Sake

  • Junmai
  • 1 in stock
  • $46.99

Akishika Shuzo Osaka Prefecture Black Moheji Junmai

There are a few examples of single-paddy rice sake that I know of (Isojiman perhaps being the most famous) but all are very expensive and very hard to find.It was very exciting for me get to taste this example from Akishika, and especially to compare it to the normal omachi rice bottling. A particular stand-out of the Yoigokochi Imports tasting, and a bottle I knew I had to get my hands on to explore further. This is made from omachi rice from a single paddy, farmed organically, that is milled to 60% and then aged for 4 years before release. In total,  308 kg of rice were brewed into 660 liters of sake. There is a remarkable citrus element to this, almost like dashi broth with yuzu peel. The nose also shows a hint of green melon, green  melon rind, fresh citrus, lemon zest, cantaloupe, some white blossom, but also a hint of caramel, cut hay, Parmesan rind, smokiness, cedar, and a general savory, woodsy note. The palate carries a lot of intensity, with all the complexity of the nose and a roundness and richness to the texture, as well as a very long finish. This sake is quite beguiling, occasionally being totally driven by its more savory and earthy tones, only for the next sip to introduce burst of fresh citrus and tropical fruit; truly something to take your time with. The bottle I opened felt a little tightly wound at first, and definitely started to open up as it approached room temperature, but was even better the next day. Paired this with a whole branzino, but given a second chance, would have gone for something slightly heartier, as this sake has so much flavor, umami, and oomph. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 14 in stock
  • $82.99

Akishika Shuzo Osaka Prefecture Omachi Junmai

The sake of Akishika Shuzo is very highly regarded, both in Japan and across the world, and due to the tiny production, these bottles are highly sought after. We're very happy to finally be able to offer you a few more sake from Akishika, starting with this wonderful Omachi junmai. Omachi rice is one of the oldest pure (not cross-bred) rice varieties in Japan, and has been used in sake brewing since at least the middle of the 19th century. It has been gaining in popularity in recent years and is prized for its more earthy expression, in contrast to the more fruity and floral Yamadanishiki. This example from Akishika comes from rice that the brewery grows themselves, and is bursting with the typical Akishika dryness, high acidity, and intensity on the palate. On the nose it opens with a hint of dashi, followed by lemon peel, under ripe apricot, a slight floral note, with some notes of cedar and something woodsy, something fibrous. The palate is where this sake really shines, bringing that mouthfilling intensity and sharpness (almost severeness; I wouldn't drink this without food) while maintaining the complexity of flavors and textures. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 8 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic

Asamai Shuzo Ama No To Tokubetsu Junmai "Heavens Door" Namazake

Asamai Shuzo is located deep in Akita Prefecture, in the northern part of Honshu, Japan's largest island. Akita is known as snow country, with very cold winters due to to winds blowing off the Sea of Japan-perfect for sake brewing. Asamai Shuzo uses only Akita-grown rice, which is quite rare; many breweries will source rice from all over Japan. Each year they produce a small amount of sake, but it's very well regarded both locally and nationally, and we're very happy to find some here in New York. The Amanoto Tokubetsu Junmai is a blend of Ginnosei and Miyamanishiki rice polished to 55%. The nose explodes with notes of fresh-cut grass, melon, grapefruit zest and a medley of floral tones. The palate is equally vibrant, introducing more herbaceous green notes. This sake has great acidity, and equally great resonance on the palate. Delicious on its own, this would also be great with a variety of spring salads, greens, or lightly-fried fish. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 1 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Junmai
  • 7 in stock
  • $17.99

Brooklyn Kura Junmai Ginjo Nama #14 750ml

A new batch of the Junmai Ginjo Nama from our friends at Brooklyn Kura. This sake is aromatically very complex, with cantaloupe, cantaloupe rind, banana, citrus, lemon rind, yellow flowers, yogurt, and a slightly green, grassy quality all present on the nose. The palate is bright, with great acidity, but still has the mouth-coating quality I've come to associate with Brooklyn Kura sake. It is drier than previous versions, but still comes in at a Sake Meter Value (Nihonshudo) of -1, making it just a tiny touch off-dry, though this is balanced fantastically by the vibrant acidity. This sake is perfect as an apéritif, or with light fare, salads, crudo, or creamy cheeses. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 14 in stock
  • $29.99

