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Mystery Sake from Shizuoka

3 mystery bottles of sake from shizuoka

Robert-Gilles, you have the power, you have the key to this mystery…. Everyone at the tasting is dying to know what those three bottles were.

Our Shizuoka sake guru, Robert-Gilles at Shizuoka Sake, kindly sent us, the Tokyo sake geeks (me and Melinda), these three bottles without the labels. So, the only thing we knew at the tasting was that these three bottles were from Shizuoka. Now, did he take the labels off because he had gotten a hang of this kind of “mystery”
from the last tasting by Melinda? Or, was he getting even with her for the last batch of Odayaka bottle without the labels? Or, did he do it because I messed up peeling his labels last time? Who knows! We all appreciated three wonderful bottles by saying, “These are all really good”, after the first round of sips which set the tone for the evening.

Here’s the summary of comments from eight tasters who kept really quiet and took notes for about one hour in front of the three bottles of Shizuoka mystery sake.

1. White Bottle

What did we think it was?

2 – Honjozo, 4 – Junmai including 1 Nama, 1 – Ginjyo


  • Fragrance: Light, fruity, candy, hint of alcohol, ethyl caproate aroma, yeasty, floral, banana, unfiltered muroka aroma?
  • Taste: Good balance, nama green, sweet attack, robust, rustic, bubbly at the beginning with light ending
  • Aftertaste: Sharper aftertaste/good, dry, slightly metallic/burnt? lingering, wood/organic?
  • Overall: Slightly sweet that goes well with scallop sashimi, sensitive, begins to get heavier with higher temperature, doesn’t leave an impression, “Quick chat with a friend on the way to catch a train.”
  • 2. Blue Bottle

    What did we think it was?

    2 – Junmai or Jungin, 1 – Jungin Nama, 1 – Junmai or Honjozo with a hint of nama muroka, 1 – Junmai, 1 – Honjozo


  • Fragrance: More nama than 1, melon, delicate, pear, light, new sake fragrance
  • Taste: Sweet with a hint of bitterness, stronger taste with more flavors than 1, well rounded compared to 1, taste banana type sweetness at the beginning with a light finish, melon/round, not nama muroka
  • Aftertaste: Pop!, higher acidity, more bitterness, alcohol aftertaste, very sweet in finish, long and finishes well
  • Overall:

    More balanced than 3, fresh/full/blooms, “I started out disliking #2 slightly, but it really came together with some air and time, temperature”. More weight, more extreme, w/r/t sweetness & bitterness “Dinner with work mates after a hard day’s work”

  • 3.
    Green Bottle

    What did we think it was?

    3 – Jungin, 1 – Daigin, 1 – Ginjo, 1 – either Junmai Daigin or Daigin


  • Fragrant: Clean/pear fragrance, ginjyo aroma, caramel, lighter banana/melon
  • Taste: Consistent, good balance, sweet but very reserved and well balanced, full attack, very sweet at first, round, umami, peach
  • Aftertaste: Sharp, blossoms, bitter, bitter and long, becomes stretchingly sweet as it warms a bit, hint of anise
  • Overall: Sweetness is too sugary, good Daigin, strong impact at the beginning with soft finish, best of all three, would go with most foods and wouldn’t let you down. “A late night light dinner entertaining an attractive woman.”
  • Favorite?

    When everyone was forced to pick one “favorite”, 2 voted for #2 and the rest voted for #3.

    Most of the tasting was done without food, but as you can see in some comments, food and temperature really changed the personality of each sake.

    So… What are they? Answer can be found at Shizuoka Sake.

    Your happy tasters in Tokyo

    serious tasters

    And, your serious tasters in Tokyo

    serious tasters


    3 Responses to “Mystery Sake from Shizuoka”

    1. I love the mystery tastings! It’s such good exercise…for the liver. Etsuko, that was another deadly tasting. I think I was drunk even before the Narumans came out.

      The thing that surprises me is #1. Junmai ginjo? Junmai I can see, but ginjo? And it wasn’t nama?

      Anyway, lots of fun but next time you have a tasting, can you please limit it to fewer than 7 bottles? (Just kidding, I know it was my fault.)

      Posted by melinda | May 5, 2007, 8:38 am
    2. Mystery tastings are fun! It really made me focus on my 5 senses.(Oh, at the beginning) I guess mystery bottles made all of us to drink more; trying to get the changing characteristics right, right?
      I also guessed Junmai Nama for #1.

      Posted by Et-chan | May 7, 2007, 6:42 pm


    1. […] you for sending us, Tokyo Sake Geeks, two wonderful bottles of Shizuoka mystery sake. Although, I was the one who called ourselves sake […]

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