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Akita Sake Galore

Namahage at the Akita event

On a stormy, windy, rainy evening, more than 400 guests were greeted by Namahage to enjoy an almost equal number of kinds of sake from Akita. Organized by the Akita Brewer’s Association, the event was just incredible–with 30 kura from Akita in the same place to showcase their sake. Considering the sheer scale, it was impossible to taste everything, as you can imagine. Everything I tasted was excellent including the varied and copious amounts of food. In particular, I remember two kura and the roasted duck!


Kariho Origarami vs daiginjo

刈穂大吟醸(Kariho Daiginjo) 17BY (brewed in 2006) had an amazingly, extraordinarily good balance.

銀千樹 おりがらみ生原酒 (Ginsenjyu Origarami Nama Genshu, I believe this is another unfiltered, unpasteurised , undiluted sake), which shows obvious sediment and has very nama genshu flavor. To me nama genshu usually is young and sweet with lots of dimensions, but this one finished beautifully and elegantly on my palate.

In February, I tried to book tickets for an event featuring Kariho only to find out that it sold out in two days. Now I know why. When I had Kariho Junmai Ginjyo before, I thought it was a quieter, well balanced, with-a-meal type sake. Instead of such a plain response, this time everything I tasted had good body, yet elegant and well balanced fragrance and taste that would complement food really well.

Heaven’s Door (Amanoto)


I am a big fan of Amanoto’s blog which tells OF their day to day activities at the kura. Their sake were all good, but they also had a couple very interesting good ones.


特別純米(Amanoto Kuro Tokubetsu Junmai) is made with the type of yeast used to brew Awamori which I believe produce more citric acid than the regular sake yeast. The end product had a sherry-like well balanced aroma and flavor, which matched perfectly with the vast amounts of roasted duck with wild rice that I was pigging out on.

I also liked 天の戸 純米 吟醸 亀の尾 無ろ過生 (Amanoto Junmai Ginjyo Kamenoo Muroka Nama, another unfiltered, unpasteurised , undiluted sake). This was mentioned at the last benkyokai by Takase-sensei when he said this year, this was really well balanced. It’s made with Kamenoo rice and Hanakomachi yeast, a new yeast from Akita. A friend from the benkyokai picked 天の戸

Amanoto Junmai Ginjyo Gofujyuu) as the best sake at the event.

Heaven’s Door definitely showed me a glimpse of what I hope paradise might be like when I finally pop that top.


2 Responses to “Akita Sake Galore”

  1. How awesome! I wish I had gone, too. I don’t think I’ve ever tried Kariho, but it does sound familiar. Now, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it.

    I love all of the sake from Amanoto that I’ve ever had, and I respect the close relationship they have with the rice farmers. Their jun kara is a standard at our place.

    From the looks of it, the muroka namas really wowed you…I suspect that the budding namazake-otaku inside you is about to blossom.

    Thanks again for organizing everything yesterday! We had a blast! :)

    Posted by melinda | March 11, 2007, 11:40 am
  2. I saw another event on 4/12 and 13. http://www.nihonshu.com/ I am thinking to stop by there.

    Funny you mention Namazake otaku. We just picked 4 muroka nama from Naraman yesterday from 4 different year. Time for another tasting!

    Amanoto is really great. I think you will like that kurokoji sake, too.

    Yesterday, it snowed in Kitakata. Saturday was so nice with great weather and the whole experience. Thank you for the wonderful breakfast! It was really fun.

    Posted by Et-chan | March 12, 2007, 7:30 am

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