Fukucho Sake Junmai Ginjo Namazake Moon on the Water

A richly textured nama (unpasteurized) sake from Fukucho, a small brewery in Hiroshima prefecture operated by Miho Imada, one of the only women to hold the title of both toji (head brewer) and brewery president. Made from 100% Yamadanishiki rice, polished to 55%, this junmai ginjo shows beautiful tropical fruit notes (pineapple, mango, melon) along with pear and a hint of spice, pepper, and anise. The rich and palate-coating texture is balanced by bright acidity, and a hint of effervescence. Very lively and engaging. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai Ginjo
  • 3 in stock
  • $47.99

  • Junmai Daiginjo
  • 29 in stock
  • $5.99

Kokken Tokubetsu Junmai 720ml

Another wonderful sake from Kokken, this Tokubetsu Junmai is make from 100% local Yume no Kaori rice, a specialty of the region. Polished to 60%, this is a very fresh and lively sake, with juicy fruit notes balanced by a hint of toasted rice and a slight savory edge. A bit softer on the palate than the Yamahi, this is very sessionable, and very delicious on its own. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 6 in stock
  • $22.99

Kokken Yamahai Junmai 720ml

Made from 100% Miyamanishiki rice, this is a wonderful example of yamahai sake from Kokken, a renowned brewery from the south of Fukushima prefecture. While most sake is made by adding lactic acid to the moto (mash of rice and koji that is a "starter" for fermentation) the more time-consuming yamahai method allows ambient lactic acid bacteria to influence and  proliferate within the moto. While the population of lactic acid bacteria is building within the starter mash, it comes under the influence of other ambient yeasts and bacteria. Once commercial yeast is added and fermentation properly starts, those ambient yeasts and bacterias are quickly overtaken, but their influence remains in the finished sake, giving yamahai sake a distinctly savory, wild, and gamey character. An "old-school" way of making sake, yamahi is prized for its robust character and deep flavor. That being said, this example by Kokken is quite a delicate and easy-drinking yamahai, with a slight savory profile, a hint of fresh cut grass, nice citrus fruit on the palate, and a bit of a lactic quality. With good acidity and a slightly more robust mouthfeel, this is a wonderful food sake which will pair with a number of different dishes, but is also delicious on its own. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 6 in stock
  • $22.99

Miyakobijin Hyogo Prefecture Yoigokochi Yuzu Sake

Yuzu sake: a perennial favorite of ours, especially when the weather starts to warm up.  Yuzu is a Japanese citrus, quite tart and slightly bitter, and present in both Japanese cooking, pastry, as well as alcoholic beverages. This beautiful example is made by Miyako Bijin, on the island of Awaji in the Seto Inland Sea, and is bursting with vibrant and tart citrus flavors, with just a small hint of sweetness to balance it out. Great on its own, we also like to mix it with sparkling water for a little bit of fizz. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 7 in stock
  • $27.99

  • 1 in stock
  • $39.99

  • 8 in stock
  • $64.99

Rihaku Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama "Origin of Purity"

Omachi is quickly becoming my favorite sake rice. It is the oldest known pure (i.e. non-crossbred) variety, and when brewed to its full potential is wonderfully balanced. Integrating earthy and herbal tones with a subdued fruit profile; less flashy and effusive than Yamada Nishiki, but with depth and complexity. This beautiful namazake from Rihaku Shuzo in Shimane Prefecture is one of the most elegant namas I've had, with notes of white blossoms, pear, white peach, and fresh cut grass on the nose. For "Origin of Purity" they are using flower yeasts, isolated from Japan's natural flora by the crazy cats at Tokyo Agricultural University and used in sake production since the late '90s. Flower yeasts add a heightened aromatic quality, which coupled with the savory undertones of the Omachi rice makes this a very complex sake. The palate opens with more earthy tones of radish and steamed rice, along with citrus and citrus rind, and a slight lactic quality I associate with nama. It's vibrant but elegant, with notes of raw cacao and hazelnut as it warms up in the glass. Very limited in quantity, this is a must-try on my list. Oskar Kostecki

  • 3 in stock
  • $47.99

  • Junmai
  • 6 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Junmai Ginjo
  • 7 in stock
  • $33.99

