Japanese Sake

Katsuyama, Ken, Junmai Ginjo

The 11th Chief operator, previous generation, studied and created this sake as the concept “sake for dinner” in order to match eastern and western cuisine well. Junmai Ginjo that was developed during 2 generations is sophisticated medium body. This sake features fullness of gentle flavor recalling melon and smooth taste. It starts of neat and refreshing savories expand to good length. It won the first place at “SAKE COMPETITON” in the category of Junmai-Ginjo in succession for 2 years. It’s the biggest examination commission of sake tasting in Japan (the world) selecting the top level sake in Japan!

Ibi, Ginsen, Funaba Non-Filtration Original Sake

The name Funaba is a reference to the pressing room in which the fermented sake is separated from the rice lees before bottling. Numerous sacks filled with the mash are piled up on a traditional pressing device called a fune, where they spend a period of two-to-three days as the weight forces the liquid out. This particular sake is honjozo style, drawn from the first pressing of the 2016 vintage. With an aroma of ripe apple and pineapple, a creamy, mild sweetness, and slightly amber hue, it resembles a fine dessert wine in more ways than one.

Hakurakusei, Junmai Ginjo

Fully embracing the "ultimate meal-time sake" ethos, both aroma and sweetness are subtle and subdued, taking maximum advantage of the Kura no Hana variety of rice favored in Miyagi Prefecture. Delicate at first, it proceeds to a well-rounded palate and neat aroma, before dissipating in a flurry that is unique to this sake. Without tiring the palate, savory notes gradually build from the third glass onward, commending it for any extended dining experience.

Atago no Matsu, Special Junmai

Using Sasa Nishiki rice grown locally in Miyagi Prefecture, this sake took First Prize in the 2016 Sake Competition to achieve the status of best in Japan. While abiding by the brewery ethos of delivering "ultimate meal-time sake", the Atago no Matsu sits toward the umami end of the spectrum, chasing its melon aroma with a prevailingly smooth, savoury character and pleasant sour finish. Despite being of the highest quality, the flavour is still modest and restrained, allowing it to pair well with dishes.

Zankyo, Junmai Daiginjo, Super 7

Many have posited the question, "What is the pinnacle of sake craftsmanship?", but at last we may have found the answer. At the ludicrous polish rate of 7% – meaning that a staggering 93% of the original grain has been removed – this has pushed the technical limitations of production to new heights. Having been specially-cultivated with a contracted farmer, Kura no Hana rice was milled for 350 hours, before the ferment was carried out, then cellared at near-freezing-point for twelve months, to fully develop the flavor. A supple, moist sensation permeates through the palate, presenting a velvety texture and notes of grape and strawberry, before exploding with a burst – like fireworks – and all but vanishing, leaving the merest afterglow. Drinking it, you can almost hear the tune that the rice grains must have sung to in the relentless march to reach less than a millimeter in diameter.

Akano, Niwatazumi, Junmai Ginjo

A sister brand to the popular Akitora, the term Niwatazumi encapsulates the poetic nature of rain water and its ephemeral passage from still pool to rushing stream. The sake likewise adopts an unassuming nature before suddenly asserting itself on the palate. A subtle scent of banana rouses the appetite, followed by savoury notes, a slight sweetness, and soft acidity – each of these elements harmonised in an exquisite balance. A particularly good match for any cuisine featuring vinegar.

Hyakujuro, Akazura, Junmai extra dry

With its striking label showing the sharp red lines of traditional kumadori face painting of the kabuki theatre, the stage is set for this equally lean and sharp-edged sake. Using Gohyakumangoku rice brings both piercing and rounded character to the profile, with a body that ends in a precise and clean finish. Excellent value for money commends it for any occasion.

Katsuyama, Diamond Akatsuki, Junmai Daiginjo, Centrifuge

Subjecting the moromi – primary fermenting mash – to their cutting-edge centrifugal separator yields the Akatsuki, in a process that was constantly refined. The name Diamond Akatsuki is used to designate the purest incarnation of this technique, consisting of the clearest and most ephemeral element of the sake, and establishing it near the pinnacle of the craft. Purity is the key word here, from initial appearance and acidity, to clear-cut flavors, sweet rice notes, and beguilingly-contoured body. There are a great many drinks that aspire to be liquid gold, but this is truly a liquid diamond befitting the name.

Atago no Matsu, Limited Junmai Ginjo, Hiyaoroshi

Twin product with the same qualities as "Hakurakusei Junmai Ginjō Hiyaoroshi". Although the brewer, rice for sake and the polishing rate are identical, a different plan has been established to aim for another quality. While staging the freshness of pleasant acidity and fruity and subtle aromas of banana and melon, the maturation of this sake has exceeded a summer, brings flexibility and roundness to all. It gives the impression of having a little more volume than the Hakurakusei.

Kaishun, Yorokobi no Ryu, Junmai Daiginjo 1800ml

Demonstrating a slavish dedication to the brewing craft, this sake employs the most traditional and laborious kimoto method, which promotes natural interaction and competition between any strains of yeast and micro-organisms in the surrounding area. Without a reliance on cultivating certain strains, this creates to a unique micro-ecosystem in the brewery, and one which is ever-evolving according to its own forms of natural selection. Furthermore, pressing is done entirely by the force of gravity on a suspended mash, without any mechanical pressure – similar to the highest grades of Tokaji wine – leading to small yields of exceptional quality. A testament to such care in production, the finished sake presents an aroma reminiscent of mild yoghurt and a similarly smooth, velvet mouthfeel, giving way to rich body and particularly clean, crisp acidity. Like a stone dropped into a pond, ripples of savoriness repeat on the palate, before calming and dissipating.