End of Summer Sake Tasting!

Asahi Shuzo Brewery

Asahi Shuzo Brewery

So all of the kids are finally back to school and football season has officially begun … sounds like the perfect time for an End of Summer Sake Tasting! Nadine’s picked out FIVE wonderful sake to sample this Saturday including a nigori sake and Kubota Manju’s little brother, Kubota Senju.

An old favorite at the shop, Tamanohikari Junmai Daiginjo from Kyoto is also on our tasting list along with Takenotsuyu from our friend Mr. Aisawa in Yamagata. Finishing things off is a great junmai ginjo, Jinyu 100 Poems from Chiba prefecture. An outstanding sampling list of sake that we think everyone will enjoy.

So stop by the shop this Saturday and try some really good sake from all over Japan! For the record, I’m still trying to get Nadine to dress up for the sake tasting like Ono no Komachi but it’s not looking so good. (See story about Ono no Komachi on the right) Hope to see you this Saturday!


Saturday, September 15, 2012
4:00pm to 7:30pm

Tamanohikari Junmai Daiginjo

“Brilliant Jade”
Junmai Daiginjo

Crafted from rare Bizen Omachi rice, this well balanced Junmai Daiginjo begins with elegant aromas of peach, apple and pears. It has a silky smooth flavor with enough acidity to provide a crisp and refreshing finish. Tamanohikari Brewery is located in the Fushimi district of Kyoto prefecture which is known for it’s excellent water.


Jinyu Junmai Ginjo
“100 Poems”
Junmai Ginjo

This sake from Chiba prefecture begins with subtle aromas of melons and plum that give way to a light sweetness of flavor. A full bodied sake that drinks smooth and finishes clean. A picture of Ono no Komachi, a famous poet adorns the label of Jinyu 100 poems. See right column for more about her.

Kubota Senju

“Thousand Dreams”

From our friends at Asahi Shuzo we bring you Kubota Manju’s little brother, Kubota Senju. More full bodied than Manju but with a similar elegant and clean flavor, this sake goes down smooth and finishes dry.  Very food friendly. See right column for more about Kubota.
Takenotsuyu Junmai
“Bamboo Tears”

From our friend Mr. Aisawa in Yamagata prefecture, this sake actually drinks a lot lighter and cleaner than your average junmai sake. Cherry and plum on the nose with a mild sweet richness. It finishes clean and medium dry.

Kamotsuru Junmai Ginjo Nigori

Junmai Ginjo

Great nigorizake from Kamotsuru in Hiroshima prefecture. This sake has a fresh aroma with hints of honey on the nose. It has a refreshing taste of sweet and well balanced acidity that finishes without the usual cloying sweetness.
Hope you can join us this Saturday at the shop for what should be an awesome End of Summer tasting!

Malcolm & Nadine Leong
The Sake Shop


Saturday, September 15, 2012
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Asahi Shuzo Brewery
Asahi Shuzo Sake Brewery

Asahi Shuzo brewery was founded in 1830 and is located in Niigata prefecture. For many new sake drinkers, Asahi Shuzo’s Kubota Manju is their first experience with drinking premium sake.

The local distributor of Kubota Manju will not let it be sold retail, so in Hawaii you can only purchase Manju while dining at a restaurant. Unfortunately this means we don’t sell Manju at the shop.

However, we are able to carry Kubota Senju which we affectionately refer to as Manju’s little brother. It’s on the tasting list for this Saturday so be sure to give it a try.

Asahi Shuzo Workers

Asahi Shuzo Brewery Workers
Although the brewery was originally founded in 1830, the Kubota brand did not begin until 1985. Prior to this their sake was referred to as Asahiyama.

Under the Kubota brand the company took advantage of the “Ginjo” boom back in the 80′s along with the growing popularity of Niigata sake. They quickly rose to become the largest brewery in Niigata prefecture and one of the largest in all of Eastern Japan.

Asahi Shuzo Worker Sampling

There are about six different grades of Kubota sake, a few of which are seasonal. Each grade has it’s own unique name to identify it. In Hawaii we’re probably most familiar with Manju and Senju.  The “ju” in Senju and Manju means “congratulatory” or “long life”. “Sen” in Senju means “1,000″ and “Man” in Manju means “10,000″.
Jinyu 100 Poems

Jinyu “100 Poems”
This exceptionally smooth yet full bodied junmai ginjo sake is a celebration of the greatest collection of Japanese medieval poetry called ”Hyakunin Isshu”.  The famous 13th century volume contains a compilation of 100 Tanka poems, spanning a period of 800 years.

At the height of Tanka poetry, the famous poetress, Ono no Komachi, whose likeness is depicted on the bottle and box, left behind a rich collection of her uniquely passionate, sensitive and delicate works.

Stop by the shop this Saturday and sample some of this elegantly smooth sake.  Sorry but Nadine didn’t go for my idea of having her dress up like Ono no Komachi for the tasting. Still working on it but it’s not looking so good. Maybe next time.


Nigori Sake

Nigori Sake or Nigorizake
What is Nigori Sake or Nigorizake? Often referred to as “cloudy sake” nigorizake is sake that still has some of the unfermented rice particles purposely left in the bottle.

Normally freshly brewed sake is pressed through some time of filtering system that only allows the clearer liquid through for bottling. When a wider mesh is used and some of the unfermented rice particles are let through you have nigorizake.

Nigorizake will have differing amounts of rice sediment depending on the brewery producing it and their personal style. We sell some nigori with a super light “dust” of rice that is barely noticeable and others that are super chunky with whole grains of rice still present.

This Saturday we’ll be sampling a tasty nigori from Kamotsuru that actually has a dry finish. Be sure to try a taste if you stop by.


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The Sake Shop
1461 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Ph (808) 947-7253
Fax (808) 947-7254
Twitter @sakeshop
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Map: maps.google.com/maps

Metered parking available on King Street, Kaheka Street & Liona Street.  Pay lot located behind our building. $2 for 1/2 hour Monday – Friday until 6pm and Saturdays until 2pm.  All other hours $2 for 5 hours (paybox).  Enter from Liona Street.  Unfortunately we are unable to  validate parking.

Hours of Operation  
10am to 8pm Mon – Sat
10am to 5pm Sun