SAKE | 磯自慢 (Isojiman)


THE sake tasting probably of my life time if not the century, the event itself did turn out to be as casual and atmospheric as expected, very much in line with the establishment itself where it took place. With both Presidents of Isojiman and Gyokusendo acting as ‘guest servers’ while the charismatic Kinoshita-san of ’Tamanegiya’ busy preparing goodies in the kitchen to go with the amazing sakes, this was indeed a dream event unfolding in front of our eyes. While the brand has no doubt been going ‘mainstream’ lately and probably down the route of the much hyped ‘Juyondai’, it is still close to perfect for most serious drinkers with its balanced and elegant palate demonstrated. Without a doubt, its toshi 多田信男 is still the best practising sake maker out there. The oldest vintage presented being 2007 of its top of the line 35% turned out to be surprisingly younger than imagined, to the extend that I probably will never be able to guess its 10 years of age when tasted blind, and yet the age differential was quite obvious once tasted side by side with the 2016. The subtle differences between each of the 10 years of vertical being tasted, however, was probably a bit challenging for novices like me to tell. For a balanced and vintage taste, the almighty Adagio, a blend of its different vintages released once every year, is still above it all. The 2016 tasted on the day, straight out of the brewery, was indeed another classic, with the extra layering of complexity on top of its close to perfect balancing.
An eye opening event no doubt with so many serious sake drinkers all squeezing into the bar on a chilly Sunday afternoon and drink the blues away. The relatively low consumption among all was another surprise, definitely for the drink till you drop Hongkies like us, and we all eventually have to take away one unfinished bottle of our choice, as they actually all are.
A event that will go down into the history books of LG’s ventures no doubt.

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