Episode 32 Show Notes

Season 1. Episode 32. This week, Timothy and John connect with a special guest for an interview and tasting. Brian Ashcraft is a well known writer focusing on the subjects of video games and Japanese culture. His most recent publication is The Japanese Sake Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Great Sake (With Tasting Notes and Scores for Over 100 Top Brands). It’s a marvelous book that takes you deep into the world of sake without being too technical or boring. Every chapter has individual stories to highlight the topic or area being discussed. As one would hope, the last section of the book is a tasting guide to over 100 kinds of sake with tasting notes and pictures of the bottles. Not all the featured sakes are available in the USA, but there are enough to make it really worthwhile. Sake nerds finally have a Bible of their own – Amen to that!

Skip to: 00:19 Hosts Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy

Skip to: 01:02 Interview: Brian Ashcraft

Author Brian Ashcraft
Brian Ashcraft is a senior writer for the video gaming site Kotaku and a columnist for The Japan Times. He was previously a contributing editor at Wired magazine. His work has appeared in Popular Science, the Guardian, Whisky Advocate, and many other publications. He is the author of Japanese Whisky as well as many books on Japanese culture, including Arcade Mania and Japanese Tattoos. Originally from Texas, he has called Osaka home since 2001.
Brian Ashcraft on Instagram

The Japanese Sake Bible
The Japanese Sake Bible is the ultimate book about Japan’s national drink—from its history, culture and production methods to how to choose the best sake and recommended food pairings.

Author Brian Ashcraft—the author of the popular guide Japanese Whisky—has put together lively commentaries based on dozens of interviews with master brewers and sake experts across Japan. His fascinating stories are accompanied by over 300 full-color photographs, maps and drawings.

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Skip to: 13:03 Sake Introductions

Skip to: 18:48 Sake Tasting: Tamagawa Tokubetsu Junmai

Tamagawa Tokubetsu Junmai

Brewery: Kinoshita Shuzo
Classification: Tokubetsu Junmai
Acidity: 1.9
Alcohol: 16.5%
Prefecture: Kyoto
Seimaibuai: 60%
SMV: +4.0
Rice Type: Gohyakumangoku

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Skip to: 22:19 Sake Tasting: Kaze no Mori Tsuyuhakaze Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu

Kaze no Mori Tsuyuhakaze Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu

Classification: Junmai
Acidity: 2.0
Alcohol: 17.0%
Prefecture: Nara
Seimaibuai: 80%
SMV: ±0
Rice Type: Tsuyuhakaze (Tsuyubakaze)
Brand: Kaze no Mori (風の森)
Importer: Skurnik
Brewery: Yucho Shuzo
Yeast: Kyokai 7

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Skip to: 25:58 Sake Tasting: Ozeki One Cup Junmai

Ozeki One Cup Junmai

Brewery: Ozeki Corporation
Classification: Junmai
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 14.0%
Prefecture: Hyogo
Seimaibuai: 78%
SMV: +3.0
Rice Type: Gohyakumangoku
Importer: JFC (USA)
Brand: Ozeki

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Skip to: 29:33 Show Closing

This is it! Join us next time for another episode of Sake Revolution!

Episode 32 Transcript

John Puma: 0:21
Hello everybody. And welcome to sake revolution. This is America’s first sake podcast. I’m your host, John Puma from the sake notes. Also the administrator over at the internet sake discord and our resident sake nerd

Timothy Sullivan: 0:34
and I’m your host Timothy Sullivan. I’m a sake samurai sake educator, as well as the founder of the urban sake website and together John and I will be tasting and chatting about all things, sake and doing our best to make it fun and easy to understand. So, John, we have a very special guest in the studio with us today. Have you heard about the latest sake book to hit the market?

John Puma: 0:58
Uh, yes, I think I have, would this be the, The Sake Bible?

Timothy Sullivan: 1:02
yes, the just published “Japanese Sake Bible. Everything You Need to Know About Great Sake with Tasting Notes and Scores for over 100 Top Brands”. We have the author with us today. Mr. Brian Ashcraft.

