Episode 63 Show Notes

Episode 63. Today brings another “Sake Spotlight” adventure, focusing in on the sake from a specific prefecture. John and Timothy turn their focus up north – way up north – to Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest and northern most island. Famous for its open plains, abundant dairy and frigid winters, Hokkaido is home to just 13 sake breweries. The largest of these breweries is Otokoyama Shuzo. Otokoyama means “Man’s Mountain” and both sakes tasted today are brewed by this well known sake brewery. Hokkaido is also emerging as a sake rice powerhouse with three new sake rice strains registered since the year 2000 – Ginpu, Suisei and Kitashizuku. John was a recent pre-pandemic visitor to Hokkaido, so be sure to listen in for his sake bar, ramen and “footwear survival” tips to make the most of your next trip to snowbound Sapporo. See you there!


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


Skip to: 01:46 Sake Spotlight: Hokkaido

Hokkaido location
Hokkaido Snow in Sapporo City


Skip to: 06:32 Sapporo Style Miso Ramen


Skip to: 13:30 Sake Introductions


Skip to: 20:23 Sake Tasting : Otokoyama Kitano Inaho Daiginjo

Otokoyama Kitano Inaho Daiginjo


Classification: Daiginjo
Acidity: 1.2
Brewery: Otokoyama Shuzo
Alcohol: 16.0%
Prefecture: Hokkaido
SMV: +1.0
Rice Type: Suisei
Seimaibuai: 40%
Brand: Otokoyama (Hokkaido)
Sake Name English: Rice of Hokkaido


Skip to: 23:10 Sake Tasting : Otokoyama Shiboritate Tokubestsu Junmai Nama Genshu

Otokoyama Shiboritate Tokubestsu Junmai Nama Genshu


Classification: Tokubestu Junmai, Nama Genshu Shiboritate
Acidity: 1.7
Brewery: Otokoyama Shuzo
Alcohol: 17.0%
Prefecture: Hokkaido
SMV: +2.0
Rice Type: Ginpu
Seimaibuai: 55%
Brand: Otokoyama


Skip to: 27:31 Show Closing

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


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Episode 63 Transcript

John Puma: 0:22
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. Please do come join us some time. And, uh, the Reddit guy too. Uh, most notably though, not the Sake Samurai. That’s the other

Timothy Sullivan: 0:42
That’s me. I’m your other host timothy Sullivan. I am a sake samurai. I’m also a sake educator as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And every week, John and I will be here tasting and chatting about all things, sake and doing our very best to make it fun and easy to understand.

John Puma: 1:01
That is a as right, Tim as great. Now I understand what going on a bit of a journey.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:06
We’re going up north.

John Puma: 1:08
We’re going up north. All right. Yeah, so we’re going to be doing our little deep dive. I doing these little prefectural, uh, visits. These are always a lot of fun. I always get a kick out of them, but I’m especially excited because this was the site of my, my most recent, I don’t want to say last, most recent visit to Japan.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:28
Okay. Yes. You got in a trip to Japan right before the pandemic hit

John Puma: 1:33
Right under the buzzer,

Timothy Sullivan: 1:34
lucky duck. And where did you go on that trip?

John Puma: 1:38
I went to when we started our trip in Sapporo, which is in Hokkaido, which is what we’re going to be talking about today.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:46
Hokkaido now I always jokingly refer to Hokkaido as the Alaska of Japan. Does that make sense to you?

John Puma: 1:55
I get it. It’s the coldest part by a country

Timothy Sullivan: 1:58
Furthest north?

John Puma: 1:59
yeah, absolutely. It’s funny when I talk to people sometimes and when I tell them, oh, I went to Hokkaido. It was crazy. There was snow everywhere. They’re all over in Japan and liked in the streets. There’s just piles of snow or like, yeah. And they, because they always peop people think of Japan’s climate as being kind of Tokyo

Timothy Sullivan: 2:17
Right.

John Puma: 2:18
is climate and they don’t think they all know it’s a, you know, it’s a vertical country and you kind of go quite north.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:24
Yeah. And well, I refer to it as the Alaska of Japan. Not only because it is much farther north than the rest of the country, but did you know it was also added onto the country later in history? Like it was not originally part of Japan and added later just like Alaska. Yeah.

