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Kinoene Junmai Namagenshu Sunomama Muroka Jikagumi boasts a delightfully fruity aroma, prominently featuring the crisp essence of green apples. Upon tasting, it offers a profound and clear onset, complemented by a refined texture and a lively effervescence. On the palate, a harmonious blend of refreshing acidity, subtle sweetness, savoury umami, and a touch of bitterness culminates in a sharp, clean finish that leaves a lasting impression of acidity.

It is a genuinely exceptional Muroka Namagenshu, exuding an elegance resembling that of the renowned Imada Fukusho.

Kinoene Junmai Namagenshu Sunomama Muroka Jikagumi Kinoene Junmai Namagenshu Sunomama Muroka Jikagumi




Nose: clean and light
Aroma: fruity (green apples, citric)
Sweetness: off-dry
Acidity: medium+
Umami: medium
Alcohol: high
Body: medium
Flavour intensity: medium
Flavour characteristics: Refreshing acidity, crisp and tingling. Yet elegant and slightly sweet.
Texture: light and crisp
Finish: medium with a sour tail.
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This is another of Tamagawa's outstanding 3U series. The Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Namagenshu has a clear, pale-yellow hue and a clean, light nose with fruity aromas of grapes, banana, pears, and citric notes. It is off-dry with medium acidity and umami, high alcohol content, and a full body. The flavour is immensely rich and dense, with pronounced intensity and a creamy texture that combines the sweetness derived from the rice with refreshing acidity and pleasing bitterness. Medium finish with a sour tail. Initially, the sake offers a gentle and creamy entry that transitions into a refreshing and dry mouthfeel with a crispness and slight acidity balanced by a fruity sweetness and rice flavours. As it reaches room temperature, it becomes milder and velvety. This excellent food sake pairs well with sushi and savoury meat dishes. Did we mention it's strong?

Tamagawa Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Namagenshu tTamagawa Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Namagenshu



Appearance: clear and lemon-green
Nose: clean and light
Aroma: fruity (grapes, banana, pears, citric), green
Sweetness: off-dry
Acidity: medium
Umami: medium
Alcohol: high
Body: full
Flavour intensity: pronounced
Flavour characteristics: rich, dense, creamy with plenty of sweetness from the rice, refreshing acidity, and pleasing bitterness.
Texture: creamy
Finish: medium with a sour tail.
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Kakurei Yukiotoko Junmai has a clear, lemon-green appearance and a clean, light nose with aromas of dried fruits like prunes and figs, lactic notes reminiscent of pudding and mascarpone, and a hint of narazuke. The gentle, creamy entry transitions to a refreshing, dry mouthfeel with pleasing crispness and slight acidity, balanced by a fruity sweetness and rice flavour. As it approaches room temperature, it becomes milder and velvety. It pairs excellently with food, particularly sushi and savoury meat dishes.

Kakurei Yukiotoko Junmai Kakurei Yukiotoko Junmai
Kakurei Yukiotoko Junmai
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Mizubashō Junmai Ginjō has a clear and lemon-green appearance, complemented by a clean and light nose. Its aroma is a delightful blend of fruity notes reminiscent of pear and peach, with a subtle lactic undertone suggesting custard and crème fraîche, all underpinned by a discernible alcohol presence. On the palate, it offers an off-dry sweetness, medium levels of acidity and umami, and a moderate alcohol content. The body and flavour intensity are both medium, with the latter leaning slightly towards the lighter side. The flavour profile is characterized by ginjoka, a term denoting the aromatic qualities of sake, alongside fruity nuances and refreshing acidity. The texture is smooth, ensuring a pleasant mouthfeel, and it concludes with a medium-length finish that leaves a sour impression at the end. This sake is a gentle and mild beverage with a delicate balance and an elegant aroma, attributed to the esteemed Yamadanishiki rice used in its production. It's a refined choice for those who appreciate subtlety and sophistication in their sake experience.

Mizubashō Junmai Ginjō Mizubashō Junmai Ginjō
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Tamagawa's Ice Breaker is one of the few sake recommended to drink on the rocks! It presents a clear, pale yellow appearance with a clean and light nose, exuding a fruity and sweet aroma—off-dry sweetness, medium-plus acidity, and umami, paired with high alcohol content. The body is medium, and the flavour intensity ranges from medium-plus to pronounced, featuring distinctive notes of namazake, fungi, and lactic elements. The smooth texture leads to a medium finish that leaves a sour tingle and a refreshing bitter tail. The intense flavours are a packed blend of apricot, over-roasted tea, and roasted sugar, reminiscent of wasanbon—a traditional, delicately sweet, and finely textured sugar from Shikoku. The complex afternotes are a magnificent mix of light brown sugar syrup, nuanced rice, and citrusy undertones, all coexisting harmoniously.

