to the studio version of Kenny G’s Esther, not the live version.  And admiring the light cloudy texture of this sake).

The flavor profile for this sake is complex and fruity.  It’s not very often you get to enjoy a complex fruity sake that dazzles the senses and conjures up images of bygone days with a lover or a friend relaxing in a hot mineral spring.  I absolutely adored this sake.  And the bouquet which further enhanced the clean and smooth texture which left a very clean and sublime after-taste moved me.  A big difference from the white dragon label on a previous post.
If I had to dress black dragon in flesh form it would look like her, a spry 42 year old Fukui beauty:
fukui bijin
Light makes up, no fillers, slight dimple in the chin for uniqueness.  Great looking folds in the eyes which only serve to further enhance her already beautiful smile, especially the right eye.  Nice long ridge across the nose lends an air of intelligence – good nose for a sake cup.  Last but not least, black hair!  Black always works well against fair skinned flesh tones.  And as I’ve said before, Japan can be saved by these women.

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…