Brian Ashcraft: 1:18
Great to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me on I’m delighted and honored.

John Puma: 1:24
yeah. Thank you for, virtually joining us all the way from, Japan.

Brian Ashcraft: 1:28
No problem.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:29
Yeah. So Brian, for our listeners, why don’t you give us a little bit of a self-introduction.

Brian Ashcraft: 1:34
Sure. Uh, so, my day job is writingq for kotaku.com about video games and Manga and Anime, and hamburgers, and pretty much anything I’d like to write about I have a pretty wide leash over there, which is great, I also write for the Japan Times, I’ve been writing I guess professionally since 2004 and, I’ve been living in Osaka since 2001 and, I love sake and so it’s, it’s great to be here.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:03
It’s all the pieces fell into place.

Brian Ashcraft: 2:05
Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess.

John Puma: 2:09
Yeah, so, what inspired you to write a book about sake apart from obviously your love of it?

Brian Ashcraft: 2:15
So a few years back, I was pitching a series of books to my publisher Tuttle. Uh, I wanted to do a tattoo book and I wanted to do the whiskey book, a Japanese whiskey book. And then after that I wanted to do a sake book. And, it may sound kind of odd that one would pitch those three books at the same time that they would be this kind of disjointed series of, I mean, to drink books kind of makes sense, but then tattoos. But if you really think about it, if, if you spend, you know, 30 grand on a full body suit, that’s something that nobody can ever take away from you. And if you drink, you know, a great bottle of whiskey, Yamazaki 25 or a fantastic sake, that’s another experience that nobody can take away from you. So that was just something that really, intrigued me about these three different topics. And, I’ve always been interested in sake. It’s always been on my radar, even as a little kid, of course I didn’t drink it as a child, but, my mom was actually into sake and like the late sixties and early seventies. And so, yeah, so growing up, like in the family, a wet bar, there were sake sets, next to German beer steins. And so for me as a kid, I didn’t know what any of this really meant, but I just knew that this was a, uh, just by looking at these vessels, that there was a very sharp contrast. And, you know, growing up as a kid, like, you kind of have an idea of what beer tastes like, you know, whether it’s like Brom bones and like a Disney cartoon drinking beer, you know, you just kind of had it’s like frothy, and foamy and. Uh, something adults drink, but like sake was kind of a black box for me. and then when I moved to Japan, I started drinking sake, but everything really, really, came into focus for me in 2005,, I was a senior contributing editor at wired magazine and, I was doing a big piece on absinthe and that article in part, help absinthe become legal in the United States. And so I was doing all this like research on drinks. And so I was like, I’m going to go around and visit some breweries. So I went to a brewery in Nara and it just melted my mind. I mean, it just was like, I mean, I’m sure both of y’all have had this experience as well. I mean, the first time you walked into a brewery, it’s like, Whoa, like you can do this from this and you get this. Whoa. Um, so it really got me really interested in sake. And at that point I started doing more kind of. Games stuff for kotaku started working for them around that same time. So my career took a different path, but I always wanted to come back to sake and it was something that I care deeply about. And which is, uh, well, I think what y’all are doing is just so great and so fantastic. And, um, I’m hugely appreciative for all the tireless hard work that both y’all done.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:57
I really liked the way that you’ve structured the chapters where you have these call-out sections that highlight very specific production methods are very specific people in the industry as you’re going through a topic. So it is a really, really a fun way to organize some pretty dense information. And, that leads me to another question, you mentioned right in the forward of the book that you focused the book more on sake, culture and history. As opposed to being more of a technical guide to sake, what really drove you to make that decision kind of formatting your book that way?