We enjoyed it chilled, right from the refrigerator and on the rocks. It was marvellous.

Tamagawa Ice Breaker Junmai Ginjō Muroka Namagenshu Tamagawa Ice Breaker Junmai Ginjō Muroka Namagenshu
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Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori is a cloudy sake with detailed instructions on how to open it. And you better heed them! Kojima recommends always keeping the bottle refrigerated at around 0°C. The bottle should be pointed away from people and fragile objects when opened. The cap should be loosened slightly and tightened just before it starts spilling, a process to be repeated until the gas has settled. Ignore this, and you get to enjoy only half a bottle or less.

The secondary fermentation in the bottle differs from bottle to bottle. Some bottles are vigorously effervescent; others are less effervescent. As this is not a product with artificially added carbon dioxide gas, it is not a product where a certain level of gas pressure can be guaranteed.

It has a subdued aroma and a refreshing flavour of apples with lactic and citric notes. Along with the aroma, sweetness and umami gradually spread to the mouth. For a junmai daiginjo, it is quite crisp, allowing you to savour the fullness and sharpness of the flavour (SMV of +8.0). Nevertheless, it has a very good balance of sweetness, umami, acidity and sharpness, making it an exciting sake to pair with food or enjoy as aperitif. We had it chilled and also recommend drinking it cold to savour its crispness--the brewery suggests room temperature or even slight heating to those who love their sake more flavourful.

Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori Tōkō Retsu Junmai Daiginjō Happōnigori
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We bought this bottle directly at the brewery. The people there were friendly and helpful, allowing us to explore the Kura building. Shimizu's Junmai Daiginjo, made of Yamadanishiki and Miyamanishiki rice, displays a visually appealing clear, lemon-green hue. The nose is greeted with a clean, medium-intensity aroma that hints at sweetness, evoking thoughts of dried fruits with a subtle herbal touch. The sake is delightfully gentle, with an aromatic scent and refreshing acidity, culminating in a super delicious experience. Initially dry, it reveals a surprising roundness and sweetness as it unfolds on the palate, reminiscent of the flavours of Muscat grapes.

Shimizu Iwaonoizumi Junmai Daiginjō
Shimizu Iwaonoizumi Junmai Daiginjō
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Ikekame's Junmai Daiginjō Muroka Namagenshu sake is an unfiltered, unpasteurised, and undiluted jewel. We ordered this bottle from Jizake, and it arrived in a coolpack. It has a clear, lemon-green appearance and exudes the elegant aroma typical of Junmai Daiginjo when poured into a glass. The nose is clean and medium-intense, with a sweet aroma reminiscent of peach, strawberry, and melon. It falls in the medium dry/sweet category, with balanced acidity, umami, and alcohol levels. The flavour is fruity, particularly highlighting the aroma of strawberry. Smooth texture. Medium-intense tail with slight bitterness and a refreshing sour tingle. Overall, a solid and deep flavour.

Ikekame Junmai Daiginjō Muroka Namagenshu Ikekame Junmai Daiginjō Muroka Namagenshu
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Kidoizumi Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Namagenshu presents a visually appealing clear lemon hue with a clean and moderately intense nose that hints at a sweet bouquet of chocolate, custard, and dried fruits. It strikes an off-dry note on the palate with high acidity and medium levels of umami and alcohol, all wrapped in a relatively light body. The medium intensity of flavour reveals strong green undertones, pronounced acidity, and citric notes, culminating in a bitter aftertaste. Its smooth texture and short finish leave a lingering bitterness and an almost grassy aftertaste. While mild and slightly sour upon first taste, it offers a refreshing aroma and robust flavour. It has a crisp acidity that achieves an exquisite balance, particularly suited for pairing with meals. This special pure rice unfiltered, unprocessed sake maintains a delicate equilibrium, ensuring the flavour is neither too dominant nor too subdued.

Sadly, as great as the bottle's basic characteristics were, my personal experience was mixed. Assuming that the bottle hadn't been stored well, I was led to the conclusion that our particular bottle was faulty. The grassy tatami undertones were not to my liking, leading me to a tentative three-star rating with plans for a future re-evaluation.

