Sakes Tell Their Own Story

Gokujo Kimoto

Yeast “Today I’m going to visit Gokujo Kimoto, who is very much my senior. Hello! Here’s Yeast!”
Gokujo Kimoto “Welcome, Yeast.”
Yeast “Gokujo Kimoto is the forerunner of Daishichi’s high-grade sakes. You were first sold in April 1989.”
Gokujo Kimoto “Yes. From that year the old designations of Special Grade, First Grade and Second Grade were abolished. I was designed as a high-grade sake better than the conventional ‘Special Grade’ products, so the time was just right for me.”
Yeast “At that time there were only few sakes that were more expensive than 3,000 yen for a bottle of 1.8 liter. You were praised as being the most classy and delicious!”
Gokujo Kimoto “I stood at the beginning of the high-class sake line of Daishichi, which continues until today. At that time, after the grade system had just been abolished, we examined what should be the characteristics of a high-class sake.”
Yeast “What was the conclusion?”
Gokujo Kimoto “That high-class sake should be an all-mighty, versatile sake. It isn’t right for a high-class sake to restrict the way of drinking and how it can be enjoyed. It is necessary to give a certain leeway to the customer in that respect. That’s what I thought based on my knowledge of first-class sakes from the past.”
Yeast “I see! In your case, customers appreciate that you have a smooth mouthfeel when drunk cold and a powerful deep taste when drunk warm.”
Gokujo Kimoto “Yes, it’s not enough to be only delicious when drunk cold. If you’re not perfect in various circumstances, you don’t come up to the standard of Daishichi.”
Yeast “That sounds difficult. How do you do it?”
Gokujo Kimoto “I’m made by well-polishing the carefully selected rice. But I’m not a ginjo, because it is also important to be drunk warm. I am a tokubetsu honjozo. The brewer’s alcohol used is of course made from rice. In order to express the finest qualities of the kimoto method, I am fully matured until I have a smooth taste, fine texture and solid strength. Therefore I fit to a wide range of dishes.”
Yeast “So you are the ideal sake to enjoy in traditional Japanese restaurants.”
Gokujo Kimoto “But people also enjoy me at home as a nightcap. Many customers who were used to Special Grade Sake are fond of me.”
Yeast “The design of your label is very dignified.”
Gokujo Kimoto “Thank you. I was the first sake that used the hosoge (arabesque flower pattern) found among the Shosoin treasures in Nara’s Todaiji temple. It is a sign of my pledge to correctly transmit the Japanese tradition.”
Yeast “When you were first sold, you were packed in a carton looking like a box from paulownia wood, now you are in a dark blue box, the color of Daishichi. The 720ml bottle also underwent many changes.”
Gokujo Kimoto “It is the fate of a long selling product to change together with the times. By the way, Yeast, I have important news for you.”
Yeast “What’s that?”
Gokujo Kimoto “After 25 years on the market as a tokubetsu honjozo, I will now become a ginjo. A quarter of a century has passed and today’s customers associate first class sake with ginjo. But I will keep the all-mighty quality that I can be drunk both cold and warm. I will become a true kimoto ginjo, possessing also an elegant aroma.”
Yeast “That will please all customers, both young and old!”
Gokujo Kimoto “Yes, we have been planning and preparing this for many years.”
Yeast “After 25 years, you are still continuing to grow! I wish you good luck!”