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有些讀者可能對於獺祭、久保田、八海山、大七以及梵等外銷的清酒品牌已相當熟悉。

今天,我將帶您瀏覽一份優質清酒名單,其中有些沒有出口至日本境外,有些則擁有死忠的追隨者,但都各有原因使其聲名大噪。有些酒款很難取得,要不就是出自頂級的小酒造,有些則無法在東京的商店內買到,所以如果在各類餐廳有幸看到,不妨品飲一杯。您將大為驚艷這些清酒的品質、調性以及和餐點所迸出的美妙火花。

這份隨機排列的名單,是想一窺清酒堂奧的絕佳入門指南。

1.十四代 -山形縣

無論是日本國內還是國外的清酒迷都應該聽過生產這款酒的神秘酒造。其地位相當於紅酒界的羅曼尼•康帝酒莊等的一級酒莊。這款酒產量極為稀少,需求始終居高不下。這家酒造生產各種瓶裝及風格的酒款,因此不易追蹤每款產品的去向。因此您若在聲譽卓著的餐廳內看見它,即使每杯要價 3000 日圓,仍值得來上一杯細細品味,您便會明白這款酒為何會受眾人追捧了。要品味十四代最好的地方就是在日本國內,由於沒有適當的出口銷售管道(僅於香港推出過「N」標酒款),在日本品飲可確保您瓶裡或杯中那珍貴的瓊漿玉液來自較佳的儲藏環境以保有其優越品質。若說到取得這款酒的方法,有門路能買到少量十四代的店家只會銷售給特定餐廳,想在零售市場中找到這款酒完全只能碰運氣。這家酒造的清酒大多不經高溫消毒,或者僅經過一次高溫消毒程序。不當的存放及侍酒方式將會嚴重損害品質,因此請您務必在信譽良好且保存得宜的商家內試飲及購買。

2.播州一獻 -兵庫縣

播州一獻產自山陽盃酒造,酒造坐落於兵庫縣姬路站北方約一小時巴士車程的宍粟市所屬的郊區小鎮上。此地區據說是歷史上清酒的發源地,因此播州一獻也蘊含有重要的歷史意義。這所酒造的清酒風味馥郁、優雅、帶有礦石味,餘味輕柔悠長且層次豐富。酒造在 2018 年十一月慘遭祝融之災,原有的古老房舍付之一炬,幸運的是,釀酒作業仍得以持續。就在最近,東京的「L'Effervescence」餐廳開始引進其酒款,並預計將其清酒納入佐餐飲品方案中。東京僅有極少數商家和為數不多的餐廳引進他們的清酒,每季一上市往往很快就售罄。如果有機會的話,您一定要嚐嚐播州一獻的絕妙風味。

3. 新政 -秋田縣

在東京許多高檔餐廳都可看見新政的蹤影,這款酒似乎特別適合用來佐日式法國菜或風格類似的料理。這間酒造的清酒特色為酒體輕盈、香氣馥郁、酒精度低且呈現出具有氣泡感的質地與口感。可作為完美的開胃酒、餐後酒,有時甚至可以作為小份量的迎賓清酒。在佐餐上稍有侷限,但其實單喝就十分美味醉人,即使如此,有些餐廳仍然一直將這款酒納入其餐酒搭配課程的品項中。這家酒造還推出包含 2 款熟成酒(貴釀酒)的系列產品,在佐餐上可以達到意想不到的效果。他們生產多款不經高溫消毒的清酒,由於結構較為輕盈因此也較易變質(請盡快飲用完畢)。因產量有限且在亞洲已建立起知名度,所以若有機會品嚐,請千萬不要錯過這款輕盈馥郁且獨具特色及深度的搶手清酒。

4.加茂錦 -新潟縣

這款酒在某些方面和新政類似,但在風格上有難以清楚敘述的差異。具有氣泡感以及飽滿的酒體。該酒造生產的清酒大多不經高溫消毒,所以只要有機會來上一杯,請千萬不要錯過。這款酒如果出現在零售市場,720 毫升瓶裝的售價一般會在 2000 日圓以下。

