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True Stories – Chris Mines the Newsletter Archives (Jikon)

True Stories – Chris Mines the Newsletter Archives (Jikon)

Greeting Sake Fans and Connoisseurs,

Chris here, back at it with another True Sake Newsletter column. This time around, I'm going to address the elephant in the room. Some of you might not even know there's an elephant in the room. So I might be regretting what I'm about to say. It's like telling someone about your favorite restaurant that nobody knows about. But then you do, and eventually, you can't get a seat at your favorite restaurant anymore because your spot has been blown, and everyone loves it now too.

Which is a good thing right? You want to see your favorite restaurant be successful. And you want to see sake breweries do well too, especially in the United States. I might be adding more fuel to the fire, but yes, True Sake does indeed carry Jikon. We are beyond humbled, thankful, and grateful to be able to carry Jikon.

Some of you may know it, especially if you lurk Instagram to see what the latest sake trends are in Japan. Some of you may not. Those that don't... well, you should, and you do now. True Sake customers are at various stages in their sake journey. Some are beginners, and some have been drinking sake for quite awhile. We carry the greatest hits and the all-time classics at True Sake, but we also carry some of the "cult" brands, the brands that sake otaku are hyped and excited about. Jikon is one of those brands.

Why are people excited about Jikon? For one, they make great sake. Sixth Generation Owner-Toji Tada Onishi took over his small family sake brewery in 2003 at the age of 27, and began to look for a new way to make great sake. Kiyasho Shuzo, makers of Jikon, are a part of what we like to call that "New School" wave of making sake. That bright, effervescent and slightly acidic style of sake that seems to be making waves, turning heads, and creating buzz. It's a natural evolution and progression of sake making, as more and more wine heads are enjoying sake, and vice versa too, as some sake makers are paying homage to their favorite wines. Furthemore, as more sake is being enjoyed overseas, it makes sense to pair sake with more bolder foods and dishes that are found overseas as well. And that means turning up the acid.

You need to remember that sake is usually meant for the local Japanese cuisine, and that varies from prefecture to prefecture. Those prefectures on the coast, generally speaking, make lighter sakes that pair well with seafood. Landlocked prefectures, generally speaking, make bolder and more robust sake that pair well with beef, stews, bolder foods, etc. *Always an exception to the rule, of course. But if sake makers are looking outside of Japan to sell their product and help boost an industry that is slowly on the decline with the domestic Japanese audience, then it makes sense to shake up the industry, pair their sake with non-Japanese food, and make a sake that is outside of the box. It needs to happen. Staying complacent and making the same old same old will just not cut it. We need to welcome innovation. We need to welcome something exciting. We need to try something new and different. You are probably thinking, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And yes, maybe sake is not broken. But at the same time, sake consumption is definitely not on the rise in Japan. But I digress!

What was I talking about again? Oh yes, Jikon. The second reason why people are so excited about Jikon is that Jikon is pretty difficult to find. Jikon can be found at only a few select restaurants and bars in Japan. We met a Japanese customer that is staying in the Bay Area over the summer. They disclosed to the True Sake staff that this was their first time ever getting the opportunity to buy Jikon, here in the United States. That's crazy to me. But it's not unheard of. This happened also with Nishida Denshu once upon a time. It's simple economics, really. Supply and demand. I credit social media for giving Jikon a huge boost and spotlight too.

Because of how scarce Jikon tends to be, for the first time ever, True Sake has put a limit on how many bottles a customer can purchase. We've never had to do this before. We experimented with bottle limits in the past, with Kaze no Mori, Akabu, Nishida Denshu, Kokuryu Gold Dragon, Dewazakura Ichiro, etc. But then we felt silly, as the purchase habits for these labels came and went and were not frantically selling out in less than 24 hours. So we relaxed the limits on some of these expressions. BUT, not for Jikon. We are limiting Jikon purchases to ONE BOTTLE PER PERSON PER HOUSEHOLD. We are doing this in an effort to make sure that everyone gets to try Jikon, and not just collectors. Please don't try to bend the rules or be sneaky about it. We'll most likely refund your order if we suspect any foul play. Jikon Tokubetsu Junmai will release on Friday July 8, 2022 at 11am Pacific Standard Time. We have one case of twelve bottles available. Click Here to Purchase Jikon

Maybe the Jikon craze will calm down. Maybe we can take off the limits one day. But in the meantime, we will do our best to keep things fair, and to make sure that everyone that wants to try Jikon will get a fair shake. If you see it online and available, my recommendation to you is to buy it online and select in-store pick up. That way, we can hold the bottle for you, if you're local that is. If you're an online ship customer, secure your bottle as soon as you can.

I realize there's so much irony in writing about a hyped product. Why add fuel to the fire if you don't want a hyped product to be hyped? Great question. In the grand scheme of things, not that Kiyasho Shuzo needs my help, but if Kiyasho Shuzo does well, then the sake industry does well as a whole, and that's A-OK in my book.

True Sake

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