Not your typical sake
One of the coolest sake guys I met on our last trip was Mamiya San. Ryoichiro Mamiya likes to play in bands doing covers of Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. In fact one of his sakes in called "Walk on the Wild Side'. Some of the other ones have great names like "You can not kill me" with fantastic manga on the label. And my personal favourite is "Nihonshu Not Dead" which to me was very symbolic of the fight of the sake industry against the newcomers of liquor - wine, shochu (I hate the taste personally) and haposhu etc.
They also make a great tasting sparkling sake but we had to pass on that one as it took 3 minutes to open it. We can't wait that long - and for people in the fast lane such as in Sydney we don't think they would buy this sake as it takes too long to open. (It's because of the still active fermentation going on in the bottle - we saw this with Gozenshu sparkling as well and had to pass on it).
(Search and destroy).
Most of his sake is nama which means it's unpasteurised but we have asked him to pasteurise some of it for the Melbourne and Sydney sake buying market as it would not survive the road trip from perth (unless we sent it refrigerated which would blow the cost out). Of course for people in Perth this won't be a problem and we know some edgy restaurants that will look forward to getting some of this for their wine lists.
In the past we had seen these great labels but had always wondered about the taste. Frankly we were a bit concerned that the edgy artwork wouldn't match up to the taste. Well, we had nothing to worry about as it turns out. It tastes great - maybe it's because they use some Omachi rice (they are pretty close to Okayama the home of Omachi) or maybe they'r just that little bit crazy here and like to experiment. Either way the taste matches up to the graphics so it justified the trip to Tokushima (it took 8-9 hours from Akita - a long day's travel we can tell you).
Tokushima has a very rough and natural beauty. And apparently some of the best surf in Japan. The natural produce is excellent. We had the chance to eat in a local izakaya staffed by a single grumpy old lady who none the less dished out a great organic cabbage dish in which the produce really shone through. That plus her secret sauce. (But we almost got thrown out - but that's another story).
Mikes, mixing desks, speakers and sake. What a great combination.
All in all one of our favourite nihonshus and one that we will look forward to selling.