Brian Ashcraft: 5:33
Because I think like for me, it’s like, what can I add? What can I, we have this wonderful Canon of English language, literature, and we have people who, who have, you know, going back to Atkinson, right. People who have studied it, uh, the production methods in-depth. People who’ve worked in breweries and people who can bring that technical expertise. We have those books and those books are fantastic. And if everybody keeps writing the same book, the literature we have doesn’t grow. So I kind of was approaching this with what is my skillset, what do I have to offer? And, I felt like instead of, redoing the fantastic books that we already have. I wanted to take a different approach. You know, I wanted to talk about the people I wanted to talk about the culture. I wanted to talk about stuff. That’s just, you know, small batch handmade stuff. And then talk about mass produced sake that’s made with, you know, big industrial machines and not, and not make a qualitative value judgment on that. Tim, you really, hit the nail on the head. And the fact that makes me very happy that you said that, that that was the point it was to kind of use certain moments or certain places or certain folks to drive home certain points. early on in the book, I interview, Taketsuru san, at Taketsuru Shuzo. And they were just kind of the Rite of passage, like passing down the brewery from one generation to the other. So I felt like once we hit that high note, I didn’t need to do that elsewhere. Do you see what I’m saying? And I think, and I think often often with sake, some of the stories will be totally different between the breweries, but a lot of them is like, You know, a son or daughter leaves, brewery goes to big city, realizes they should come back and work for the brewery. And some of the stories can feel kind of samey, but I didn’t want that. I wanted each page, each person, it should bring something new. And then if you read the entire book, you should have a, the bigger picture of the industry, hopefully, uh, and understanding of that.

John Puma: 7:41
nice, so when you’re relaxing at home with some sake, what, what generally, what kind of styles do you prefer for yourself?

Brian Ashcraft: 7:49
I drink, I try to drink seasonally. So, uh, like last night I was like heating stuff up. Right. It’s cause it’s getting chilly here. So when the weather changes, what I drink changes, when it’s hot, I’m drinking stuff, that’s a lot fresher, and livelier, but as we slip into fall, I go from room temperature to like heating stuff up. It’s getting kind of chilly here. So I just tend to drink, seasonally. Like I said, the other thing that I do is I always try to like, find like the weirdest stuff, you know, whenever I go into, a bar or a restaurant, or I always just ask somebody like, what’s the weirdest thing you have here. And then, I usually like to, to drink that. But yeah. Is that, I guess, John, that you are a.

John Puma: 8:30
Yeah, that’s, that’s how my wife’s, uh, exact technique.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:35
She asks for crazy style.

John Puma: 8:38
She says any, I was just in English, like crazy style and they always have something like every bar has like, has a bottle, for when somebody wants something that’s very unusual and that’s fascinating that a lot of people seem to be into that.

Brian Ashcraft: 8:53
Yeah, and I think, that means, I think we’re, we’re reaching a great point for sake where people Are adventurous, they want to try something that’s just off the wall and that, you know, you can appreciate the kind of classic and standard releases. Of course there’s no need to discount them, but, uh, I think people are becoming much more adventurous with stuff that they want to drink and try.

Timothy Sullivan: 9:15
Well, one of the big ones, questions that I hear discussed a lot in the sake industry is kind of the $64,000 question. And I wanted to pose that. To you as well, to grow the industry in the next 10, 20, 30 years, what do you think needs to happen to really expand the industry? Both in Japan and abroad? What types of things do you think the industry should do in order to grow and really try and bring sake to become a more of a world beverage?

