Ban Ryu is a classic: an inexpensive, well made, everyday honjozo. I don't carry a ton of honjozo-- just the ones I love-- but this one really represents the style well and demonstrates the value of honjozo in the world of sake.
Savory notes of cashew, white mushroom, toasted rice and a little brothy, but on the other hand also has notes of banana, sweet roasted parsnip, and peach.
The label claims notes of black currant and cherry, but I've never felt I tasted either--maybe you will?
Ban Ryu isn't especially complex, but it has depth and richness, while at the same time having a cleansing quality that washes food down nicely and prepares you for the next sip. Like any good honjozo its alcohol is moderate at 15.3%, takes well to warming and is delicious anywhere from refrigeration to 140F, pairs great with all sorts of Japanese food as much as Italian or Ethiopian, and serves well in a wine glass or a guinomi-- 10,000 ways, as it were.
The label says it should be consumed ASAP after opening, but they're being cautious. It will stay delicious open in your fridge for weeks.
- Yamagata prefecture
- Local Yamagata table rice-- not specified
- Seimaibuai (rice polishing ratio): 65%
- Brewing starter: sokujo moto
- Yeast: Number 10
- Brewery established 1778, 13th generation