John Puma: 2:42
Definitely getting Alaska vibes from that.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:46
Yeah. Well, I’ve been to Hokkaido once in all my trips to Japan, I went to a city called Hakodate.

John Puma: 2:54
Oh, that where you went, hakodate is the first city that you come across when you’re going, uh, South to north, I think. Right.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:04
Yeah, it’s one of the major kind of gateway cities. When you’re coming up from the main island, I actually went there. When I did my boat trip to Japan at cruise, I talked about, uh, uh, and, um, we went to Hakodate was the first stop in Japan coming from Alaska on the cruise ship. And, uh, that was our opening port for Japan. So we really enjoyed it. And the one thing I left remembering about Hakodate was seafood. The city is branded as seafood central. Even the manhole covers head squids on them crab or something, some seafood on them everywhere you look. So that that’s my lasting memory from that trip in 2009.

John Puma: 3:57
All right. All right. my main memory, uh, or my, uh, goal, I guess, going to Sapporo was actually a, an annual snow festival. They have every February, the Sapporo snow Matsuri the Yuki Matsuri and. That was a whole lot of fun. They built these giant, uh, ice and snow sculptures. But in 2020, the snow fall was a little bit short of what they normally have. So they had to bus the snow from higher, from, uh, more, from more Northern areas of Hokkaido down into Sapporo’s that they can build the giant, uh, sculptures. It was, it was quite amusing, but they were. Very, very, very intimidatingly, large and very beautiful. And a lot of cases, it was a lovely visit.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:42
I think the snow festival in Sapporo is one of the most famous things in Hokkaido. Don’t you think? So, I mean, I’ve heard of it before and I think it’s really well known.

John Puma: 4:52
It’s I don’t know. I haven’t heard a whole lot of things about Hokkaido, so it’s one of the only things that I’ve heard about. Um, I know that, and I know that if you go north enough, you can see the Northern lights and.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:05
Ooh. I did not know that. That’s

John Puma: 5:07
what I’ve heard. I hope I hope I’m right. Somebody correct me. Send a few [email protected] and tell me that I’m wrong.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:16
I think with enough sake, you’ll see it in the Northern lights.

John Puma: 5:21
I, I see a pattern developing with, see, with having sake and seeing things. Uh, but, but, um, I’m glad that we went to different cities. We’ve got maybe a little bit of a different vibe. It sounds like your experience was a little bit more seafood centric. And at Hakodate being on the water was, was very much like here’s some crab.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:40
Yeah. It’s a major fishing port and a little bit of. Tourist town and not as big as Sapporo, obviously. And, uh, I remember having just an absolutely wonderful time and going to the fish market, and it was fun to visit a fish market. Like if you go to a major fish market in Tokyo, like Tsukiji used to uh, it’s very overwhelming and very dangerous with those trucks zipping by, but this was a much more chill. But still you got up close and personal with these giant crabs that looked like they could pinch your face off because they were like 10 foot wingspan

John Puma: 6:21
Oh, my goodness.

Timothy Sullivan: 6:22
were insane. But, uh, the seafood we had there was just so good. And sometimes it’s fun to visit a smaller town. You can get more up close and personal with things.

John Puma: 6:32
That sounds great. when we went to Sapporo, One of the major goals, at least for, for myshell was miso. Ramen is that is, uh, overwhelmingly her favorite style of ramen. And that is where it’s from. It’s from Sapporo. They, they, they put a big old slab of butter in there.

Timothy Sullivan: 6:50
what,

John Puma: 6:51
when you get your ramen, it’s butter, it’s corn, it’s vegetables, it’s a salad on top of your Ramen. It’s a lot of stuff.

Timothy Sullivan: 6:58
Okay. I can get behind corn in ramen. That’s that’s one of my

John Puma: 7:02
about the

Timothy Sullivan: 7:02
things. I’m ready.

John Puma: 7:04
All right.

