Sake Talk Anyone?


Okay, so, understanding some of your post is like trying to comprehend a new language - Sake language and Japanese. I’m definitely intrigued, but will definitely be tongue tied. How about - if the moment presents - I show Kerry-san your post and report back (as best I can)? I’ll try to be charming, haha. We also intend to buy some nice bottles… you think that’ll help? :relaxed:


Nicely put… So excited!


@TheCookie, how was the tasting? What did you try?


Looks like the tasting is not until July 19, so it hasn’t happened yet.

On another note did you make it to any of the JFC or MTC related restaurant shows? I missed the former but hit up the latter.


Oops. Misread as June.

Yes, I was at the Young’s & JFC shows recently.
Wismettac (Nishimoto) is in August.
LA MTC Show is in September.


Young’s and Wismettac I think happened in Northern California already, ditto for JFC.

There were a few interesting items at the NorCal MTC (NA Sales) show

very expensive Japan only limited edition Junmai Daiginjo by Tatsuriki

The legendary Shimeharitsuru Daiginjo (gold) that is on many die die must try lists of sake fanatics in Asia (including Hong Kong and Taiwan)

I only tasted the green bottle, I want to say it’s Nanbu Bijin’s Omachi Junmai Ginjo, it was pretty good. Their Tokubetsu Junmai is very classy, light/aromatic and goes extremely well with ramen (Ippudo tonkatsu and I paired it with a duck shoyu recently). I think I tasted the Daiginjo as well which is more widely available in LA but strangely can’t find it in Northern California

I am not a fan of the regular Choya umeshu but this Honkaku version is quite solid

Choya’s yuzushu was very, very good too.

Hakkaisan’s Kongoshin “genie in a bottle” is quite good, though I’m not as big of a fan these days. Tim Sullivan who is a sake samurai is now an ambassador for Hakkaisan. Do re-try the Kowa Kura Junmai Daiginjo as well. It turns out the Kongoshin Black vs Blue are identical, just different bottling time (winter vs summer)

“Stella” Junmai Daiginjo Tezukuri (hand crafted) Muroka Genshu Junmai Daiginjo - this is seriously some tasty elegant stuff, with my only gripe being that it finishes too quick. Very easy to like even for beginners and especially great for the ladies. I spoke with the female master brewer who was there, she does great work! Brewed with traditional methods.

Amabuki’s “I Love Sushi” Junmai Karakuchi Nama (super cute labels), and Kyoto Matcha Shu (with some yuzu infusion)…the matcha has this pulpy feel to it, really good stuff. Not available for restaurant ordering yet though


Bookmarking! Thanks for sharing @beefnoguy.


Hi @beefnoguy -

It was a big success (sold out). People were still showing up as we left. Kerry-san took a picture of your post and gave me his card. I will email him and he’ll give me some answers after he talks to his superiors. He joked that it was beyond his pay grade. Really sweet guy.

We bought the DEWASAKURA Daiginjo “Mountain Cherry” and are on our way to Aburiya Raku. Why not? :blush: No reservation, hopefully we can get in.

We took a lot of notes. I’ll do a report once we decipher our scribbles.

Very Sake buzzed right now.


Thank you for reporting back!

Great stuff, now you are tuned into this secret stash of affordable high end stuff :slight_smile:

Can’t go wrong with Dewazakura Daiginjo and Yukimanman. You’re going to love them a lot and get addicted!

The master brewer of Tamagawa Philip Harper (amongst a few of his peers in the industry) were doing the rounds in Northern California several weeks back. He went to my favorite neighborhood izakaya and I met and chatted with him briefly, a true legend! The Kinsho Daiginjo is a bit too sweet for me, but…it will pair brilliantly with the foie gras at Aburiya Raku (and in fact maybe even 90++ % pairing satisfaction!). I don’t doubt the Yukimanman will be as good, and the Mountain Cherry should be solid with it as well.


Hi @beefnoguy -

Was our 2nd favorite. The Kinsho Daiginjo had a lot going on and was our least favorite - more on that later.

Cool you got to chat with Philip Harper. You can tell he is much loved. Kerry-san told a couple funny stories about him.

We managed to squeeze in at Aburiya Raku’s bar. They put our bottle on ice and charged a $30.00 corkage fee. It’s not like us to spring for that, but we were feeling good, so…

P.S. We also bought a bottle of Fukucho Junmai Ginjo “Moon on the Water”. I know it’s not a super high-end Sake, but I adore it. It just rolls around the tongue like liquid velvet. Is it the water in the Hiroshima prefecture that does it?


Last October Fukucho “Moon On The Water” was removed from the previous sake menu at Raku, so either they have re-introduced it or offered it as “special menu” sake. I’ve mentioned this as something you might like in that gigantic Raku thread a while back, and my guess was right!

It’s a very feminine sake (actually I believe the master brewer is female on top of that) in terms of profile, but it finishes dry and elegant. And yes you hit up on the right point, Hiroshima sake and the water does contribute to that (generally most Hiroshima sake I’ve had are elegant and soft). I’m not a huge fan myself of this sake as I prefer a bit more fuller body, but I respect the work that was put in and what the brewery was trying to accomplish. Maybe you can put in a request to K&L and Kerry to have K&L stock the unpasteurized limited seasonal version of “Moon On The Water”, it’s worth tasting it!

$30 is reasonable given the area.


Yes you did and yes I do. I’ve been drinking it ever since. We bought it at K&L to drink at home. We usually get the Tedorigawa Arabashiri Kinka Daiginjo “Kinka” at Aburiya Raku. Would love other suggestions from their list.

Will do!


I haven’t forgotten my assignments @beefnoguy!

If I had posted one more thing before reporting on my last of couple visits to Aburiya Raku @Chowseeker1999 would have hunted me down and…



Haha no worries. Actually not in a hurry at all (even with Kerry san’s answers). In fact someone reached out directly to Tamagawa’s master brewer Philip Harper already about one of my questions! I even met Philip in person recently, really cool guy.


How nice!


Hi Sake Lovers -

There is so much good Sake talk on the Aburiya Raku thread. Does anyone mind if I link one or two of your posts from that thread to this one? Give me a “like” if it’s okay.

P.S. @beefnoguy - Which question? Did you get an answer?


That would have been question #2 and it was posed by Philip’s friend, True Sake’s Beau Timken when he visited Northern California several weeks back. I didn’t talk to Beau directly about this but he and I are on the same page on wanting certain parts of the Tamagawa lineup be available in the USA. Don’t know what transpired of that conversation since it was between them, but at least the question was posed and Philip heard. The rest is up to him, the distributor and whatever can be pulled.


Movin’ on over to our little Sake thread.

It’s interesting that Riedel makes a glass for Daiginjo and one for Junmai. Is there a real need for two types of glasses?


No pressure to answer right away. But can anyone explain pasteurization and non-pasteurization as it applies to Sake?

Edit: In layman’s terms aka sake for dummies.


Interview with Kerry Tamura by K&L