Kidoizumi Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Namagenshu Kidoizumi Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Namagenshu
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Ikekame Junmai Ginjō Kurokabuto Yamadanishiki Namazake presents a clear and pale-yellow appearance, with a clean and medium-intense nose hinting at a delightful fruity bouquet, including apples, melon and strawberries, underscored by a pleasant sweetness. While its green-labelled brother is made of Yamdanishiki and Yume Ikken rice, the white label relies on Yamadanishiki only.

It balances the palate with medium sweetness, high acidity, and medium levels of umami and alcohol, creating a harmonious medium body. The flavour intensity is slightly above average, featuring a fruity sweetness reminiscent of green apples and intense acidity and citric notes, culminating in a strong bitter aftertaste. The texture is smooth, making for a leisurely sip, while the finish is short yet marked by lingering acidity. The sake's character is defined by its refreshing and pronounced acidity, which persists from the first taste to the last, with a sourness that unfolds gracefully and a grapefruit bitterness that softens at room temperature, resulting in a rich, fulfilling, and refreshingly easy-to-drink experience.


Ikekame Junmai Ginjō Kurokabuto Yamadanishiki Namazake Ikekame Junmai Ginjō Kurokabuto Yamadanishiki Namazake
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Emishiki's White Label Namagenshu has a visually appealing clear, pale-yellow hue. It is complemented by a clean and moderately intense nose that hints at its fruity essence, reminiscent of green apples with subtle citric notes.

On the palate, it offers a delightful sweetness balanced by a low acidity and a medium level of umami, creating a harmonious blend with the medium alcohol content. The body is perfectly poised, producing a solid flavour that echoes the sweetness of green apples and citrus, while an intense acidity underpins the profile. The creamy texture enhances the overall experience, culminating in a short finish that leaves a lingering sharpness from the acidity, making for a rich, satisfying, yet refreshingly easy-to-drink sake.


Emishiki Sensation Junmai White Label Namagenshu
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Katoukichibee's highly awarded standard sake "Bon Junmai 55" has a clear and pale-yellow appearance, with a clean and medium-intense nose that reveals a bouquet of fruity aromas such as berries, green apples, and pears, complemented by lactic notes of fresh cream and a noticeable presence of alcohol. The palate is off-dry with a medium-plus level of acidity and a low umami profile, while the alcohol content is also medium-plus. The body ranges from light to medium, and the flavour intensity is medium-plus, characterized by a sweet fruitiness dominated by berries and intense acidity. The velvety texture leads to a short finish that leaves a lingering acidic sensation. Overall, this sake offers a lasting impression of fruity sweetness and refreshing acidity, which becomes mellower at room temperature, making it a vivid and ideal choice for pairing with food.

Katōkichibei Bon Junmai 55 Katōkichibei Bon Junmai 55
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Hōrai Zōmatsuri Chūshi Zannenkinen commemorates the cancellation of the local kura festival during the pandemic. This futsushu is only available in spring. Unfiltered and cloudy, it presents a slightly hazy, pale-yellow appearance that hints at its rich flavour profile. On the nose, it offers a clean, medium-intensity aroma with notes of lactic elements reminiscent of fresh cream and pudding, complemented by an underlying alcohol warmth and sweet accents of caramel and nougat. The palate is greeted with a luscious sweetness balanced by subtle acidity and intense umami, creating a complex and satisfying taste experience. The alcohol content (19%!) is perceptible yet well-integrated, contributing to the sake's medium to full body. Pronounced flavour intensity brings forward a delightful blend of lactic caramel pudding and dried fruits like prunes and apricots, with a touch of sweetness and a slight bitterness that adds depth. The texture is velvety, while the finish is long-lasting, characterized by enduring sweetness and a short acidic aftertaste. Overall, this sake delivers an intense sweetness and cloudiness, culminating in a pronounced umami and a noticeable, enjoyable punch. The brewery recommends having it on the rocks if it's too intense.

horai-zomatsuri-chushi-zannenkinen-sake-A.jpg horai-zomatsuri-chushi-zannenkinen-sake-B.jpg
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Made with the relatively new Ginpu rice variety native to Hokkaido, Takasago's snow-stored Junmai Ginjo has a clear and pale-yellow appearance, with a clean and gentle nose that carries a light intensity. Its aroma is reminiscent of dried fruits and the distinctive Japanese narazuke pickles. The taste profile is well-balanced, featuring medium sweetness, acidity, and umami levels. The body is on the lighter side of medium, and the flavour intensity matches this with notes of dried apricots, figs, and narazuke, complemented by a refreshing acidity and a subtle earthiness. The texture is smooth and slightly creamy, leading to a longish finish that leaves a pleasant acid trail. This a classic Junmai sake that offers slight sweetness, pronounced umami, and an earthy-bitter mouthfeel that is sure to please.

