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We will be closed Jan 23th. Fulfillment will continue Jan 24th.
We will be closed Jan 23th. Fulfillment will continue Jan 24th.

Chris

Hello!

My name is Chris Cabrera aka CABS and I've been in the sake industry since 2015. 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.

In 2018 under the tutelage of Sake Samurai Toshio Ueno, I am also a Sake Adviser certified by the Sake School of America (via the Sake Service Institute in Japan).

In April 2021, I've earned my Sake Scholar certification under the guidance of Sake Samurai, Michael Tremblay aka Toronto's favorite son.

In November 2021, I've earned my Level 3 Award in Sake from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust taught by Jesse Pugach and KJ Rizzo.

In July 2022, I've earned my Certified Sake Professional certification with the world’s leading non-Japanese sake expert, Sake Samurai, and Sake Evangelist, John Gauntner.


Nishida Denshu. Photo by our Spring intern, Ayumi chan!


Some quick picks from me, new picks with asterisks (updated 12/21/2022):

*Shintaro Junmai "Imperial Loyalist"  - It's finally back in stock! Holy crap. Only 5 cases available in the Bay Area. I snagged two cases immediately. My favorite dry sake at True Sake. Take this to your favorite izakaya and have a good time. The packaging is pretty killer too. I think I love paper-wrapped sake. From Kochi prefecture, the land of dry nihonshu. If you know, you know.

Shinkame Junmai "Holy Turtle" - Arguably the best Junmai in the shop. Aged for 2 years, this full-bodied brew is great room temp, but fantastic warm. In 1987, Shinkame Shuzo was the first brewery to brew only Junmai sakes after World War 2, which is a big deal, as this happened during the "Ginjo Boom." Also a big deal, because so much sake post World War 2 had lots of brewers alcohol added, like I mean way too much. This is your sake drinker's favorite Junmai sake. Much respect to the Holy Turtle! From Saitama prefecture. 

Gikyo Junmai Ginjo "Chivalry" - I'm not usually one to geek out on Yamadanishiki rice, but this is one fantastic bottle using the "King of Sake Rice." Classic melon up front that moves into cereal grains in the mid, with a dry tingly finish. But to be perfectly honest, I think the newspaper wrap it comes in is pretty cool. And if you're lucky, you'll get a bottle wrapped with the Nagoya real estate section. Time to start planning that big move to Japan...

Yuho Kimoto Junmai "Rhythm of the Centuries" - One of the most unique sakes on Earth. On Earth! Nutty, citrusy, with cocoa and umami notes. Wild style for sure, but drinks surprisingly smooth. Fun fact: Mioya Shuzo President Miho Fujita drinks her Yuho Kimoto Junmai after being opened and oxidized for weeks, maybe even months. Which is counterintuitive to what we are taught. "You're supposed to drink it young, new, fresh, etc." blah blah blah. Yes, it's all true. But as always, "there's always an exception to the rule." Yuho is that exception. Not recommended for the Daiginjo drinker. But if you're open to exploring unique styles, then this is for you. From Ishikawa prefecture. Try this warm! 

Atago no Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo "Pine of Atago" - Master Brewer aka Toji of Niizawa Shuzo, Nanami Watanabe, is only 26 years old. What were YOU doing when you were 26 years old? Me, I definitely wasn't a master sake brewer, that's for damn sure. But enough about me. Atago no Matsu, IWC Great Value Champion Sake 2022. This is a certified banger. A refreshing nose of apple, grapefruit, Greek yogurt, pine, rosemary, and buttered popcorn. Light and easy on the palate, with notes of creme brûlée. Note the short and clean finish with a touch of acid and a touch of umami. Wow. How is this only $21 bucks? As the resident cheapskate here at True Sake, this honjozo is my jam! 

With all that being said, the best way to learn about sake is to drink more sake, pay attention, take notes, and remember what you like and don't like. There's A LOT of misinformation out there on the internet (how ironic, since you're reading my list on the internet), but it's up to you to do your due diligence, and fine tune your sake preferences that align with your taste buds. Cheers! -Chris

 

An ad at Niigata's Echigo-Yuzawa Station featuring Reruhi-San, who looks like Theodor Von Lerch, an Austro-Hungarian general who introduced skiing to Japan.


Moerenuma Park (モエレ沼公園) Sapporo, Hokkaido


At Niseko Shuzo in Hokkaido, where the President insisted on this photo op, even though I just wanted to be a customer. My friend spilled the beans that I worked in the sake industry, which in hindsight, created this fun, awkward moment.


  • Shintaro "Imperial Loyalist"

    Shintaro "Imperial Loyalist"

    Junmai
    $45.00

    The nose on this perfect sake to bring to an izakaya has a cool collection of oatmeal, cashew, couscous, wheat, hay, and steamed rice aromas. The n...

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  • Shinkame Junmai "Holy Turtle"

    Shinkame Junmai "Holy Turtle"

    Aged Junmai
    $52.00

    The nose on this Junmai that has been aged for two years is a vast collection of earthy, nutty, forest floor, steamed rice, and wet wool aromas. Ta...

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  • Gikyo Junmai Ginjo "Chivalry"

    Gikyo Junmai Ginjo "Chivalry"

    Junmai Ginjo
    $45.00

    Review from Beau Timken coming soon!

  • Yuho Kimoto Junmai "Rhythm of the Centuries"

    Yuho Kimoto Junmai "Rhythm of the Centuries"

    Kimoto Junmai
    $35.00

    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...

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  • Atago no Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo "Pine of Atago"

    Atago no Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo "Pine of Atago"

    Tokubetsu Honjozo
    $21.00

    The nose on this incredible sake is a gentle collection of strawberry, cream, sweet rice, oat, raisin, and purple plum aromas. All sake is cool, bu...

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