Most sake brewers are an artist – they like talking about dreams and aspirations. So, when having a sake, other than just tasting it, it is always more fun to learn the story and philosophy of the brewer. And this month, Saketora would like to present a crossover project led by 5 passionate middle-aged sake brewers – “Gokujo”.

Embodiment of Sake-brewing Spirit

Brewing Rules
Since 2015

“Gokujo”, which literally means “59 Brewing”, is a 10-year project co-launched by 5 sake brands from Nagano Prefecture (see below). Being both friends and rivals, the brewers of these 5 brands were all born in Showa 59 (1984), and are striving to make an iconic sake of the era and promote Nagano Sake to the whole Japan. Therefore, they have started the “Gokujo” project since 2015. Each year, these 5 middle-aged men would set a common theme, based on which, they all produce their own sake with a designated Nagano rice under 59% rice polishing rate, then let the drinkers decide which of the five is the best.
Through the collaboration, they aim to get more Japanese to feel the charisma of Nagano Sake and polish their craftsmanship. With the theme being so meaningful and the style of sake varying each year due to the adoption of different rice, the project has sparked the interest of many sake geeks. So, no surprise, every year, once the new edition is released, it is gone quickly.

Time Flies. And It’s Already Halfway.

Theme of 2019
On the Way

Time goes by quickly. In 2019, “Gokujo” has returned for its 5th edition, implying the 10-year project will come to the end in 5 years. Therefore, the brewers decided “On the Way” as the theme of this year. As for the rice, they have chosen “Senkei-nishiki”, which is getting more and more popular lately for sake brewing in the local region since it does not require high polishing rate and can resist to cold weather. In general, the sake made from “Senkei-nishiki” shows a gentle mouthfeel with a good balance. That being said, as we all know, in spite of using the same rice, the taste of sake can still vary a lot by adopting different yeasts and brewing methods. So, what kind of different feelings will the 5 items of 2019 “Gokujo” bring us?

Hokkou Masamune, Junmai Ginjo (Gokujo 2019)

 "Hokkou-Masamune" is the brand of Kadoguchi Shuzo, the northernmost brewery in Nagano Prefecture. Among the series of "Gokujo", this sake is comparatively dry with green notes and the hints of young banana, showing a clean and sharp aftertaste.
  • Sake meter value +7
  • Alcohol percentage 15%
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Ikioi Masamune, Junmai Ginjo (Gokujo 2019)

Adopting 4-step fermentation for sake brewing, "Ikioi-Masamune" is famous for producing sakes that are well-structured with rich flavors. Among the series of "Gokujo", this sake is the driest with a firm mouthfeel and the hints of citrus.
  • Sake meter value +11
  • Alcohol percentage 15%
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Sekizen, Junmai Ginjo (Gokujo 2019)

"Sekizen" is the only brand in Nagano Prefecture that adopts floral yeasts for sake brewing. Among the series of "Gokujo", this sake is the most gentle and easy-drinking, with floral notes, the hints of green apple, mild acidity and a light body.
  • Sake meter value +1
  • Alcohol percentage 15%
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Moto Oi No Matsu, Junmai Ginjo (Gokujo 2019)

"Moto-Oi-Nomatsu" is famous for producing sakes with a firm structure. Among the series of "Gokujo", this sake is the sweetest and richest, showing the hints of ripe banana and grapefruit with mild minerality.
  • Sake meter value -6
  • Alcohol percentage 15%
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Fukumuryo, Junmai Ginjo (Gokujo 2019)

With a history of more than 300 years, "Fukumoryo" is famous for producing rich and sweet sakes. Among the series of "Gokujo", this sake is comparatively sweet and elegant with the hints of ripe apple and nectar.
  • Sake meter value -5
  • Alcohol percentage 15%
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Gokujo Limited Edition 2019 set

Gokujo 2019 Limited Set
(Free Delivery)

If you don’t dream, you might as well be dead. To support the 5 dreamers of Gokujo, Saketora is now releasing a special set with free delivery. The set includes all 5 items of Gokujo 2019. Despite sharing the same rice and the same polishing rate, they bring you totally different sensations. Do try the differences and show your support!
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Sake with Rock n' Roll

After turning 30, most people would start to seek a stable life and avoid risk. However, in the eyes of the 5 brewers of “Gokujo”, it is just a beginning. They have been pursuing their dream by making real efforts and looking for breakthrough. And to record the progress, they have produced a music video with Rock & Roll that shows how they brew sake in a freezing winter. We may always think sake is elegant and soothing, but who would have ever thought it can be so rock, so energetic, and so adrenaline-pumping?