5.赤武 -岩手縣

酒體介於輕盈到中等(依種類而定)十分好入喉。高階酒款果香較為濃郁,或許對入門階段的品飲者來說較容易接受。這家酒造的純米清酒尤其好喝,適合搭配多種料理。

6. 磯自慢 -靜岡縣

磯自慢可說是靜岡縣最出名的清酒。這家酒造較高階的酒款要價不斐,數量極為稀少,是清酒界中名聲響亮的明星。若您有幸遇上他們定價較高的大吟釀或純米大吟釀,可以考慮點一杯來體驗一下。比方說,東京高檔的壽司餐廳中偶爾可以看到 Nobilmente 28 大吟釀這款爽口卻具有衝擊力,但又不失優雅的酒款。

7. 風之森 -奈良縣

這款來自奈良縣的清酒在清酒業界颳起旋風,讓奈良縣重新在極品清酒版圖上佔據一席之地。這款酒有別於傳統清酒,雖然現代卻又以一種絕佳的方式保留住古老的風味。千言萬語都比不上您親自體會箇中的美妙滋味。這家酒造的清酒款款是佳品,就算是較低階的純米系列也絕無地雷,您甚至還能體驗該酒造所使用的不同釀酒米種。

8. 田酒 -青森縣

這款令人垂涎不已的美酒很少在餐廳出現,但如果您恰好看見它,就千萬別錯過品嚐的機會。中等酒體,淺綠色的酒液散發出淡雅芳香的調性,結構極佳且富有鮮味。這家酒造的純米大吟釀高階清酒搭配懷石料理風味絕倫,而其純米以及純米吟釀系列則無論熱飲、冷飲或常溫飲用均表現不俗。品飲時建議您記下該瓶酒當次釀造時所使用的米種,因為每一批酒的味道及酒體可能會有所不同。這家酒造所有的清酒都很適合搭配壽司一塊品嚐。

9. 飛露喜 -福島縣

另一款很難取得的清酒來自福島縣。飛露喜系列一般不經高溫消毒或僅會經過一次高溫消毒,因此必須保存在冰箱中。我自己本身喜愛飛露喜勝過十四代,點一杯飛露喜來品嚐絕不會讓你後悔(前提是必須新鮮)。純米大吟釀價格可能會比較高,但如果酒水單上沒有十四代可以點,那麼飛露喜會是另一項很棒的選擇。

10. 宮泉 / 寫樂 -福島縣

宮泉是該酒造的主要品牌,寫樂則是隸屬同家母公司的副品牌。兩款酒都非常優異,酒體輕盈,風味十足,帶有氣泡感,並且呈現出極佳的平衡感與結構。如果酒水單上出現這款酒,請您一定要試試。您在不錯的居酒屋內可能會比在豪華餐廳中更容易看到這家酒造的清酒。

11. 龍力 -兵庫縣

雖然大多時候在餐廳中看不到龍力這款酒,但由於該酒造是少數幾家專注於清酒酒米之風土條件(就如同葡萄酒界的羅曼尼•康帝酒莊)的酒造之一,我仍將這款酒列入名單。該酒造不僅堅持釀酒的風土哲學,他們在風土條件上也進行了廣泛的研究,並且找到了將酒米之王「山田錦」── 收穫自兵庫縣良田的頂級優質米 ── 的優點發揮到極致的方法。您可以在東京的高檔百貨公司找到他們的清酒,偶爾在商店內也能看到某些品項。基於種種原因,僅有少數餐廳會進這款酒,但若您真的是愛酒人士,您就能體會到這家酒造所投注的心力,以及這款酒如此美味的秘密。假如您有機會在餐廳或是清酒吧看到這款酒,或者百貨公司裡有試飲的攤位,就算只是為了增進對清酒的認識,也絕對要試喝看看。這款清酒若搭配上對味的料理,絕對會帶給您美妙無比的體驗。這是一款適合進階品酒人士的清酒,一旦您認識到該酒造製酒的方式,一定會讚嘆不已。

