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Round black bottle with gold lettering

Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake

While I’ve sampled a few sakes over the years (Emmeline and I even shared a sake flight the last time we had sushi), I’ve never actually owned a bottle myself. I was always too overwhelmed by the number of brands and styles. Thankfully, I came out of the holiday season with this bottle of Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake, so I don’t have to stress anymore, and can finally start my sake journey. The Gekkeikan brand can be traced all the way back to 1637, when Jiemon Okura first established a sake brewery in Fushima, a town near Kyoto. The Okura family continued to operate the brewery and expand the brand until it was officially renamed […]

Tall glass bottle filled with orange liquid and a label with the Hassaku Sake branding

Hassaku Sake

One of my personal goals this year is to try more spirits from other countries and cultures. And it seems like Emmeline was on a similar wavelength, since she gifted me this bottle of Hassaku Sake during the holidays. Hassaku Sake is produced in Wakayama, a Southern prefecture in Japan that borders Osaka. Wakayama is famous for the citrus fruit hassaku, a fruit similar in taste to an orange but the size of a grapefruit. While it’s branded as a sake on the bottle, Hassaku Sake might be closer to a liqueur in taste and proof. But the base spirit is high quality sake produced by Sekai Itto Co. and then blended with locally sourced hassaku […]

Bottle of Vinn Honey Baijiu sitting on a wooden table, in front of a mixed white and wooden background

Vinn Honey Baijiu

Vinn Honey Baijiu is produced by Vinn Distillery, a family-owned distillery based in Wilsonville, Oregon. Founded by Phan Ly in 2009, the brand was created to fill a void in the U.S. market by producing classic Chinese spirits such as Baijiu and Mijiu. With strong ancestral roots in China, the Ly family uses recipes that go back 7 generations to create their core products. Their flagship baijiu, which is also the base for this honey baijiu, is made using brown rice and a starter culture called “qu”. After a preparation process, the ingredients are fermented together for about 6 months. It is then distilled in pot stills and aged for at […]

Homare Strawberry Nigori

Homare Strawberry Nigori is produced by Aizu Homare Brewery, located in the city of Kitakata in Fukushima, Japan. First established in 1918, Aizu Homare is considered one of the top breweries in the area, and produce a variety of sake, sochu, and liqueur products.

This particular bottle of Strawberry Nigori is a flavored Nigori sake. If you’re not familiar with Nigori, it differs from other types of sake by the […]