Timothy Sullivan: 7:05
but I’m really curious to ask you about your sake adventures while you were in Sapporo. What happened? Did you find any good sake bars up there or was it

John Puma: 7:15
I have to say, walking down the street in Sapporo, if you just take out your phone and search for sake in Google maps, you will find it’s like the densest, uh, population of really great sake bars. I w I would see one we’d pop into it, and it would be a wonderful, wonderful, fantastic experience with a different selection than everybody else, et cetera, et cetera. And everywhere we went, we just kept coming across these wonderful places. And there were so many more that we didn’t even get to go to. But the one that sticks with me the most was the very first place we went to. It was called Hokkaido sake bar. Kamada. And the, the catch, I guess, at a, at Kamada is all the food is made from Hokkaido ingredients. And all of the sake is from Hokkaido only. Like a lot of the other places they’re carrying, you know, larger brands and, you know, stuff from all over the country. But Kamada san is very much focused on just hokkaido stuff. And he has a lot of interesting and rare Hokkaido stuff, which was great. I always like finding there’s one of these bars in every prefecture that’s got like the stuff from that prefecture. and that was, that was our experience there. Kamada san, also speaks English. So that was very useful. And that’s where I learned about the rices that they had there. A lot of detail about that. Profiles of a lot of the sakes that we were tasting at just make the whole visiting Japan experience a lot easier.

Timothy Sullivan: 8:41
Fabulous. That sounds amazing. I’ve got I’m I’m taking notes, John. This is going on my to-do list for

John Puma: 8:47
going in the show notes too, not just your notes

Timothy Sullivan: 8:50
that’s right?

John Puma: 8:51
and one of these days, we’ll be able to go back there and I’ll visit Kamada san again,

Timothy Sullivan: 8:56
that sounds amazing.

John Puma: 8:57
it was a really

Timothy Sullivan: 8:58
Yeah, I really, I really like those types of bars that focus on something very specifically, because you can dive super deep in something you think you might know a little bit about. And I just loved that.

John Puma: 9:12
Yeah. Yeah, it was, it was just a, a great, great time. And one of the first things that he told us was, and I, I, I guess this is just part of his, like what he thinks that people who are into sake are really interested in hearing and he was right. Was that. In Hokkaido we have three major types of rices here

Timothy Sullivan: 9:30
Yeah.

John Puma: 9:32
and he went on to name them the Ginpu. Suisei, and Kitashizuku and then gave us sakes that used each one and had us compare them cause they were all from the same brand. So it was like just one brewery that did a sake for each rice type, but at the same milling percentage, the same, everything else, just the different rices. Uh, it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.

Timothy Sullivan: 9:53
That sounds great. And what a cool experience to taste those sake side by side and kind of taste what the different rices bring to it. Very cool.

John Puma: 10:02
Yeah. And then as you were pointing out, that’s like, that’s that kind of experience you get when you go to a place that’s hyper hyper-focused.

Timothy Sullivan: 10:08
Right. We’ll Hokkaido is an interesting prefecture. It’s the second largest island of the four main islands. So there has a lot of landmass. And I think if you ask the average. Person on the street in Japan, what they, what Hokkaido is all about, my vibe has always been that they’ve got, they think about it as like the bread basket of Japan. It’s got a more open Plains and they have a lot of dairy there. It’s really well-known for butter. That’s maybe where the butter comes from in your ramen

John Puma: 10:45
Yeah. I was just thinking about myself. I was like, oh, wait a minute. That makes sense.

Timothy Sullivan: 10:48
Yeah. So, and it’s, it’s cold.

John Puma: 10:52
Oh,

Timothy Sullivan: 10:52
Very cold. Arctic

John Puma: 10:54
it was, it was February. So what was I expecting? But yes, it was very cold.

Timothy Sullivan: 10:59
Yeah. Where I lived in Niigata it snowed a lot, but it was a wet, heavy snow, and it didn’t get as frigid, but when you’re in Hokkaido, that’s much farther north. You’re really close to Siberia actually. And you get really, really cold wind. Yeah.

