Tourist information center at Niigata Station suggested a sake brewery tour with free tasting... I had to go! Pictured here is Mr. Yamamoto, the ninth generation proprietor and the friendliest guy ever.
I never knew it but you find these balls at most Japanese liquor stores and its a good luck symbol from a Sake Shrine.
Fresh rice used for Sake. There are many different grades of sake and the price will vary to how much the rice grains are ground down... this has been ground to a premium 50%.
A premium sake with the rice ground down to 35% of its original size... the sweetness is near the core.
Free sake tasting... so many different varieties.
I picked up 2 bottles. A sake the owner drinks everyday http://item.rakuten.co.jp/jyunmai/jyunmai720/ and a premium make with 35% rice grain that was insanely smooth http://item.rakuten.co.jp/jyunmai/kioke_22/
One thing I learned is that even the same rice from the same source will differ from year to year according to the weather etc so these breweries have to adjust their production process to keep the flavor consistent for that specific brand. Unlike wine that where its generally accepted that the taste will vary with each crop.
If you are in Niigata this place is just a must... historic and the light smell of sake throughout the facility is wonderful.
Brewery: Imayo Tsukasa
Shop Website: http://www.imayotsukasa.com/index.htm
Rakuten to Order: http://www.rakuten.co.jp/jyunmai/
Tabelog Foodie Website: http://tabelog.com/niigata/A1501/A150101/15012865/
Address J: 新潟県新潟市中央区鏡が岡1-1Address E: Niigata Prefecture, Chuo-ku, Kagamigaoka 1-1
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