Takasago Junmai Ginjō Snow Stored
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Shichida's Junmai Ginjo Muroka has a clear, pale-yellow appearance and a clean, gentle nose of light intensity. The aroma is fruity, featuring notes of peach, melon, and overripe figs, complemented by lactic tones.

The taste profile includes a medium sweetness and medium-plus acidity, contributing to a refreshing palate. A medium and gentle umami is characterised by fruity sweetness, refreshing acidity, and a juicy, peppery spiciness.

The texture is smooth and slightly creamy, leading to a long finish with an acidic tail. Overall, it offers a pleasant sweetness, a gentle umami, and a savoury mouthfeel with a rich array of aromas. This sake is unfiltered (muroka) and was pasteurised once—Tenzan at its best.

Shichida Junmai Ginjō Muroka
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The nama version of Ikekame's renowned Kurokabuto presents a clear and pale-lemon appearance, with a clean and gentle nose that carries a medium intensity. Its aroma is lactic, reminiscent of yoghurt, custard cream, and pudding, creating a comforting and familiar scent profile. The taste offers a balanced medium sweetness and acidity, with a notable umami presence that adds depth to the flavour. Despite its light alcohol content, the body ranges from light to medium, providing a pleasant weight on the palate. The medium flavour intensity bursts with sweet, sour, and juicy-fruity notes, particularly highlighting green apples and pears, complemented by the smooth and slightly creamy texture. The finish is short but memorable, leaving an acid tingle that invites another sip. Overall, this sake is characterized by its fruity sweetness and citric aromata, with the unique use of black koji contributing to its distinctive taste.

Ikekame Junmai Ginjō Kurokabuto Yumeikken Namazake
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After almost two years, we revisited the Classic Senkin Kamenoo: it presents a clear and pale-lemon appearance and a clean and gentle nose of medium intensity. It exudes a sweet and gentle aroma reminiscent of custard cream and pudding. It leans towards dryness on the palate with a medium to high acidity and low umami, balanced by a medium alcohol level. The body is light, and the flavour intensity is medium, showcasing floral-fruity notes and mineral elements with a subtle sweetness. The texture is light and crisp, leaving a medium finish with lingering acidity. Overall, the sake offers a very crisp and refreshing experience, with a slight effervescence that tickles the senses.

Classic Senkin Kamenoo
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'Spring Has Come' has a clear, lemon-like appearance and a refreshing feel. You'll notice a soft, inviting scent with a mix of fruity and sweet aromata when you smell it. It has a balanced, gentle acidity and boasts an intense ginjo-ka. Medium-bodied, it has a slightly creamy texture that's smooth on your tongue. The end taste is gentle and somewhat sour. In short, this sake is all about being smooth and easy to drink, perfect for welcoming spring and the good times it brings.

Garyūbai Junmai Ginjō Spring Has Come Garyūbai Junmai Ginjō Spring Has Come
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Appearance: The sake presents itself with a clarity reminiscent of lemon-green hues.

Nose: A clean and pronounced aroma greets the senses.

Aroma: Fruity notes intertwine with a pronounced sharpness.

The fragrance is sweet and gentle, promising a delightful tasting journey. This junmai falls into the dry to off-dry sweetness category on the palate, accompanied by high acidity. Its medium alcohol content complements a medium-light body, while the flavour intensity leans above medium. The dominant flavours are fruity and floral, driven by sweetness but ultimately balanced by acidity and dryness. A genuinely refreshing choice, this sake pairs harmoniously with seafood.

It maintains its refreshingly acidic character when served at room temperature, albeit with a slight mellowing effect.

This was our first Mutsu Hassen, and we were genuinely impressed.

陸奥八仙 芳醇超辛純米 陸奥八仙 芳醇超辛純米
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Zaku Impression-M, one of four in the series, has a clear, lemon-green colour, offering a clean, moderately intense aroma with fruity notes and a hint of chocolate. It has a medium-dry taste with relatively high acidity, resulting in a medium-bodied and flavourful drink. The taste includes floral and sweet elements, ending with a sour and refreshing finish. The pronounced acidity features intense citrus flavours, contributing to a lasting aftertaste with citric zest. There is a slight fizziness that enhances the drinking experience. This sake's vibrant citrus makes it suitable for drinking alone or pairing with savoury foods such as fried calamari or grilled meats.

Zaku Impression-M Junmai Ginjo Genshu
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