- Sugita Shuzo Co. Ltd., Tochigi Prefecture
- Junmai Ginjo, Omachi
In reality I did not know this brand in Tochigi, one of my favorite areas not being that famous for Japanese sake, but having many good sake breweries. This brewery is situated in the southern part of Tochigi, called City of Oyama.
I picked up this one primarily for this sake being made from Omachi that is one of the prestigious sake rices in Japan. The sakes made from Omachi generally deliver high level of satisfaction to me so far.
The initial impression at opening up was however that this sake was not made from Omachi. I did not sense the richness and sweetness, both of which are distinguished characters of Omachi. Rather I felt dryness and bitterness which are not common with made in Tochigi sakes.
On the following day, I came back to this sake and tried to check how the air changed the taste. Initially, I was afraid that the air exposure did not help improve the taste. Rather it deteriorated the overall quality of this sake. As going on however I was betrayed in that this sake started presenting different characteristics from earlier. The sake is now so integrated and delivers the good combination of sweetness and mildness that are intrinsic to Omachi.
Even though this brand and brewery is not well known nationally, you may want to try once as you will be surprised with its high quality. The retail price after tax is $14.00.