Blue & Gold

Brewed by ten-time gold medal winner Taiyo Sake Brewery, the aromatic Koshino Tamashi ginjo sake finds its origins from the far north of the Niigata prefecture and comes ready to drink in Taiyo's classic Niigata style [semi-dry and light]. Koshino Tamashi ginjo sake sake is brewed with the rare rice varietal known as Takanenishiki, a mix between the more common Gohyakumangoku and Miyamanishiki strains. Established in 1945, the Taiyo Sake Brewery was formed by the merger of fourteen different Murakami [Northern Niigata prefecture] breweries and continues to flourish under the watchful eye of President Satoshi Murayama. The art of sake making has thrived in the traditional castle town of Murakami, and Koshino Tamashi draws its namesake from the breweries original title “Koshi-no Tama.” Koshi refers to Niigata and Tama means "spirit" in Japanese. The two-time winner of the gold medal award at the Fine Sake Awards in 2011 and 2013, this special ginjo very clearly caught the eye of the international sake community.

Unlike many of the other brews I hae tasted, Taiyo Sake Brewery recommended this ginjo served either chilled or at room temperature. This time around, I opted to present my tasting party with a glass of the mild, yet elegant, brew at room temperature. We were stunned at how easy it went down. This sake carries a bouquet of competing aromas, but its calling card is very clearly its drinkability.  In fact, this ginjo is so lenient that someone shouted, “as mild a sake that you can get,” whereas another friend exclaimed “this tastes like water.” After those few initial inquisitive sips, it became apparent that the Koshino Tamashi ginjo was faintly sweet, light bodied, and incorporated all the ideal qualities one would want when pairing sake with any number of cuisines [BBQ, saucy meals, curry, and fish tacos].

Koshino Tamashi is beautifully packaged in a clear bottle, with blue art and kanji that evokes this brews mild and clean taste.  Easy to drink, and accompanied by soft notes birthed from the natural sweetness of rice, the Koshino Tamashi ginjo is a straightforward sake, and one that can be enjoyed by both sake experts and novices drikers alike!

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