Hello! My name is Chris Cabrera aka CABS and I've been in the sake industry since 2015. After working as the General Manager of Umami Mart in Oakland California, it is an honor and a privilege to call True Sake my new home base. In 2018 under the tutelage of Sake Samurai Toshio Ueno and Sachiko Miyagi, I am also a Sake Adviser certified by the Sake School of America (via the Sake Service Institute in Japan). In 2021, I've earned my Sake Scholar certification under the guidance of Sake Samurai, Michael Tremblay aka Toronto's favorite son.
I've been lucky enough to travel to Japan a handful of times, and was able to visit various breweries and tasting rooms, as well as attend my first ever Sake no Jin in Niigata. These are experiences I will never forget. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and expertise here at True Sake, and meeting fellow sake nerds, lovers, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts.
Some quick picks from me, new picks with asterisks (updated 07/31/2021):
Yuho "Rhythm of the Centuries" Kimoto Junmai - Since the very beginning of my sake journey, I've been selling Mioya Brewery sake since 2015. But fast-forward to 2021, and I have an even deeper appreciation for their sake because of my deep dive researching Ishikawa prefecture. I'm also a fan of the eccentricities of the sake world. Those who are not afraid to be different and think outside the box. Those who take risks. Those who are unconventional. President of Mioya Brewery, Miho Fujita, was a single career woman who left the corporate world to make sake. I too, have left the corporate world to be in the sake industry, so I can relate to Fujita-san in that regard. She also likes to enjoy her sake after being opened 1-2 months, which is kinda awesome, since the general rule of thumb is to drink sake young and drink sake fresh. Nutty, savory, earthy, citrusy, rich, clean, etc. There's a lot going on in this sake, in the best way possible. Be unconventional, be eccentric, be weird. Freak out the squares.
Cowboy Yamahai - I just got back from a road trip to the Pacific Northwest. While in Seattle, I had to stop by Kamonegi and Hannyatou. I tried a few sake that we actually do not carry here at True Sake. But I did get to revisit Cowboy Yamahai, and it was fantastic. Definitely not as burly and bold as I remember. In fact, it felt like the most non-Yamahai Yamahai sake I've had lately. Certainly, that all black bottle with the bold romaji suggests a strong sake, right? Raisins on the palate, all day every day. One of the lighter Yamahai I've had recently, in comparison to the Harada 80 and the Hoyo Junmai from that same flight. I am guilty of only calling upon this sake when having steak, as I too can get caught up in food pairings. But in all honesty, you can throw all kinds of food at this (stews, grilled foods, red-sauce Italian cuisine, etc.) and it'll shine.
*Shichida Natsu Namazume - My favorite summer Namazume at the moment. Lighter than the usual full-bodied Saga-style, but still has that amakuchi vibe. There's also that refreshing fruitiness that is standard for the season. Tenzan Shuzo (makers of Shichida) is a brewery that you need to get acquainted with. Get familiar. Namazume is single-pasteurized so it's much safer to ship than actual nama namas. If you know, you know.
*Fukukomachi Tokubetsu Junmai - A vastly underrated sake here in the States that nobody ever talks about. Don't sleep on Tokubetsu Junmai sake! From Akita prefecture, this sake has lots of good confectionary vibes: nougat, graham cracker, caramel, marshmallow, etc. So smooth, so easy. My wife mentioned to me that this is like drinking water. I mean, she's not wrong. =)
Senkin Urara Junmai Daiginjo Shizuku - I asked Beau-san for a recommendation the other day, and I was quite surprised that he actually gave me one. This sake is quite special. I'm usually not into the posh Daiginjo sake, but this sake is absolute technical perfection. Wow. I thought it was fantastic, but once you dive into the statistics, and get really nerdy with it, it goes from fantastic to out-of-this-world next level. Where do I begin? First off, it's drip style sake, meaning that the bag hangs from the rafters, and drips naturally into the tank, letting gravity do its thing. It's very time consuming, but well worth the effort as this method creates a more elegant, more smooth sake drinking experience. The Yamadanishiki rice is milled to an extreme 17%, which is pretty crazy to me. Not less than 1% crazy, but crazy nonetheless. Also, Senkin Brewery only makes small batch Muroka Nama Genshu, which adds to the craziness and complexity of this brew. Thank you to Beau-san for the opportunity to try this technical masterpiece. I was very grateful that I go to share this with some good friends that were hosting us in Portland. Truly a special sake. If you are a Daiginjo drinker, and you haven't had this yet, what are you waiting for?!!
Kimoto JunmaiOriginal price $35.00Current price $26.25
The nose on this traditionally made brew is a unique collection of nutty, earthy, leather, roasted rice, and sour lemon tones. This is a very tasty...View full details
Yamahai Junmai Ginjo Genshu$32.00
YeeHaw! The nose on this storied sake is a collection of musky fruits, straw, steamed rice, and caramel elements. Howdy Partner! And welcome to a s...View full details
The nose on this amazingly light Summer namazume is a slick collection of pear, melon, grape, blueberry, Asian pear, and snowfall aromas. Back for ...View full details
The nose on this unique sake that is new to True Sake is a gentle collection of caramel, Rice Krispies Treat, White Chocolate, and steamed rice aro...View full details
The nose on this elegant “Ultra” Junmai Daiginjo is a tantalizing collection of mineral, pear, sweet rice, and citrus aromas. This is a great examp...View full details