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August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Sake Tasting 2012.4.29

The significance for me attending this particular sake tasting event was to offer my well wishes in person  to Mr. Daisuke Suzuki of Iwaki Kotobuki, and for him not giving up on sake.   Last year his family brewery was completely destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami which  left him with nothing but the yeast strain sample that had been used to create his family sake.     Struggling over whether it was worth it to continue, he almost gave up  until the local community got behind him and offered him emotional support,  and now he is finally rebuilding and selling again.     I did a write up here a few weeks ago.     On that link is a list of where his sake can be purchased also.     He was incredibly popular so I only had a few words with him and he poured me some of his speciality stash.   Amazing guy and very warm, friendly and approachable.  

Here's the layout:    

The center table had over 2 dozen different sake you could pour freely and as much as you liked.     There were three time slots; morning, afternoon, and evening.   Tickets for the event sold-out for the evening, so I attended the afternoon session.  Spittoons were everywhere like rubber cones on a road.    A lot of the servers were extra generous on the sake, so there was plenty of spillage.   It was phenomenal.

        I sampled every sake  starting from Seiro of Gunma clockwise until I reached Iwao.

For the serious sake drinker this event was a must and was primarily  focused on new up-and-coming breweries from Gunma, Shizuoka, Nagano and Kanagawa.   Yes, Kanagawa Prefecture brews sake and good sake, too.    

The event itself was billed as " Nihonshu Jounetsureto"  which roughly translates as a passionate day for young Japanese.    Somebody must've taken my advice several months ago on this one.  Even the location was great, I mean right in the heart of trendy Shibuya at the Shidax Village Hall.  From Shibuya station it takes only five minutes on foot to reach there.   They should hold this sort of event once a month.

Some of my favorites were all of Kotobuki of course, but I would like to highlight some really interesting sake.   First up, for the warm sake lover, I highly recommend trying Ippakusuisei of Akita Prefecture /
www.fukurokuju.jp/    It was the warm  nutty texture on the nose and tongue that sold me instantly.   I could easily binge on something like that everyday.

Next up was the Kudoki Jouzu a personal write up there with video snippet and all around top sake.

I like what Asama Sakagura of Gunma Prefecture had on offer, too.  I particularly would like to recommend there karakuchi junmai ( dry ) at plus 12 nihonshu-do.    Also, Senkin of Tochigi Prefecture had a very nice Kame no O 50 at minus 5 nihonshu-do.    I was also very happy to see Izumo Fujii again, the president remembered me from last year and offered me sake.   They always make really good sake, like their  Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka at 4 nihonshu-do.  

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Ishizuchi Brewerys there as well.   I did a special write on their sake here.    It's their summer sake I love the most.   They're amazing.  

What took me straight to heaven though, and my all time favorite for this evening was "8000" Hassen meaning eight thousand in English.   Jokingly.  The staff wore shirts with "8000" on the back.   Mutsu Hassen from Aomori Prefecture did it for me.  It was my go-to sake for the whole evening.     The pink label  Ginjo-shu was incredible at minus 1 nihonshu-do.  I could taste ALL of Japan in just one sip from the pink label.     I had a god moment there for a minute.  

In the coming days and weeks I will be ordering and writing up many of the sake on this list in greater detail.   Who knows, perhaps many of these sake will be available in North America.   Not sure if they are there now.  

On a final note, like I mentioned before, tickets for this event had sold-out.    I had purchased my ticket at a convenience store two weeks in advance and almost wasn't able to get it.   Special shout out to Melinda Joe for the tip.    Thank you!   This event had the same energy as the sake no jin, but a quarter of the size.

I'm not sure if I left anything out....  I think I covered everything.    Don't be afraid to tweet this, or me if you need additional information.   Or if I left anything out that's pertinent.  

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to drink a lot of sake drink. How can experts can allcote all drinks? It is hard job.



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