12. 日高見 -宮城縣

日高見這款酒在清酒界及清酒迷間可是赫赫有名,因為該酒造的社長是一個壽司狂人,他指導酒造製作出一些頗具特色的清酒,專門用來搭配特定料理。其中最有名的是「彌助 芳醇辛口 純米吟釀」,這款酒擁有絕佳的結構及平衡感,讓人宛如在品飲一款層次豐富的上等葡萄酒。更重要的是,這款酒是酒造社長在神奈川縣的「小松 彌助 」壽司店用餐過後,專門打造來佐壽司的一款佳釀。如果您發現有壽司店可以提供足以匹配這款清酒的料理,那絕對是無與倫比的享受。這家酒造的其它清酒風味也不錯,但「彌助」可能是他們最優秀的產品。目前提供這款酒的壽司店不像之前那麼多了,因為新鮮感與刺激感已逐漸消退,但如果您從不曾搭配壽司一塊品嚐,那麼有機會時就應該試試看!

13. 而今 -三重縣

這款搶手的佳釀來自三重縣,市場需求量極鉅,但產量有限,在零售商店中幾乎不可能看到它。但某些餐廳有引進這款酒。如果有機會,請試試酒造當季生產之未經高溫消毒、未經過濾程序的酒款(酒造亦生產有經單次高溫消毒的酒款)。酸度更高、氣泡感更豐富並帶有美妙的礦物風味。他們的純米大吟釀搭配上特定海鮮料理(螃蟹、貝類等有殼海鮮)就如同勃根地白葡萄酒(沙布利白葡萄酒或更上等的酒款)般的美味。該酒造還有另一款名為「高砂」的品牌,應該也相當不錯,但是而今似乎較受市場青睞。

14. 鍋島 -佐賀縣

鍋島這款酒在亞洲也有死忠的追隨者。酒體清盈、風味芳醇且十分順口。就某些層面而言,也可算是清酒界的明星。這家酒造的低精米度純米清酒喝起來也十分清新爽口,即使當作開胃酒來品飲也不錯。

15. 東洋美人 -山口縣

我曾在「豪龍久保」餐廳內喝過一次這款清酒,當下驚為天人。如果有機會,請試試該酒造的「純米大吟釀一番纏」。酒標有可能改過了,但這款清酒擁有絕佳的礦物風味,味道具有出色的可塑性。高 CP 值再加上馥郁的優雅滋味,是一款不管是入門者還是高階品酒者都可以細細吟味的佳釀,並且可以為美好的一餐定下優美的基調。有些葡萄酒飲用者甚至將這款清酒比擬為勃根地的頂極白葡萄酒,或更上乘的酒款。

16. 春霞 -秋田縣

這款產自秋田縣的清酒適用於多種場合,最近還被「L'Effervescence」餐廳納入佐餐飲品方案中。市面上這批未經高溫消毒的新酒酸度較高、結構也較為紮實,但在各個層面都恰到好處,沒有過於顯眼突兀的組成份子,很適合搭配各色餐點及風格。如果您有機會在餐廳內享用這家酒造的低溫熟成酒款,請千萬要把握良機。該酒造也加入一個由當地五間酒造所組成、名為 Next 5 的團體,致力於從事機動性的稀有計畫,希望能打造出獨一無二的次世代風格清酒,挑戰清酒的極限。

作者:ChuToroZuke

ChuToroZuke 熱愛日本料理和日本文化,至今記得 6 歲年幼時的壽喜燒初體驗,尤其是壽喜燒牛肉沾生雞蛋,配一碗日本米飯吃下肚,這樣神奇的組合讓他印象深刻。時間經過許多年,4 年前的一個晚上,已經成年的他在最愛的餐廳體驗到清酒配完美下酒菜和壽司的組合,大受感動,難以忘懷,因而引爆熱情,從此走上了清酒宅之路,著迷於發現清酒,以及重新發現食物與清酒的搭配。突然之間,去東京找各種餐廳(不分高低檔)嘗鮮這件事,在這幾年變得更刺激有趣了,清酒宅因此可以好好鑽研這種酒飲,還可以和同好一起享受美酒(當然還有佳餚)。
受邀為 TokyoTableTrip 寫文是一大樂趣與榮幸,他可以藉此回饋品酒圈,協助將清酒的資訊和對清酒的喜愛散播出去,以及在海外為日本國內的清酒推廣盡一份力。