Terada Honke Chiba Prefecture Daigo no Shizuku Junmai Bodaimoto

The bodaimoto method is a precursor to modern-made sake, and originated in the Bodaisan Shoryakuji temple in Nara Prefecture in the 14th century, and indeed some bodaimoto sake still starts its life at this historic temple. Not to get too detailed, but the method basically goes like this: raw rice and steamed rice are mixed in a water bath, and left for a period of a few days. The water becomes imbued with lactic acid thanks to natural lactic acid bacteria, and after the rice is removed and steamed, that water is added to the steamed rice, the koji rice, as well as yeast to create the moto (fermentation starter). Lactic acid is very important in sake making, as it eradicates harmful bacteria and fungi, and creates the necessary pH for fermentation to go smoothly. This example by Terada Honke is made of table rice (Koshihikari, and Yukigesho) and only polished to 90%. A rough, rustic, and frankly very fun brew, it shows notes of sharp citrus, lemon, lime zest, corn husks, and toasted grain, balanced by a bit of sweetness. A very interesting, ancient style of sake. Oskar Kostecki


  • Junmai
  • 3 in stock
  • $32.99

Terada Honke Chiba Prefecture Kaikoshu Junmai

"Koshu", or aged sake is a very niche category, and quite polarizing. Yoram, one of the folks involved in Yoigokochi Sake Imports owns a bar in Kyoto which specializes in serving aged sake, some that is even long-aged after the bottle has been opened. I've never had the opportunity to experience Yoram's bar, but the friends who have gone have either raved about it, or found it very weird. Most sake professionals will tell you that sake should be consumed fresh, and there is no point aging it (sake has no tannins, no sulfur, and lower acidity than wine, the things commonly accepted as allowing wine to age). Undoubtedly aged sake is different, and the flavor profile changes so much, it's almost difficult to guess what the sake was when it was fresh. A lot of it can be very intense, something you would maybe have a glass of, but would find it difficult sharing a bottle between two people. This example by Terada Honke shows all the hallmarks of aged sake, yet also has a drinkability that (for me) belies its years. Made from organic Miyamanishiki & Koshihikari rice, this sake is then aged for 15 years at the brewery before release, and shows notes of caramel, cheese, smoke, cured meat, resin, oolong tea, chestnut honey, and a hint of bitterness, almost wormwood. Quite sherry-like on the nose, the palate also has a lushness and softness to it, with the textural quality of the sake melding beautifully with its flavors. Enjoy with cheese after a meal, or pair with robust foods, perhaps a dry-aged steak. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 7 in stock
  • $72.99

  • Organic

Terada Honke Chiba Prefecture Katori 90 Junmai

The Katori 90 from Terada Honke is a really interesting sake, made not of sake rice, but regular table rice (Koshihikari and Yukigesho) polished to a very minimal 90%. This leaves a lot of the rice flavor in the sake itself, since the theoretically "impure" outside of the rice hasn't been completely milled away. This minimal style of polishing is something we've been seeing more breweries experiment with, and the results can be fascinating, leading to very flavorful and forthright sake. Savory, slightly musty, with Terada Honke's hallmark high acidity, the Katori 90 shows notes of toasted grain, barley tea, slight cheese rind, citrus peel, a general woodsiness, and a hint of caramel and spice (Terada Honke sake are aged for about a year at the brewery before release, which would account for the caramel and spice notes). A great sake to drink at room temperature or slightly warmed. Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 13 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic

Terada Honke Chiba Prefecture Katori 90 Junmai 1.8L

The same, but in big bottle!!!The Katori 90 from Terada Honke is a really interesting sake, made not of sake rice, but regular table rice (Koshihikari and Yukigesho) polished to a very minimal 90%. This leaves a lot of the rice flavor in the sake itself, since the theoretically "impure" outside of the rice hasn't been completely milled away. This minimal style of polishing is something we've been seeing more breweries experiment with, and the results can be fascinating, leading to very flavorful and forthright sake. Savory, slightly musty, with Terada Honke's hallmark high acidity, the Katori 90 shows notes of toasted grain, barley tea, slight cheese rind, citrus peel, a general woodsiness, and a hint of caramel and spice (Terada Honke sake are aged for about a year at the brewery before release, which would account for the caramel and spice notes). Oskar Kostecki

  • Junmai
  • 5 in stock
  • $62.99