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Chris Corner – A Special Niigata Sake Odyssey

Chris Corner – A Special Niigata Sake Odyssey

Greetings Sake Fans and Connoisseurs,

Chris here, back at it with another Chris' Corner in the World Famous True Sake Newsletter. I got some exciting news to share with you all.

After about 14 months of work behind the scenes, I can finally say that Niigata's Fukugao Sake has arrived at True Sake. These trips to Japan are very important to the sake scene, as it helps us sake retailers discover new sakes, which keeps us fresh and different from our other competitors. These trips to Japan are not for nothing. I take these trips very seriously, as someone out there sees the value in investing in me as their Sake Ambassador. It is my job and my duty to spread the word about all the breweries I visit. Fukugao Shuzo was one of the highlights of my January 2023 trip to Japan.

This was my first time traveling to Japan by myself. The time change as well as feeling isolated was starting to take a toll on me physically and mentally. But when I got to Fukugao Shuzo in Sanjo Niigata, my mood had changed for the better and I was greeted with a warm welcome by Eri Kobayashi.

What immediately caught my eye was this crazy sake set collaboration with Giant Baba, who happens to be from Sanjo. I never thought in a million years that Japanese pro wrestling would collide with Japanese sake. I was quite surprised but I shouldn't be.

Eri san then walked me through an absolutely stellar sake tasting, walking me through their entire lineup, from an extra dry Junmai Ginjo, to a peach liqueur, and even their barrel aged series. Every product poured was top notch, but of course we can't bring in everything to America. Check out that picturesque snowy backdrop behind Eri san!

14 months later, this arrived on our doorstep.....

YES!!!! Finally!!!!

I was like a kid on Christmas morning. So happy and excited to onboard a new product to the True Sake shelves. I put them front and center of the 300ml section, as they are quite unique to our lineup. Right next to the Uka 300ml's, is the Fukugao sake aged in Brandy barrels from France. This project is limited, and quite special. For fans of Brandy without the high ABV, this is a must. To the right of that, is the Fukugao sake aged in Bourbon barrels from Kentucky, USA. How on earth are these barrels making their way to Sanjo Niigata Japan? That's a rhetorical question. A must for whisky fans, especially bourbon fans. I quit drinking spirits because the ABV is just too damn high, but I do miss the flavors. These Fukugao sakes solve that problem for me. 

*Huge thank you to Sumi Seo of NA Sales for helping to bring in Fukugao Sake. And again, a huge thank you to Eri Kobayashi and the entire Kobayashi family for their support and patience in getting their nihonshu to America. Also, a huge thank you to JETRO San Francisco and JETRO Niigata for making this all happen.

Side note: I'll be on paternity! So I'll see you all in 8 to 10 weeks! See you on the other side!

Till next time,
True Sake

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