Brian Ashcraft: 9:47
So, that’s a great question, Tim. And, that’s one of the reasons really why I wanted to do this book because I felt like, sake needs to take its rightful place alongside beer, wine and whiskey as a world drink. It’s too good to be this, this kind of, you know, niche marginalized product. It should not be it’s it’s too darn good. And I think that, the best thing that Sake has going for it is that sake’s delicious. Like the product is there, you know?, and I, I think what we’re starting to see abroad with the, increased number, of, People in North America making sake. I think that’s kind of the first big step. And then,, looking back at Japanese whiskey, whiskey isn’t, uh, an indigenous product to Japan. It was brought to Japan. And for years, for decades,, normal people in Japan did not drink it. And there was a point where it crossed over and, there was some kind of extenuating circumstances that sped that up, but it then became embraced by the larger public. And then it became viewed as kind of something, that, was Japanese. And, I think that Sake is on the path to that point outside of Japan, where that it will reach a point where it’s. Where people, you know, when people in California, they drink wine, they’re thinking local wine, right, or beer, you know, people when people drink, you know, beer in Texas, they’re not thinking that they’re drinking German beer. They’re thinking they’re drinking beer from Texas, even though, maybe in the German style. Um, so I think that there will be, I mean, that’s just a logical progression, you know? And, and it’s, it will take time. It’s just something that will take time. But, I think that it will get there. And I think that the breweries that are in the U S and in North America are producing excellent stuff. And so it’s just getting that in people’s glasses and then getting them to think like, Hey, you don’t need to drink this with, Japanese food. You can have this with, you know, pizza or, you know, spicy chicken or, Mexican food or all sorts of different stuff. And then, I think that in that regards, it becomes a much more familiar. I think it’s gonna take time, and, I know that probably, maybe because since both y’all are in New York, maybe less so, but I know like, for example, like, in Texas where, my family lives getting stuff into the state can be difficult. You know, we can’t get like Brooklyn Kura in Texas. Right. Um, Not yet. And that’s, and so there’s a lot kind of like distribution stuff and, that kind of infrastructure, which with time, will become strengthened. And I just, I don’t see, any way where it’s not inevitable where North America fully embraces the sake. I just don’t see it. You know, where that, that a world where that doesn’t happen. And, if you look at North America, like, the expertise in drink- making in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and kind of the storied history in three, three countries for making excellent drinks, this is like a great place to sake They’re going to nail it in. They they’re on their way without a doubt.

John Puma: 13:03
so it’s customary, on our show that we, have a couple of glasses of sake and talk about them a little bit. And for today we actually have, sakes that are covered in the tasting notes section of the book. So all three of us have, different sakes that are covered in the book. And we’ll, we’ll talk a little bit about them. Brian, you being, our guest, what are you going to be sipping with us this morning?

Brian Ashcraft: 13:29
This morning in Japan. So I have a tiny, I have a, I’ve saved a tiny bit of, Tamagawa it’s, made from, uh, gohyakumangoku, and, it’s from the 2016 brewing year. just a tip that, that, Harper san, the toji there told me you buy their sake. If you see the oldest year that they have by that. So,

John Puma: 13:58
I’ve heard similar advice, about Tamagawa in the past that, uh, if it’s, if it’s older stock, don’t worry about it. It’s only gonna get better.

Brian Ashcraft: 14:06

John Puma: 14:06

Brian Ashcraft: 14:06
And so, so I mean, I could have kept this at home and let it kick around a bit more to, to age, but, uh, I have polished most of it off, so I will take a, a tiny sip, this morning,

Timothy Sullivan: 14:20
and, John, do you want to introduce us to the Sake that you brought?

John Puma: 14:25
yes, I have a very recent import, relatively speaking to the United States. This is the, kaze No Mori, tsuyubakaze I have also seen it as “hakaze”, Junmai, and it is, uh, from yucho shuzo in Nara and they make some wonderful, wonderful sake.

Brian Ashcraft: 14:45
It’s interesting that, you mentioned that like kind of, the different spellings for that, because if you look at like, you know, I should, probably call yucho to confirm, but if you look at the, like, the nara’s brewers association, like their official site or whatever, they spell it, bakaze and it’s just easier, I think, to say in Japanese, if it’s ba that have ha then the brewery that really kind of revived it they smelled his ba as well. I don’t know how it became Ha and why there’s different spelling. So,

John Puma: 15:14
that’s, it’s weird, but yeah, it is. Um, I guess for, for purposes of our listeners at home, if they’re in the U S if they’re looking forward, they’re going to want to look for the, the ha the hakaze cause if they look for the bakaze. They’re not going to, unfortunately, in the us not going to find it. Uh, it’s very strange. and yeah, I’m, a very big fan of this brewery’s sake for a time when I was visiting Japan. This is the sake that when I would ask for recommendations, I’d get like th this, um, not this specific one, but this brewery, this brand, this kaze no mori is something that when I go and explain what, what I’m into and other sakes, I like, they’re always like, Oh, well, boom, you’re going to try this. And I’m always had wonderful experiences with it. Tim, what did you bring along?