John Puma: 11:17
Yeah, we’ve got very cold winds and we got a ton of snow. I know I had mentioned that it had not been snowing enough for them to really make the statues, but the weekend of the festival, the temperatures plummeted, and, you know, we were a little bummed that maybe weren’t going to get snow weather when we were going to Sapporo, but, the gods of Sapporo decided to help us out and give us the real, Hokkaido experience. Uh, the, the snow was a different texture than I think I’d ever experienced. Also. It was a kind of like a, like corn starchy almost.

Timothy Sullivan: 11:52
Oh, very

John Puma: 11:53
it, so It was pretty dry, but it’s. To everything. Um, so like we get inside and our jackets are just like covered in snow, but we can’t get it off. It’s just like attached until it melts. It was very weird. Very unusual. crunchy

Timothy Sullivan: 12:07
texture snow?

John Puma: 12:08
No, it was very soft.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:10
Hmm,

John Puma: 12:10
was very unusual. It was like all the best qualities in snow, in one flake. Um, and then one other thing that we noticed when we were there is that there’s so much snow that they really don’t bother. Shoveling it in a lot of cases, because there’s just too much, like, you’re just, you’re, you’re, you’re swimming against the stream, you know?

Timothy Sullivan: 12:31
Hm.

John Puma: 12:32
So a lot of the snow on the streets and on the sidewalk just becomes like packed ice.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:39
Ooh, that sounds dangerous.

John Puma: 12:40
Uh, well, yes. Um, but everybody over there has shoes that are kind of built for that sort of thing. A lot of them, we went into a shoe store and even like the dress shoes had these. These bottoms that were made to adhere to, to ice and snow very well. But for the people visiting like us, all the local conbinis, convenience stores, all had these little, um, rubber plastic, uh, strap on treads that you can put on your shoes that would help you to not slip.

Timothy Sullivan: 13:13
Only in Hokkaido.

John Puma: 13:14
Only in Hokkaido. And we saw quite a few people who did not have those treads, quite a few tourists wipe out, um, horribly. Uh, and I got it at a streetlight. As soon as the light turned green, they were like, okay, we’re going. It was like, whew. Luckily it was snow. So they kind of fell in there. Okay.

Timothy Sullivan: 13:30
Yeah. Awesome. So do you wanna, do you want to take a guess how many sake breweries roughly there are in Hokkaido.

John Puma: 13:41
I want to say there’s fewer than one would think sake brewery isn’t often in cold places, cold climates are really good for sake. Hokkaido is the coldest place, but I think it’s probably something closer to like, what 30

Timothy Sullivan: 13:56
Uh, we’re talking 13.

John Puma: 13:58
13. Oh my goodness. Wow.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:02
Yeah, roughly, I don’t know the exact number, but it’s around 13. Yeah,

John Puma: 14:08
well, let me make a note of that 13. That’s one of those where if you really want to get ambitious, you can visit all of them in one free. For sure.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:16
Yeah. And just for comparison, the, the prefecture with the largest number of sake breweries is Niigata with 90. So that’s our that’s. Uh, just to give you a sense of scale there.

John Puma: 14:30
Well, um,

Timothy Sullivan: 14:32
All right. And you know, of those 13 breweries, there’s one that I think is really very, very famous

John Puma: 14:42
there is one that was very famous and I think that when we were both getting in or getting introduced to sake for the first time, it was a very, very popular sake in New York.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:54
Yes, John, what are we talking about?

John Puma: 14:57
We’re talking about, Otokoyama. Man’s mountain.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:01
Man’s mountain. So this brand from Hokkaido Otokoyama is one of the. First really dry sakes that I think came over. They have a Junmai sake that sold really well for many, many, many years. And as you were just mentioning, I think a lot of people who had experience with a 15, 20 years ago, this was one of the main brands that was out there and really came to be. For a lot of people, I think maybe their first step into premium sake.

John Puma: 15:41
It was definitely one of the first sakes I’d ever tried. Uh, it was very approachable, very nice.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:46
And affordable too.

