True Stories – Chris Mines the Newsletter Archives (SAKE DAY Hints)
Greetings Sake Fans and Connoisseurs,
Chris here, back at it again with another column for the True Sake Newsletter. With SAKE DAY 2022 just around the corner, I present to you my personal SAKE DAY Hit List for 2022. Essentially, these are the sakes I would go out of my way for if I were just an event attendee, and not actually working the event. Some of these sake I just absolutely adore, some of these sake I have never had before, and some of these sake will be debuting in the United States for the very first time.
Of course, let's get the basics out of the way. 1) Make sure you have eaten a solid meal beforehand. Don't come on an empty stomach or you will be drunk before you know it. 2) Take advantage of the ins-and-outs and get a snack in Japantown after you've had more than a few drinks, sober up, and get ready for round two. 3) Drink lots of water. 4) Get your hotel room (or AirBNB) booked, or your babysitter lined up, or your Lyft driver situated.
Whew, now that that's out of the way, here's my personal Top Ten + Sake to try at SAKE DAY 2022 in no particular order:
Moon Bloom Junmai Daiginjo // Wakabayashi Brewery // Nagano // Nankai Group
This will be the first time we get to try Wakabayashi Brewery's Junmai Daiginjo in the United States. Mami Wakabayashi is their 5th Generation master brewer and she's a badass.
Olive Junmai Ginjo // Kawatsuru Brewery // Kagawa // Kome Collective
We've heard of the the famous Kyokai yeasts, and we've heard of flower yeasts, but olive yeast? I've heard about olive yeast being used in sake, but I have yet to try it.
Hanabusa "Bouquet" Yamahai Muroka Nama Genshu // Moriki Shuzo // Mie // Floating World
Rumiko Moriki is the 4th generation Kuramoto-Toji and she's also a badass. If you like wild style, crazy style sake, then seek this out!
Sawahime Yamahai Junmai // Inoue Seikichi // Tochigi // Sake Tengoku
I've had this before, and this is one of my most favorite Yamahais of all time. Inoue Seikichi makes awesome sake.
Fukumuryo Junmai Ginjo "Blend" // Kutsukake Shuzo // Nagano // Bix Imports
A fun blended sake collaboration between Kutsukake Shuzo and Shinshu Meijo. Bix Imports has a nice track record of bringing in fantastic sakes.
Hakuro Suishu Flight // Takeno Tsuyu Sakagura // Yamagata // Takeno Tsuyu Sakagura
This is such an eye-opening flight that I highly recommend trying if you can. Logistically speaking, it might be a little chaotic to try all six. So set your expectations correctly.
Sawtelle "Clear Skies" Junmai Ginjo Nama // Sawtelle Sake // Los Angeles, California // Sawtelle Sake
Sawtelle Sake is making awesome sake right here in our home state of California. Definitely one of the front-runners of American-made sake.
Brooklyn Kura "Blue Door" Junmai // Brooklyn Kura // Brooklyn, New York // Skurnik
I haven't had Brooklyn Kura in a long time, so this will be a real treat. Another front-runner in the Amercan-made sake scene.
Matsunotsukasa Ryou Junmai Daiginjo // Matsuse Shuzo // Shiga // Fifth Taste
I love this brewery. Small batch producers from Shiga. Everything they make is fantastic.
Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo // Isojiman Brewery // Shizuoka // Skurnik
When Aramasa owner toji Yusuke Sato first had a sip of Isojiman sake, he said that he, "... was shocked at how beautiful it was." If you know, you know. This is chess, not checkers!
And there you have it! I hope this guide was helpful. I'll see you at SAKE day, come say hello!
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