Kokuryu Muni 2013 Junmai Daiginjo Genshu

Kokuryu Muni is the most expensive Japanese sake on the market. Here is the appraisal from Adrienne Saulnier-Blache, a renowned Japanese sake sommelier in France:

“Transparent hue with a touch of gold. It is creamy and buttery (rich and viscous) and has a scent of bread, white peaches, fresh pepper and ginger, and a hint of salt. The balance is brilliant and has great finesse. While the structure is bold, the elegant harmony of the water and the rice has produced a delicate taste; it is a stunning balance. This is a gorgeous Japanese sake with superb intensity.”

There are strict rules dictating what a sake can call itself. Distinctions such as honjozo, ginjo and daiginjo give us hints about the brewing process. In that process, it is important to isolate the starch, located in the center, from the rice grain. The more the outer layer of the rice grain is stripped away, the cleaner and more refined the sake will become.

If less than 30% of the grain is removed, the sake is called honjozo. If it is between 30% and 40%, it is called ginjo. When more than 50% is milled and only the center part of the rice is used, the sake is called daiginjo. Junmai means no alcohol is added. Distilled alcohol is often added to extract aromas and flavors from the fermenting mash. Genshu means 100% sake; no water is added once the sake-making process is complete.

Kokuryu Muni uses the pure snowmelt water from the Hakusan Mountain, located in a national park. The rice is grown in Kokuryu’s designated rice field in the Tojo Experienced brewers monitor the sake closely, watching for any variation in temperature and making sure the brew is under close surveillance 24/7. The sake is then matured in a cellar for five years where the temperature is maintained at -2°C (28.4°F).region of Hyogo, arguably referred to as “grand cru” in Japan. Kokuryu Muni is an exquisite sake of the highest grade because of the time, effort and passion of the brewers.

Location & Contact Information

Kokuryu Sake


Author profile

Yasushi Kurita was born in Tokyo. He has spent the last 30 years as a writer for print publications and TV. When he was in college, he spent two years in New York. His favorite band is the Atlanta Rhythm Section, making him one of about 15 Japanese people who actually like that band.