John Puma: 15:48
and affordable. Yeah.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:50
Yeah. So you and I are both going to be drinking sakes from the Otokoyama brewery, but we’re not drinking the Junmai that we just mentioned, the classic that’s everywhere. people can go out and find that very readily, but you and I both have different sakes from this same brewery. So why don’t we both briefly introduce the sakes that we brought to taste today? So, uh, John, why don’t you lead us off and let us know what, which Otokoyama sake. Do you have.

John Puma: 16:23
Uh, I have the Otokoyama Shiboritate. Tokubetsu Junmai, Nama Genshu.

Timothy Sullivan: 16:29
Well, that’s a mouthful.

John Puma: 16:30
It is, it is, this is the first sake they make for the year. It was bottled in back in January. And it is from, Otokoyama, as you mentioned, the rice type is Ginpu, which is one of those one of those exclusive Hokkaido sake rices, the rice polishing rate is 55%. The sake meter value is plus 2 and the acidity, uh, 1.7 and, uh, as a genshu 17% alcohol

Timothy Sullivan: 16:59
Hmm, that’s getting up there.

John Puma: 17:02
it is,

Timothy Sullivan: 17:03
Yeah. So for our listeners, Should we go through the different terms in the name of your sake and give them a quick definition. shiboritate tokubetsu junmai nama genshu.

John Puma: 17:16
I think, I think a refresher course is in order.

Timothy Sullivan: 17:19
Let’s do it.

John Puma: 17:20
So shiboritate. So this is freshly pressed, bottled and shipped right out. Tokubetsu Junmai. So it took about, so we talked about in the past means special. Junmai. is the, either your ground level for premium at pure rice sake. and this is mill down to 55%. So that’s where your tokubetsu was coming in. I’m

Timothy Sullivan: 17:44
Yes. Very tokubetsu

John Puma: 17:45
they can call this a Junmai Ginjo, if they wanted to, but they’re going for, for, Junmai probably for flavor purposes and. This is a nama. This is not pasteurized at all. And it is a genshu, which is where that 17% alcohol comes from, because it is not diluted by water in the least, or at least barely. If we may go back to our Genshu episode for why that’s a funny joke,

Timothy Sullivan: 18:10
well, there is a lot going on in that sake,

John Puma: 18:14
there is.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:14
uh, we’ll, we’ll have to see how the flavor and aroma deliver on that. But let me briefly introduce my Otokoyama Sake. This is Kitanoinaho Daiginjo. This is again from our Otokoyama Shuzo and Hokkaido. Now the rice type that I have for mine is one of those three famous Hokkaido rices. You mentioned this is Suisei and the alcohol percentage here is 16%. The SMV is plus one. The acidity is 1.2. So that’s actually pretty low. When you get down around one point hours that kind of might give it a softer impression. And then the rice polishing for my Daiginjo is 40% remaining. So the English name for this sake is rice of Hokkaido.

John Puma: 19:07
Ooh, I like that. That’s good.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:09
Yes. And that must be referring to the Suisei

John Puma: 19:13
Yeah. Yeah.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:14
Suisei it’s an interesting rice. It was adopted in 2006, so fairly recently, and it’s a blending of two different strains of rice. Uh, Ginpu is one of the parents of this and also hatsushizuku

John Puma: 19:31
all right. And in my case with the having my Ginpu rice, Ginpu was adopted in near year 2000. So I think, I think all three of the, of the sake rices from Hokkaido that we were talking about are, millennials they’re all a 2,000s ish yours was 2000. Uh, six and then the, the last one is 2014.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:56
Yeah. Wow. Well, Hokkaido has been on the move with sake rice.

John Puma: 20:00
Yeah. They’re making, they’re making moves. I think, I think then in the coming years, we’re going to see a surge in, uh, in great sake coming from Hokkaido. I have a. I’m excited about it.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:13
Yes, absolutely.

John Puma: 20:15
yeah. Uh, I’m also very sad about your 40%, uh, You cannot keep you away from the, get from the Daiginjo is can we?.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:23
Should I open it up?

