Japanese sake recommendation

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YLee
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Japanese sake recommendation

#1 Post by YLee » October 9th, 2019, 4:41 pm

In Japan now. Any sake recommendations that I should purchase here that may be harder or more costly to try in the States? I am very flexible with taste preference.
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Otto Forsberg
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#2 Post by Otto Forsberg » October 9th, 2019, 10:34 pm

Are you fluent in reading Japanese or do you have somebody with you who can? Otherwise it can be quite painful trying to differentiate one sake bottle from another.

Some great sake breweries are:
Okura Honke
Terada Honke
Akishika
Kidoizumi
Chikumanishiki
Kawatsuru
Fukuchiyo Shuzo

Of course you might have better chance of finding Japanese wines, since most of these sake breweries I listed here are very small-scale.

PCLIN
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#3 Post by PCLIN » October 10th, 2019, 12:20 am

I am very happy with Otokoyama and Kubota. There is a craze about Juyondai these days but I yet to try one.
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roybehr
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#4 Post by roybehr » October 10th, 2019, 12:34 am

Tatsuriki
Katsuyama

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Otto Forsberg
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#5 Post by Otto Forsberg » October 10th, 2019, 1:11 am

PCLIN wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 12:20 am
I am very happy with Otokoyama and Kubota. There is a craze about Juyondai these days but I yet to try one.
Have you read this article? https://blog.wblakegray.com/2019/07/the ... rious.html

Apparently the Juyondai hype train is mostly based on nothing. It is not an artisanal sake brewery but an enormous facility that is churning out sweet bulk sake released in very limited bottlings. Haven't tasted it myself, but I trust Gray about all things related to sake.

YLee
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#6 Post by YLee » October 10th, 2019, 2:57 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:34 pm
Are you fluent in reading Japanese or do you have somebody with you who can? Otherwise it can be quite painful trying to differentiate one sake bottle from another.

Some great sake breweries are:
Okura Honke
Terada Honke
Akishika
Kidoizumi
Chikumanishiki
Kawatsuru
Fukuchiyo Shuzo

Of course you might have better chance of finding Japanese wines, since most of these sake breweries I listed here are very small-scale.
I have someone who is fluent with me.
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#7 Post by Otto Forsberg » October 10th, 2019, 3:37 am

YLee wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 2:57 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:34 pm
Are you fluent in reading Japanese or do you have somebody with you who can? Otherwise it can be quite painful trying to differentiate one sake bottle from another.

Some great sake breweries are:
Okura Honke
Terada Honke
Akishika
Kidoizumi
Chikumanishiki
Kawatsuru
Fukuchiyo Shuzo

Of course you might have better chance of finding Japanese wines, since most of these sake breweries I listed here are very small-scale.
I have someone who is fluent with me.
That certainly helps a lot when trying to decipher all the sake labels.

Sarah Kirschbaum
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#8 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 10th, 2019, 4:54 am

Do you know at all the style of sake you like? More or less polish? Funky versus clean? Sweeter versus dry? Sake is extremely varied and complex. Asking for brewery recommendations in a vacuum is a little like asking for wine producer suggestions without knowing whether you like red versus white, for example. It's totally fine to have a list of names to refer to, but I highly recommend you go into a store and tell them the style you like, then ask what they have that fits the bill and they recommend. If you're really just starting to experiment, though, this is as legit a way as any, I suppose.

One other note: unless you are looking for the largest breweries, it can be difficult to go into a store looking for a particular producer. This is the same problem as when friends here ask me to recommend a wine - the chances that the three stores they go to will have that wine are low, since I'm not going to be recommending anything mass produced. Of course, if it's a brewery local to where you are that you are asking about, it will be easy. My favorite, Kikuhime, is relatively hard to find outside of Ishikawa, but if you are in Ishikawa, it's everywhere. Some of the biggest and most popular will be everywhere, of course, but often if you go into a store looking for a particular brewery, you'll come up empty handed.

YLee
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#9 Post by YLee » October 10th, 2019, 5:45 am

I like them all. I am not starting out with sake now but it has been a very long time since I drank sake so I have no idea whats out there anymore. I dont like things like plum wines though.
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#10 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 10th, 2019, 7:27 am

YLee wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 5:45 am
I like them all. I am not starting out with sake now but it has been a very long time since I drank sake so I have no idea whats out there anymore. I dont like things like plum wines though.
Okay, if you have zero preferences, I guess starting with breweries is as good as anything. Add Kikuhime to the list. They specialize in yamahai, though not all their bottlings are yamahai.

