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Sake Exclusives – “Hello! Koueigiku Omachi” Is a True Sake Exclusive

Sake Exclusives – “Hello! Koueigiku Omachi” Is a True Sake Exclusive

In the beginning, back in the olden days there was not a lot of competition for True Sake. I always joked that “Yah, I’d love some competition!” But be careful what you wish for, am I right? I’m just joking because my business has always been about promoting sake and getting awesome customers like you, the best sakes available in Japan. So the more competition the more sake that you are exposed to, and that is a good thing. 

That said, some of that “competition” literally replicates what we sell, and that gets a bit tedious. So we are always shaking the trees and kicking the bushes to get sakes from our importers and distributors that others haven’t started selling yet. And “yet” is the 500lb gorilla in the room. Whatever we find, others want to sell, and rinse and repeat, and rinse and repeat. And that is why we invented the TSS! What the heck is the TSS? 

True Sake Selections or TSS is a program to obtain sake that we can sell exclusively at True Sake and online. Basically, we started a program that features sakes that we identified and the brewers and importers agreed to send to us for our use “exclusively.” Most of you readers know about True Sake Selections, and those who don’t can go on the website to see the collection, or better yet taste the collection. 

One of our favorite TSS brews is a Muroka Nama Genshu from Saga Prefecture’s Koueigiku brewery called “Hello! Omachi,” which they updated to “Hello! Koueigiku Omachi” and is the hallmark offering from Toji Katsuaki Yamamoto, whose products are some of the most sought after sakes in Japan. How cool is that? Way cool if you ask us, because this Nama is a celebration of all things Omachi rice, and is the best brew from a brewery that only makes unpasteurized kick-ass sake.

We have to tip our cap to our good friend Jesse Pugach from Fifth Taste ( who brings this exceptional sake in for us, and helped us make this selection. In this light, Jesse asked the brewers to speak about this amazing sake and their totally amazing sake brewery and why they make outstanding sake like this, and this is their reply (and it’s pretty awesome).

Hi! Jesse-san!

I was really relieved to hear that our products arrived without any accident.
And appreciate that True Sake-san is thinking to promote Hello! KOUEIGIKU Omachi.

As our major feature, we are particular about Muroka Nama Genshu.
So we hope that our customers will enjoy the freshness unique to Nama-zake, as well as the depth and roundness of flavor and taste that develop over time. Therefore, while it's great to enjoy it in one day, we also encourage savoring it over several days to discover which day's flavor you prefer or to make new findings.

(After opening the bottle, please firmly press down the cap until you hear a satisfying click, and store it in the refrigerator)
This season's Hello! Omachi has been crafted to bring out a richer intensity.

Our brewery was founded by the president, Kusaka, and myself, Tashita. As you may know, Jesse-san, Kusaka and I were directors at NHK, a public broadcasting station in Japan, where we produced social and economic programs. During our time there, I had the opportunity to research and explore Japanese sake, and I was fascinated by its immense potential.
One reason is the taste itself. Despite being made from rice, the ever-changing flavors of sake amazed me. Its versatility in pairing with various types of food and the ability to be enjoyed at different temperatures showed infinite possibilities.

Another reason is the contribution to agriculture. In Japan, the consumption of rice has drastically decreased, resulting in abandoned rice fields becoming a significant social issue. Sake, being a product that adds great value to rice, seemed like a promising way to support Japanese agriculture.

The third reason is the preservation of architectural culture. Sake breweries in Japan often have traditional wooden buildings that hold significant cultural value. However, due to the declining consumption of sake in recent years, the number of breweries in Japan has been decreasing, and many of these historic breweries are being demolished or left to decay. As you saw when you visited our brewery, our facility was constructed complexly a hundred years ago, and there was even a plan to relocate it to the United States and turn it into an art museum.
With these reasons in mind, we believed that by preserving Japanese culture, revitalizing agriculture, and contributing to the community, we could make a difference. So in 2012, Kusaka and I set out to establish our brewery.

In our pursuit, we traveled across the country to visit other breweries and studied the process of obtaining licenses. It was during this journey that our Toji (master brewer), Yamamoto, joined our team. While holding qualifications as a Nanbu Toji, he had also studied the brewing methods of Noto and Kenbishi. We were captivated by his ability to interpret and create sake with these various techniques, and we invited him to become a member of our brewery.
After seven years of planning, we were finally able to launch our brewery in Saga in 2019.

Kusaka and I came into the sake industry from outside, and we believe that this allows us to bring something unique. We have two guiding principles.

The first is to continuously produce exciting and new types of sake that have never been seen before. Because we were not previously in the industry, we are not bound by traditional conventions and can develop innovative sake. We also have confidence in Yamamoto's skills, which make this possible.

The second is to set an example in terms of working environment and salaries, to make the sake brewing industry a globally respected industry. Since Jesse-san visited our brewery, we have seen an increase in young employees and improvements in the working environment. We will continue aiming for higher standards in the future.
The other cool thing about the TSS program is that we have exclusive retail rights, but we pick a few restaurants that can sell this outstanding sake so the brewers make more money, attention, and awareness. We love our brewers! This is our second year featuring Hello Omachi, and this year’s living and breathing brew would really speak to red wine drinkers who love a sake that has a rich effervescent liveliness that pairs well with so many food styles and is drinkable complexity epitomized. And in a word, you cannot get it anywhere else! Sorry competition, but yay for you!

Hello you, Hello Omachi, Hello Koueigiku!

Koueigiku Muroka Nama Genshu "Hello! Omachi" TRUE SAKE EXCLUSIVE
From Saga Prefecture. Muroka Nama Genshu. SMV: N/A  Acidity: N/A
The nose on this self-described “Newborn Sake” made with Omachi brewing rice milled to 60% is an outstanding collection grape, pear, lime, blood orange, ocean spray, peach, slivered almonds, crème puff, candied nuts, and green fig aromas. Say hello to awesome sake that is fresh, lively and with a rich effervescence that is both complex and delicious. Juicy, frisky, crisp, lively, medium-bodied, and with a nice glucose body that is both slow and fast across the palate. This unpasteurized brew coats the palate, but elevates the flavor, which is outstanding technical sake making. The net is a balanced flavorful sake that is 14% ABV that doesn’t taste boozy, brash, or punchy. Look for honeydew, marmalade, honeycomb, finger lime, vanilla, honeysuckle, strawberry, toffee, a hint of consommé and brine flavors with an excellent cotton candy finish that is so darn drinkable. Zesty, fleshy, and fresh sake that is rich and effervescent, which is a sake’s way of saying “what?” WORD: Exclusive WINE: Zesty Reds/Crispy Whites BEER: Crisp Ales FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, cheese and fruit plates, Champagne fare, beach foods, street foods, and pub fare. 
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