John Puma: 20:24
Oh yes, you should.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:25
All right. I took that as an invitation to open it. John,

John Puma: 20:29
It is. There’s an open invitation,

Timothy Sullivan: 20:32
set me up. All right. Okay. So the, the aroma on this is an interesting blend of fruitiness and Riceyness. So even though it’s 40% remaining, you might expect this to be some kind of velvety luxury Daiginjo, but there is a strong aroma of rice balanced with fruit. So it’s both coming across. And relatively intense aroma as well. So not shy not retiring, uh, pretty forward. And I would describe this as a complex aroma for sure. Sure.

John Puma: 21:16
Okay.

Timothy Sullivan: 21:17
Now let me give it a taste Hmm. Interesting. So it, it has more of a rice flavor on the palate. The little hints of, uh, fruit that you get in the nose are not really present in the flavor. You get much more rice and it is. Not as complex as the aroma as well. It’s more straightforward, very smooth. Uh, but leaning more towards that food friendly style that we often talk about here on the podcast, where it’s more, geared towards a type of sake that you really want to pair with a richer style foods and, uh, really unique. Very smooth, as I said, but rice forward and for a Daiginjo I really feel that, this is not a Junmai style. This has just a little bit of distilled alcohol added. So this is a, Daiginjo a very lightly fortified with distilled alcohol for texture, and you really can feel that in the texture, very, very smooth velvety texture. But the rice flavor is not to be denied. And since they call this the rice of Hokkaido, I think they had to ensure that that rice flavor would come across in the taste. And they’ve really accomplished that very well.

John Puma: 22:41
That’s wonderful. That sounds nice. I need to, uh, to taste this sake at some Tim, save some for me.

Timothy Sullivan: 22:47
Yeah. And the label which you can see in the show notes is also really cool. It has all these black. Raindrop shapes, which I think represent the grains of rice. So it’s a really

John Puma: 23:03
a really nice looking.

Timothy Sullivan: 23:04
very, very nice label as well. Just such a fun sake. Really cool.

John Puma: 23:09
Hm.

Timothy Sullivan: 23:10
So, John. Now I’m super curious about now you that type of sake, I call the kitchen sink sake because it’s got so many variables going on. So what, uh, can’t wait to, uh, get your description of this one.

John Puma: 23:29
Well, you had just talked about your label and I’m going to lead with my label because

Timothy Sullivan: 23:33
Let’s see

John Puma: 23:34
is fricking adorable. So, um, it’s got this, uh, this polar polar bear and he’s got a little, a ochoko he’s ready to have some sake. Uh, it a very

Timothy Sullivan: 23:46
It’s very cute.

John Puma: 23:49
It is it’s in the running for like cutest labels, which another strong contender is otokoyama’s hiyaoroshi which traditionally has sea lions doing the same thing. So I think they’ve got the market cornered on adorable sake label.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:04
Well, that polar bear is pretty dang cute.

John Puma: 24:06
he is, that will be in the show notes that a new mascot. So this sake is. Uh, wonderfully aromatic, um, big, big, like air drops of fruit. It is just so much, and it is Nama. So it’s a little bit more wild. It’s a little bit more intense. Uh, it’s really turned up here and they’re, you know, they’re going for it. They’re embracing that.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:39
Okay.

John Puma: 24:39
All of that nice melon.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:42
Yeah.

John Puma: 24:42
Slightly overripe because it is that much more intense flavor.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:47
Okay.

John Puma: 24:48
Hmm. And then on the palate, it’s delivering on that promise of all that fruit. There is a nice hit of acidity that balances it out right now. That’s also not uncommon for, I want to say for your, for your Nama, like, and choose to have a little bit of that acid bite when you, uh, when you sip it, this is almost like a text book, nama genshu. To me, it’s like, this is something I would want to introduce somebody to when they’re, when they, weren’t very curious about what that style tastes like. This really stands out to me. It’s very bold. It’s got so much like really welcoming fruit. Uh, it’s very well balanced and it is a dangerously tasty.

Timothy Sullivan: 25:34
Yeah. When, when you talk about drinking sake right out of the sake press, that’s. Shiboritate is really all about, it’s like from the press into your glass and that’s a lot of people live for that style of sake and

John Puma: 25:55
Very intense.

Timothy Sullivan: 25:56
it’s bold, juicy.

