Ban Ryu is a classic: an inexpensive, well made, everyday honjozo. Savory notes of cashew, white mushroom, toasted rice and a bit of kombu dashi balanced with gently sweet notes of banana, sweet roasted parsnip, and peach.
The label claims flavors of black currant and cherry, but I've never noticed either--maybe you will?
Ban Ryu isn't especially complex, but it has depth and richness, preparing your palate for more after each bite of food. Like any good honjozo its alcohol is moderate at 15.3%, takes well to warming and is delicious anywhere from refrigeration to 140F, pairing beautifully with anything from homestyle Japanese to Italian or Ethiopian. It serves well in a wine glass or a guinomi too: 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, at least.
- 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