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Menchikatsu

Just a quick note. I bought a bottle of Sharaku 写楽 (#10 on this list), at my local wine store. I picked the junmaishu (gold characters on the label). I'd say it's about 3 months old, they just received the shipment last week. They also had junmai ginjo (bronze characters, oddly no back label with date), and a pricey black label junmai daiginjo in a box.

I thought I'd start with this sort of entry level bottle, before taking a leap with the pricier options. (Not that I have any place to corkage it anyway... sigh)

Any thoughts @ChuToroZuke? Any more information about the company, its history and reputation? I think this brand gets overshadowed by some of the other names on this list, but I'm quite happy I came across it! I believe I've had Miyaizumi 宮泉 before, but this is my first time trying Sharaku.

一天 ago

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Menchikatsu

A bit of a sidetrack from the big news going on lately, but I thought it might be refreshing to take a break from all that.

I'm watching this episode of Nhk's Inside Lens. The title is 'My Disappearing Village'. It features a behind the scenes look at something Aramasa is working on (#3 on your list @ChuToroZuke). I am not clear if this is only a portion of the documentary, but the film has its own website too: http://disappearingvillagefilm.com/
I think you can watch the repeat using their on demand website link. These documentaries get me much more excited about trying different things like sake. It's really interesting to see how much goes on, before the sake ever reaches the bottle.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/lens/20200316/2056078/

Here's the show description from the website:
"A small rice farming village in Japan is facing extinction. It all changed by a visit of famous sake brewery. It persuaded locals to grow organic rice for making a new sake. Can sake save the village?

Uyashinai, once a thriving rice-farming village, is on the brink of extinction. The young have fled to cities with no sight of return and the village elders are left to protect their ancestral land. But this could all be able to change because Uyashinai has caught the attention of Japan's most popular sake maker, Yusuke.
Yusuke wants to grow his own sake rice in Uyashinai. This is an unexpected opportunity for the villagers to revive their fields and pass on their ancestral land. But, not all are on board Yusuke's radical plans. Yusuke doesn't want to grow just ordinary sake rice; it must be organic. Yusuke deploys his Master Brewer, Koseki, to grow the village's first harvest of organic rice in 70 years. However, Koseki is a sake brewer and has no experience of farming. He hasn't even ever planted a flower. Will Koseki be able to successfully grow organic rice, and most importantly change the hearts and minds of the village? This story follows how this forgotten village and Japan's finest sake brewery as they come together to achieve the first steps of their dreams; to make the most authentic cup of sake and save their ancestral land from disappearing forever."

20 天 ago

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Shi

Thanks for that @Menchikatsu I quite enjoyed the watch! I wonder when we'll get a chance to try the new organic sake!

20 天 ago
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ChuToroZuke

Thank you for the links. These days I'm trying to stay healthy, safe, and alive while finding ways to support restaurants friends whose businesses are adversely affected as lockdowns to prevent the spread of Coronovirus occur in my geographic location. Take care everyone. .

20 天 ago
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Menchikatsu

Stay safe! @ChuToroZuke
I've doubled up on my already obsessive hand washing and cleanliness minded personality. More than the actual virus, I'm a bit more concerned about the nervous people around me. Hopefully things don't get more crazy out there, as I think the shoppers clearing out supermarket shelves is already a bit extreme.

With this 2 week lockdown of restaurants in California, and 'indefinitey' in New York, as well as other places, I'm sure business owners are feeling it. Even with the takeout option, there's just so much they're losing without precious liquor sales, particularly restaurants which do upscale dine-in menus only. I too will try and support the businesses closest to me, starting with more frequent takeout orders from my favorite places.