Timothy Sullivan: 16:00
Well, our listeners might be surprised, but I brought up. It’s a very iconic Sake. Um, I have the Ozeki one cup,

John Puma: 16:11
Tim, this is, this is not a Daiginjo

Timothy Sullivan: 16:13
it is not a

John Puma: 16:15
notably not a daiginjo

Timothy Sullivan: 16:16
this is not how I usually roll,

John Puma: 16:18
I know it is not.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:20
but, the. Ozeki one cup, has a call-out in, Brian’s book. There’s a really wonderful few pages on the development of the one cup, which is fascinating. And it’s also featured in the tasting notes in the back as well. And I think that one thing that. Uh, made me really want to select this sake out of all the fantastic sakes in the book. Is that something Brian alluded to just a bit earlier that it’s not just about the ultra rare microbrewed sake, there’s another side of the industry that the more, widely produced sake have real respectability to them and they sometimes get, uh, Undeserving bad rap. And I’ve really enjoyed the drinking, the sake in the past. And so that’s something I really wanted to highlight. So that’s why I brought this one along today.

Brian Ashcraft: 17:13
I mean, that’s a, that’s a fantastic point in my, I remember going to like a really famous brewery and, the kuramoto toji there was like, what, what do you like to drink? I was like, I like, you know, Ozeki, one cup. And he like, started laughing at me. And then I was like, like, and I was like, I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait. And I gave it, like, I gave it. a thoughtful reply as to why, you know, the history of it, how important it is, you know, it’s probably one of the most important alcoholic drinks released since the end of world war II. It created an entirely new segment, just the thought that went into the design. and, it has to become maligned because of, uh, kind of the, you know, it was originally aimed at young hip cool people and, uh, it it’s it’s drinkers got older. And so, so people kind of, viewed it that way. But, when we were, doing the book, eguchi-san, my co-author. And I were getting together. It’s like, what are we going to do for the tasting notes? And we both quickly agreed, we need to put one cup of ozeki in there, which is just how, and it, like, it was like, other alcoholic drinks we’ll say have sometimes develop baggage and snobbery and kind of like exclusivity. I don’t want that for sake. There’s nothing wrong with super high end, super premium, super expensive stuff. That’s great. But we should also embrace and respect something. That’s, well-made, and has no, no bones about what it is, you know, it has no frills and it is exactly what it is, and it’s not pretentious. And it’s, that’s good.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:45

John Puma: 18:46

Timothy Sullivan: 18:48
Brian, why don’t you go first? And if you don’t mind, you can pour yourself a sip of the Tamagawa and give us a little tasting note or your impressions on it.

Brian Ashcraft: 18:59
So I actually, I’m drinking this at room temperature. Um, but I, I, I drank it, uh, at about 50, 50 or 55 degrees C last night. I don’t, I I’ve forgotten what Fahrenheit, what is that? I don’t remember