John Puma: 25:59
Yeah. And when we were in. Hokkaido last year. It was February. So it was Nama season, shiboritate season. And most of the sake that people had was this like super big, super bold style. And by the, by the first couple of days, like my tongue was getting tired, it was just, it was too much. Um, it was way too much to have every, with every glass of sake I needed something was in pasteurization that to tone it down a little bit,

Timothy Sullivan: 26:29
Yeah.

John Puma: 26:31
It was, you know, it’s like having a conversation and everybody’s yelling all the time, right? Oh, it was, it was a good time though. It was very, it’s very intense sake sake

Timothy Sullivan: 26:40
Yeah. I think it’s important to mention though, when you have shiboritate, having it in Japan and having an exported version here in the states, there’s a L D don’t you think there’s a little bit of a difference there. A little bit nuanced.

John Puma: 26:54
there is, but I will say that I think they’re getting better. Yeah.

Timothy Sullivan: 26:58
Hmm.

John Puma: 26:59
I think that the importers are valuing the quality of their namas when they when they bring them over and I’m seeing a lot more, I’m tasting a lot more sake that, that resembles more. Yeah. Or the way it was supposed to taste. when it was shipped out Not all the time, but, but occasionally you get one that’s just like, wow, it’s, it’s really nailing it. otherwise though, you, there was definitely a difference. It’s still has zip and, and juiciness, and it’s big, but it’s a different, it’s a different kind of big.

Timothy Sullivan: 27:35
Yeah. You know, If you have two or three months of aging, even if you keep it ice cold, keep it sealed, keep it dark. You’re gonna lose a lot, a little bit of that. Um, true unbridled, Nama, unpasteurized, wildness, and. my experience has been in Japan during that season. When the first pressings come out from the breweries, it is just insanely good. And, but again, you can’t drink it every day or your palate will be destroyed.

John Puma: 28:09
It was, uh, it was rough. I mean, it’s, as far as problems go, it’s a good problem to have, right? Oh my goodness. All this sake is too flavorful. Ha. But, um, you know, it’s a thing.

Timothy Sullivan: 28:25
Yeah. Well now Hokkaido is back up on my list of destinations Sapporo, snow festival.

John Puma: 28:34
If you can handle the cold weather, I thoroughly recommend going in the winter. It is a wonderful experience.

Timothy Sullivan: 28:41
Well, now you gave me the hot tip about the, uh, the cleats for the bottom of my shoes and where to get them. And of course I cannot wait to visit sake bar Kamada

John Puma: 28:54
Tell him, I sent you.

Timothy Sullivan: 28:55
I will. All right. That was fabulous. Well, again, so excited to visit Hokkaido. We hope our listeners enjoyed our little sojourn up north to the Alaska of Japan. And. We are so excited. You took the time to check out Sake Revolution. We really do hope that you’re enjoying our show. If you’d like to show your support for Sake Revolution, one of the best ways to help us out would be to follow us on patreon. We have two levels of support. You can join us for $3 a month and you can get a preview of what sakes are coming. In future episodes. And if you want to join us for $5 a month, you can take part in our live monthly zoom. The first Wednesday of every month, we can’t wait to meet you live in on zoom and drink sake with you and talk about all things sake in-person and we’re going to have a blast.

John Puma: 29:54
Yeah our first zoom is coming up. Timmy, are you getting nervous?

Timothy Sullivan: 29:58
No, I’m getting excited.

John Puma: 30:00
excited. Oh, great. Okay, good, good, good. Another exciting thing that you can do is take a few minutes and leave us a written review on apple podcasts. You would not believe how much that sort of thing really helps us out. also subscribe, make sure you subscribe, tell your friends, tell your family, get them to subscribe to this way everybody’s involved for all doing this together.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:23
And if you would like to learn more about any of the topics we talked about or any of the sakes we tasted in today’s episode, you need to visit our website SakeRevolution.com and you can check out all the details in our show notes.

John Puma: 30:39
And if you have a sake question that you need answered. We want to hear it. We want to hear from you, reach out to us. The email address is [email protected] So until next time, please remember to keep drinking sake and kanpai!.