@Shi Glad you liked the show. More and more these days, I'm hearing sake enthusiasts talk more about Aramasa in desirability on par with Jikon. I caught this on Nhk tv, and it's a bit nice they're playing something other than Coronavirus news (which seems 50% of what they play, and a little sumo). I think it's really interesting how they give you a glimpse of what goes on inside the sake brewing facility.

20 天 ago

Menchikatsu

Just a small note from your list. Today, I got my hands on a couple bottles of Kaze no Mori. 'Wind of the Woods' and the black label version, 'Tsuyuhakaze' junmai. Both are a junmai muroka nama genshu. Lucked out on the shipping with this cold weather, and both were in pretty good condition. The black bottle was quite effervescent, and stronger. I could go with either, but leaned towards the white label. Chef preferred the black one. Would be interested in trying their higher level stuff. This makes two Nara based sake brands I now recognize easily. I actually visited Hakushika once, several years ago.

Had my bottle of Hiroki daiginjo a day before. Extremely balanced sake, and could probably pair with anything. Not overly sweet.

One of the staff working at the restaurant, mentioned that she's from Mie. And getting a bottle of Jikon is not easy, even if you live there. She's also is a big fan of Aramasa.

Planning to open my bottle of Denshu and Isojiman in a week or so. Hope to come across the higher levels of all of the above, when I visit Japan in the spring. Thanks for all your hard work on sake education, ChuToroZuke.

2 个月 ago

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ChuToroZuke

Thanks for the follow up! Glad you enjoyed the Kaze No Mori and articles like thesei. Sounds like you got your hands on the ones available in the USA which are exactly those two (White - Akitsuho rice, Black - Tsuyu Hakaze). Alpha 3, which is the single pastuerized and lower alcohol content lineup of Kaze No Mori, is also available in the US, although not sure which rice that one is. I personally prefer the black a bit more. I believe Harushika is what you meant (spring deer) which is Nara prefecture. Hakushika (white deer) is in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

Enjoy the Denshu and Isojiman. If your Isojiman is not direct from Japan, the exported versions of the Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, and maybe even the Junmai are not as good as they should be from what I've heard, so you may want to try them in Japan next time.

2 个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Yes, thanks for writing such articles. I think the appeal for me, is in trying things that are up there, but just under that point of being overly heralded as 'the best'. 2nd place things don't get enough notice, especially by people just struggling to learn as newbies. Juyondai is having its moment, but I would like to know what else would be as coveted to try, and taste on that level of amazing.

You know... the chef I visited said the same thing. That the black bottle was a bit better. It was definitely stronger, and to me had a much more fruity taste at first.

I think you're right, Harushika. I am always getting those two mixed up.

I am actually visiting Shizuoka in the early summer, so I intend to find some of the higher level Isojiman when I get there. Drink a cup, with a view of Mt. Fuji.

2 个月 ago
8 个月 ago

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Shi

I don't know if it was because we were flying or because I'm a Philistine when it comes to sake but I didn't care for the Juyondai I had when flying home on JAL. As indicated in the article it was too sweet for my palette. Admittedly my preferences generally lean towards the drier side but I've been trying to explore more sweet options lately and found quite a few enjoyable sips.

To my inexperienced self Juyondai shared some similar notes with a Dewazakura I had previously and which I also took objection to regarding the sweetness. It's possible there is just a flavour profile there that I'm interpreting as sweetness but is something else that I haven't yet trained my tongue to appreciate.

大约一个月 ago

Shi

Thank you so much for the write up ChuToroZuke

Jikon is probably my favourite sake of all time - I've longed to find it retail but have never seen it but the two opportunities I've been able to obtain it in restaurants were completely outstanding!

Is it actually possible to find this retail? Would love to bring some bottles home with me next time I'm in Japan. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the others on this list as nihonshu is my drink of choice!