Timothy Sullivan: 19:15

John Puma: 19:15
Uh, that’s

Brian Ashcraft: 19:17
Yeah, there we go. So, um, so now at room temperature, so right off the bat, lots of rice, like really grain forward. get hay. Uh, honey is another thing that I get. marshmallows, but not like roasted marshmallows, but like, like just marshmallows, and it, it’s just very reminiscent of, of early fall. Not later fall, you know, not crunchy leaves, but uh, early fall. even though this is an older sake, it’s still very bright sake, I think. something that I get with a lot of Tamagawa’s stuff is like, Either candle, wax or beeswax, but like time machine, I always get, like, what I would say is more like bees wax. And then if I heat it up, that kind of becomes much more like a savory kind of almost like, kind of like dashi, but you still get a kind of that on the back end and then just a lot of alcohol in the finish, like a really, and I think that, that’s the one thing that I like about a tamagawa so much is it’s it’s super robust sake. But it’s not cloying. I think it’s because you get all that alcohol on the finish, it cleans out the palette and you just want another sip then. And if it kind of stuck around and you got this kind of like, you know, sometimes you get that with older stuff. Uh, it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t be such a, you know, it wouldn’t be the reason why I’ve nearly polished off this bottle. I mean, it’s incredibly grateful. That would be my tasty notes for that.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:51
Yeah, that’s true. The structure is almost like what I would call indestructable. It, it it’s, it has that kind of body and structure to it. And, I love all the descriptors you used really speak to the depth of flavor that you get and the complexity that Harper San, crafts into that Sake. So it’s a wonderful example to have in the industry of the depth you can achieve with sake. And this is coming from someone who studied Sake, making a Niigata and it’s all about like how whisper quiet can we make it? So it’s kind of the polar opposite of what I was trained to brew, but, it has such depth of flavor and such complexity that, I’m so glad we have, such a great example of that sake style.

Brian Ashcraft: 21:40
And I that’s my that’s one of my favorite things about sake. Like for example, like kind of the classic, Niigata style. You were trained to do Tim because we have that, it makes this style even better. And if we only had this style, I don’t think it would be as good. You know, that we have these kinds of comparisons. It’s like, we can go from this. And you know what you’re saying? what’s become, the hallmark niigata style is, is great. And it’s even greater because we have this, you know, this other style. And I think that that just kind of spectrum. For me, it’s one of the most appealing things about

Timothy Sullivan: 22:15
sake Awesome.

John Puma: 22:17

Timothy Sullivan: 22:17
All right, John, I think you’re up.

John Puma: 22:19
Oh, right. Well, and I opened this one up. Now. this is bottled immediately after pressing. So there is usually, a little bit of a pop to it when we open it. So let’s see if we can capture any of that. So, yes, this is very fresh. Um, I want to note while I’m getting ready to pour this, that this is only milled down to 80%. So this is a, this is a Junmai This is the ASMR portion. And so on the nose, there’s a little bit of a dryness that comes across on the nose and, it reminds me a lot of, of what you get from the aroma of some sparkling wines, but with a nice amount of fruit. And then when I sip on this, the first thing I noticed. Is the mouthfeel, because this is, it is dancing across your tongue the entire time. It is all over your mouth is, uh, extremely, um, unusual and interesting in that way. Cause this is, this is not sparkling. This is just, you know, very fast press. This is, you know, pressed to put it into a bottle and we’re off to the races. But you’re getting a lot of melon. You’re getting some floral notes. It’s nice and nice and creamy a little bit. And then on the end you got a nice little that umami spike. Yeah. And then it kind of just drops off and you’re ready for your next sip. Really nice. This is like, uh, it’s, it’s almost juicy in some ways, because it’s, it’s really got a nice amount of fruit to it. It does not at all tastes like something that was only a mill to 80% because there’s almost no, um, rice notes on this. It’s just it’s fruit and then umami. It’s really nice.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:09
Brian, would you say that because Kaze no Mori is one of those brands that is kind of riding this new wave of styling their sake in a new way, almost like a wine like, or, you know, more, certain characteristics that are not traditional classic sake characteristics. Would you, would you say they fall into that category?

Brian Ashcraft: 24:29
I would say, yeah, definitely. The Kaze no Mori brand is, is a very, contemporary and very modern. The, the thing that, and John pointed this out, and I think that this is one of the most fascinating thing about, that brand is that a lot of the rice isn’t milled very much. It’s not polished very much at all. And so in many ways, it’s almost like a, it’s the opposite direction, of where a lot of, the, uh, Contemporary sake had gone for a while. It’s like, let’s see how much we can Polish it, where this is kind of going the opposite way. And it’s like, let’s use a lot of the rice and then still get these amazing flavors out of it. So, I think that’s one of the most interesting things about that. I honestly really like how their sake has like this kind of, you know, it’s made with really, really hard water. Water’s super hard. And if you there’s a tap out front, like a S like a pipe or something, and you can, you know, fill up a jug or, uh, a cup of that water and drink it. Um, and that kind of like that hard, like kind of minerally flavors still carry through. So I always feel if their sake is that there’s a lot of freshness and fruits and stuff like that, but there’s always this kind of like minerally note, that’s underscored through them, which I think makes it just fascinating, just a really, really great, brand.

