The oldest sake brewery in Kyoto, Japan. Sake that everyone knows.

Even a dusty, solitary drink. The weather has been strange. It rains guerrilla style, but at the same time, it’s extremely hot, over 30 degrees Celsius. I wandered to the liquor store to meet someone, but the weather was too bad for me to make it to the top of the ladder. I went to a local supermarket. It’s been a while since I’ve had a bottle of Showa sake.

  1. Kuromatsu Kenbishi
  2. Taste Evaluation
  3. Today’s snack

Kuromatsu Kenbishi

Kuromatsu Kenbishi
Kuromatsu Kenbishi
Kuromatsu Kenbishi
Kuromatsu Kenbishi

The name has changed, but it is still “Tokusen. Now it is called “Ginjo,” “Daiginjo,” etc., but it used to be called “Tokusen,” “Kamisen,” or “Kasen. The expressions “Tokusen,” “Kami-Sen,” and “Kasen” are sometimes seen on sake labels. In fact, there is no clear standard for these terms. So how did this grading system come about? It has to do with the history of sake. In the past, sake was classified as special, first, or second grade by the National Taxation Bureau, and a tax rate was imposed for each category. A sake council made up of experts and others conducted a sensory evaluation of sake and classified it into special, first, and second class categories in descending order of quality based on alcohol content and sake quality. In recent years, sake brewing methods have become more diverse and do not correspond to actual quality, so the law was revised in 1992 and these designations were abolished. Many consumers were puzzled by the change, so the names Tokusen, Kamisen, and Kasen were adopted to correspond to the existing Tokkyu, Ikkyu, and Nikkyu. The term “Tokusen,” “Kami-Sen,” and “Kasen” are used by each brewer according to its own standards. These are so-called “our company’s ranks” based on the variety and milling ratio of the rice used to make the sake.

Kenbishi has such a long history that it appears in textbooks for sake connoisseurs. As stated on its official website, it is one of the top oldest breweries with a history of 500 years.

Kenbishi was designated as a gozenzake by the 8th shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune

official Kenbishi website

The history of Kembishi is not new, but it has been brewed for over 500 years and is one of the oldest breweries in Japan.
It is not new, but you will remember it if you drink it. It has been a long time since I bought it.

What is the mysterious logo from the family crest? Is it a sword and a rhombus?

It is an old cap, so don’t cut your hand.

Open the bottle

As soon as I opened the bottle, it came. The unique sourness of Showa-era sake.

I wonder if I will feel the difference when I drink it as I get older. When I was a student, I used to think this smell was sweet sake. Various memories.


Japanese ranking 279th
Hyogo Prefecture Ranking 9th

Comment: A
Sake is rich, dry, and robust. It has a strong umami of rice and a strong sense of maturity.
At room temperature, it is dry but has a strong sweetness from the rice, and when heated, the balance of acidity, umami, sweetness, and dryness improves. Best served with nabe (hot pot) in the cold of winter!

Comment: B
It was robust and had a habitual, strong alcoholic smell.
I drank it cold this time, but I thought it would be more to my liking if it were heated up, so I finished it at one gou….

Taste Evaluation

Kuromatsu Kenbishi
Kuromatsu Kenbishi

As the smell suggests, sourness from the first sip. The sweetness and mellowness after that. This is an old-fashioned taste that is perfect for sake lovers, not beginners. Vinegared dishes, miso-based dishes, pickles, and other traditional flavors are perfect for sake. The flavor also changes depending on the food with which it is paired. The finish is complex, so those who are not accustomed to drinking sake may find it a little difficult to stick to. As a whole, it is mellow and very tasty as a food sake. Best at room temperature.

Today’s snack

Since I had a general idea of what I wanted to taste today, I chose some snacks in advance that would go well with the sake. Chilled deep-fried and soaked eggplant from 7-Eleven. There is no doubt about it. This pairing. It was another good day.

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