Beau-Zone Layer – Stella Shizuku Junmai Daiginjo Genshu
I just came back from visiting this brewery and spent time with the owner and head brewer Nobuko Inaba, who is a superstar and a genius small batch sake producer. In a word, this former “office worker” came back to her family’s brewery and put her thumbprint on their brewery’s history, and international sake history as well. Nobuko is all about “shizuku” or drip sake. This very laborious technique is done for a reason. When I asked her to explain it to me, she spoke about the movement of post-fermented rice mash in a hanging sack that is placed above a tank to catch each precious drop drip by drip. For me, making shizuku sake is about a softness or a silky texture and a cleanness in the sake. It drinks more pure with more character and more “fabulousness.” And this Stella is about as good as it gets. This is liquid luxury in the bottle, hand-made by an extremely passionate sake maker who wants you to taste sake in the best “form” possible. Of course this is one of Mei’s picks, and for good reason. And try buying this sake in Tokyo! No chance, as this brewery only sells in Ibaraki Prefecture and internationally, which means you!