John Puma: 25:53
Yeah, this is wonderful stuff, Tim.

Timothy Sullivan: 25:56
all right.

John Puma: 25:57
You’re up.

Timothy Sullivan: 25:58
Well, For those of you who are listening in, if you haven’t seen a one cup sake before, check out our show notes and we’ll have a picture posted there, it’s basically like a glass cup picture, like a jam jar shape. And then it’s got a foil lid on it that you peel off. So I’m going to go ahead and peel off the tab now. All right. And then there’s not going to be any pouring sound because it’s already in the cup and you just sip right out of the container. It came in. This is one of the best inventions of the 20th century. I think one cup sake. Okay. Now. I think, as I mentioned before, one of the reasons I picked this sake is because it is an icon of the 20th century in Japan. For sure you see this Ozeki one cup everywhere. And, it’s something that is. Completely ubiquitous in Japan. And one thing I loved in your book, Brian, is that you kind of gave us a vision of what life was before one cup, like when this was being developed and the, they were batting around the ideas for this. It’s like, Oh my gosh, this is something that hasn’t been around forever. And that was just really exciting to read about. So when you smell this sake, it is that classic rice flavor. I did some research there’s different listings on different Ozeki websites to what the stats are for this sake. but what I’ve come up with, most agree that it’s, this is, actually a Junmai sake 14% alcohol. The milling rate here is 78% remaining and the rice is Gohyakumangoku. So, that is a. Kind of have more restrained, rice, but the aroma is very, very classic sake aroma. And, just iconic. I’m going to go ahead and give it a sip as well. Hmm. Yeah, it’s just super classic. It’s rice, very rice forward and a full bodied overall dry impression like no sweetness, but, ricey dry classic, it is not layered, not much nuance or complexity. But just super classic straightforward, and I, you can serve this warm. You can put this cup right into hot water and warm it up. Uh, but I like to drink it very well chilled, and that brings out a little more crispness for me.

Brian Ashcraft: 28:34
When I moved to Japan, I didn’t have any money. And so I was eating pretty much exclusively at convenience stores. And so I was drinking a lot of this. So it was, one of those things, uh, you know, that, that always for me, I remember as a certain time and a place in my life. it’s, well-made, it’s good stuff. It should get the respect that it deserves, you know?

Timothy Sullivan: 29:00
awesome. Well, Brian, we want to thank you so much for joining us today. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to you. And I really want to encourage all of our listeners to pick up your book, the Japanese sake Bible by Brian Ashcraft available anywhere you can buy quality books. And it was, it was a joy to read and an absolute pleasure having you on today. Thank you so much for joining us.

Brian Ashcraft: 29:26
It was a huge honor, uh, to, to be here with both y’all and I had a great time. Thank you very much.

John Puma: 29:31
thank you again.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:33
All right. Well, a special thank you to Brian Ashcraft for joining us. And thank you also to all our listeners for tuning in. We really do hope that you’re enjoying our show. If you’d like to show your support for Sake revolution, there’s one way you can really help us out. And that would be to take a couple of minutes and leave a written review on Apple podcasts. It’s really one of the best ways for us to get the word out about our show.

John Puma: 29:56
also be sure to subscribe wherever you download your podcasts. So you do not miss a single episode.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:02
And as always to learn more about any of the topics or sake we talked about in today’s episode, be sure to visit our website, Sake revolution.com for all the detailed show notes.

John Puma: 30:14
And if you have somebody that you would like us to interview about their sake book, if you have sake questions that you want answered, if you have sake, as you want us to try topics, you want to hear about reach out to us at [email protected] and we will get back to you. Okay. So until next time, please remember drinking sake and Kanpai.