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C Chen
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#11 Post by C Chen » October 10th, 2019, 8:41 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 7:27 am
YLee wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 5:45 am
I like them all. I am not starting out with sake now but it has been a very long time since I drank sake so I have no idea whats out there anymore. I dont like things like plum wines though.
Okay, if you have zero preferences, I guess starting with breweries is as good as anything.
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Yao C
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#12 Post by Yao C » October 10th, 2019, 9:30 am

YLee wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 4:41 pm
In Japan now. Any sake recommendations that I should purchase here that may be harder or more costly to try in the States? I am very flexible with taste preference.
Whenever my husband or I pass through Japan we pick up Kubota Manju to bring back; it's usually available for 3,500 yen, which is invariably 2-3x cheaper than the US price. Thank goodness it's easy to find. It was my epiphany sake and I remain quite infatuated [cheers.gif]

Dassai is good but it has never moved me. Juyondai is big but boring and lacking in nuance
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YLee
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#13 Post by YLee » October 10th, 2019, 9:37 am

Yao C wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 9:30 am
YLee wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 4:41 pm
In Japan now. Any sake recommendations that I should purchase here that may be harder or more costly to try in the States? I am very flexible with taste preference.
Whenever my husband or I pass through Japan we pick up Kubota Manju to bring back; it's usually available for 3,500 yen, which is invariably 2-3x cheaper than the US price. Thank goodness it's easy to find. It was my epiphany sake and I remain quite infatuated [cheers.gif]

Dassai is good but it has never moved me. Juyondai is big but boring and lacking in nuance
Kubota Manju is one I actually know of and get. Thx though!
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Y U R A N S
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#14 Post by Y U R A N S » October 10th, 2019, 9:54 am

You could try Nabeshima and Aramasa, those are two highly sought after sake by locals in Japan.

PCLIN
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#15 Post by PCLIN » October 10th, 2019, 10:07 am

YLee wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 9:37 am
Yao C wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 9:30 am
YLee wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 4:41 pm
In Japan now. Any sake recommendations that I should purchase here that may be harder or more costly to try in the States? I am very flexible with taste preference.
Whenever my husband or I pass through Japan we pick up Kubota Manju to bring back; it's usually available for 3,500 yen, which is invariably 2-3x cheaper than the US price. Thank goodness it's easy to find. It was my epiphany sake and I remain quite infatuated [cheers.gif]

Dassai is good but it has never moved me. Juyondai is big but boring and lacking in nuance
Kubota Manju is one I actually know of and get. Thx though!
That’s a good sake, very consistent, my 2nd favorite.
Chiu Lin

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Chris Seiber
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#16 Post by Chris Seiber » October 10th, 2019, 10:22 am

I hope this doesn't sound like a smartass comment, because it isn't intended as such, but is there any meaningful Sake made outside of Japan? I've only ever seen Japanese ones.

Sarah Kirschbaum
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#17 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 10th, 2019, 10:30 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 10:22 am
I hope this doesn't sound like a smartass comment, because it isn't intended as such, but is there any meaningful Sake made outside of Japan? I've only ever seen Japanese ones.
Depends on what you mean by "meaningful." There are breweries outside Japan, including at least one of some note in Brooklyn, and there is growing interest in making it. It's odd to me, too, as the word I use often (not always) to order that beverage in Japan is "nihonshu" which, obviously, includes the part about Japan.

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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#18 Post by Yao C » October 10th, 2019, 10:42 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 10:30 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 10:22 am
I hope this doesn't sound like a smartass comment, because it isn't intended as such, but is there any meaningful Sake made outside of Japan? I've only ever seen Japanese ones.
Depends on what you mean by "meaningful." There are breweries outside Japan, including at least one of some note in Brooklyn, and there is growing interest in making it. It's odd to me, too, as the word I use often (not always) to order that beverage in Japan is "nihonshu" which, obviously, includes the part about Japan.
Right, sake being the generic Japanese word for alcohol

I've had one from Momokawa in Oregon and it was decent
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Kris Patten
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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#19 Post by Kris Patten » October 14th, 2019, 8:51 pm

Huchu Homare makes my absolute favorite, Watari Bune 55 & Liquid Gold - the Junmai Daiginjo is delicious too.
ITB

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Re: Japanese sake recommendation

#20 Post by Shawn P » October 14th, 2019, 10:42 pm

Off the top of my head:

Juyondai
Hiroki
Nabeshima
Aramasa (especially those with 6 yeast)
Noguichi
Isojiman
Jikon
Shawn Poon

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