11 个月 ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Jikon is extremely popular, so it's very hard for general consumers to buy it at a regular price. A restaurant is probably the best place to enjoy it.
(In most cases retailers use a lottery system for selling it)

11 个月 ago
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Shi

Thank you so much for the information Saito-san I'll savor it in restaurants whenever I have the chance then!

11 个月 ago
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ChuToroZuke

Thank you for the feedback and for reading @Shi! Saito san is right, it is very difficult to find Jikon retail. If you do, it is likely not in metropolitan Tokyo, perhaps somewhere further out in shops that are less visited or have less foot traffic. There are a small number of sake shops that supposedly carry Jikon, but they tend to sell to restaurants and sake bars that have relationships with them, and whatever is remaining doesn't stay in the store for long.

The closest encounter I have come to Jikon is their other label Takasago, which I saw once at Ginza Imadeya (basement of Ginza Six).

There may be some sake bars and restaurants that offer a variety of Jikon, so you can try different varieties from the portfolio that way by the glass.

For alternatives to Jikon, you can also explore other Mie prefecture jizake/local sake. Zaku, Takijiman are some examples. Zaku you can find at Hasegawa Saketen.

11 个月 ago
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Shi

Happily I was able to enjoy quite a bit of Jikon at various establishments on my most recent trip despite not being able to acquire a bottle to share with my friends and family back home.

We did stop by Ginza Imadeya as per your recommendation @ChuToroZuke and they actually indicated that they do sell it by lottery when they have stock. Regardless I was happy to pick up bottles of Kaze No Mori, Akabu, anda few others!

This trip was also my first time having Aramasa and I really fell in love with it. I have to admit I prefer their 6 type-s over their 6 type-x. The fruity notes are outstanding!

大约一个月 ago
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ChuToroZuke

Thank you for the feedback @Shi! It's even amazing that Jikon would be available through lottery. That might even be the case for those who purchase for restaurants. Please try Banshu Ikkon next time you visit, Imadeya usually has a few of them. Their brews are underrated and quite spectacular for the value. Aramasa is nice, though it has a limited range and timeframe of maximum enjoyment.

大约一个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Speaking of Banshu Ikkon. Have you ever seen this show, 'Kayanomi'? It's an anime voice actress / seiyuu, Ai Kayano, well known in the industry as being a sake drinker. And she recently was given this show, to go around trying different sake. You might know her voice from very popular shows like Konosuba (where she plays a DoS, lol) very talented person, you wouldn't know from her apperance. Also, March Comes In Like A Lion, Anohana, Chihayafuru, Danmachi, Saekano, Sword Art Online... and more. Her resume is just astounding. Not bad to look at either!

The Banshu Ikko appears at the end of this show. And just look at that collection behind her in the fridge...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftqeV2NTHBY

大约一个月 ago
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Shi

@ChuToroZuke thank you so much for your recommendation! While we did not have an opportunity to try Banshu Ikkon while in Japan we were fortunate enough to grab a bottle from Ginza Imadeya so will have the chance to imbibe from it soon! I'm looking forward to the experience!

@Menchikatsu very interesting, thank you for sharing that!

大约一个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

@Shi, how many bottles did you take with you? Any tips on how you packed so many into your suitcase? Like cushioning and protective wrapping.

大约一个月 ago
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Shi

@Menchikatsu we brought 6 bottles home - to give a little bit of background regarding our particular arrangement we go back to Asia for about a month every lunar new year and have become accustomed to packing light. We generally travel with only a backpack each between my wife and myself and will carry an empty duffel bag for any souvenirs we want to bring back.

This year since I wanted to procure and transport sake we actually grabbed a small, cheap 6000 yen hard shell spinner from ドン・キホーテ and used it to transport our bottles which were wrapped in bubble wrap from the shop and which we further cushioned with our clothing. Thankfully they all survived the trip undamaged even with TSA having left their mark of having gone through the luggage!

I had considered gambling and trying to pack them into the duffel bag (We have successfully padded and transported empty bottles with that method previously) but in the end my risk averse nature prompted the purchase of the hard shell.

