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Dewazakura sets the standard for Ginjo-shu

Dewazakura sake tasting line up

Dewazakura sets the standard for Ginjo-shu

When we came back to Japan, one of our projects was to “learn and understand sake“. I guess the best way to learn about sake is to drink a lot! While we are working on it, we have been attending a monthly Sake Tasting session at this wonderful sake specialty shop, Mitsuya, in Nishi Ogikubo for the last few years. The class invites one Kura each month to go through a freeform presentation and Q & A, followed by tasting (usually 6-10 kinds). Tasting is accompanied by catered food from local restaurants in Nishi Ogikubo.

The featured kura for November was Dewazakura, the second largest brewer in Yamagata prefecture. Their signature sake, Dewazakura Ouka Ginjyoshu, has been rated the top Ginjyo-shu for the last 12 years in a jizake ranking published by Fullnet. Dewazakura Ouka Ginjyoushu is widely distributed throughout Japan (I see them at regular liquor shops or grocery stores) and appear to have good distribution overseas.

The November tasting session had six kinds (some we tried cold and o-kan and a catered sushi dinner from Matsu Sushi in Nishi Ogikubo was a wonderful meal to go with these sakes. For the tasting, kura sometimes bring “special” editions. Dewazakura brought some “not-for-sale” sake from earlier this year for which they received the gold medal at the national sake contest “zenkoku shinshu kanpyoukai”.

Others are Dewazakura Ouka Ginjyoshu,Dewazakura Junmai Ginjyou Omachi純米吟醸 雄町, Dewazakura Yukimanman (aged 5 years below 0℃), Dewasansan Nama 出羽燦々 無濾過生原酒 (本生), Dewazakura Karesansui

My personal pick for this day is Dewazakura Junmai Ginjyou Omachi. It had a deep and yet clean sweet taste I like. O-kan brought out its fragrance even more and it was a perfect match for the accompanying food—sushi.


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