To be honest I have no idea what I'm going to do next trip seeing as I loathe travelling with more than our backpacks but acquiring a new hardshell every year seems both uneconomical and wasteful!

大约一个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Thanks @Shi, for the insight on your packing technique. I take a similar approach to yours, a mixture of wrapping and thick clothes, but 6 bottles for me would be kinda risky, especially if you included any of those big 1.5L bottles. Not to mention weight. I also try and put smaller bottles in these protective wine sleeves, which you can blow air in yourself by mouth. I travel with a really large durable suitcase, that I bought years ago at a flea market. Thing could survive the apocalypse. I also treated myself to a custom Globetrotter suitcase recently... not taking a risk in packing in that one. Maybe will pick up this topic again in the future, packing strategies.

大约一个月 ago
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Shi

Just opened up our bottle of Banshu Ikkon and it was amazingly delicious! The umami notes were so prevalent to me and had a very long complex finish! Excited to try and seek it out more often on our next trip! Your recommendations have been pure gold for us thank you again!

10 天 ago
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ChuToroZuke

@Shi, very happy to hear you enjoyed Banshu Ikkon! Can you tell us which bottle you got exactly (I assume you can read Chinese characters/kanji)? The brewery has soooo many bottles out there and there is always new and limited product. Also please share if you can, where you purchased the bottle. I know you can find them officially distributed in Taipei, and very randomly in Hong Kong (but scarce), and a limited number in Singapore.

9 天 ago
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Shi

I purchased the bottle at Ginza Imadeya as per your recommendation :) My grasp on Kanji is still pretty limited unfortunately but I do note that it is a Junmai Ginjo. The bottle uses a dark charcoal label with silver lettering. I took some photos as follows:

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/459448491895160853/693339202221244426/20200326_210325.jpg
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/459448491895160853/693339332177690694/20200326_210333.jpg

8 天 ago
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ChuToroZuke

@Shi it looks like you purchased the pasteurized version (a good choice for traveling back overseas and as a souvenir) of Banshu Ikkon's Junmai Ginjo brewed with Banshu Yamadanishiki rice, polished to 58%. This must be a newer offering as I don't think I've ever seen this grey label before, and previous bottlings of Junmai Ginjo were green kanji against a white label. If you ever get the chance to try any of their seasonal offerings, they are also very amazing (for example, their shinshu/new sake released during early winter season, around January/February, and there is also a limited edition Spring Shine that is particularly popular with females and actually has cherry blossom aromas).

What makes Banshu Ikkon so likeable is partly their soft water that still has some mineral characters, yet it drinks very elegant with great nuance...I suppose you could say the sake overall is feminine in nature of its profile. That Junmai Ginjo would be splendid across a number of food applications, and super easy to pair with sushi and otsumami. If you like very dry sake, please try their cho kara (cho karakuchi) series, the Junmai Daiginjo is my favorite, but their low end Junmai is good too (although a bit strong for females)....they recently released a Junmai Ginjo Cho Kara that I've been told is excellent. Though maybe the best price to performance is Junmai Daiginjo Cho Kara....it lacks the harshness of lower end super dry but easily outpeforms many expensive brand name sake. Please also try any Banshu Ikkon Daiginjo with refined fine dining (Western/Euro) or kaiseki (or tempura omakase, salt seasoning instead of tentsuyu).

If anyone reading this lives in the East Coast USA, there is one single Banshu Ikkon offering called Kaede No Shizuku (Junmai Ginjo) offered through Wine Of Japan distributor, but I cannot speak to how the quality is as I do not believe it sells well (so any existing bottles are probably very old stock). What's even more odd is that KNS is not available in Tokyo, and you can only buy it in Hyogo prefecture if within Japan (to my knowledge).

https://www.wineofjapan.com/portfolio/product/banshu-ikkon-kaede-no-shizuku-junmai-ginjyo

8 天 ago
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Shi

Thank you so much for the clarification and enlightenment based on our enjoyment of the bottle we had and also your further recommendations I will definitely seek out more Banshu Ikkon when we are next in Japan, sincerely appreciated!

7 天 ago

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