Katafune Junmai Usunigori

Katafune Junmai Usunigori

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A deeply delicious, addictive and full-flavored usunigori, with slightly higher than usual acidity to make the overall impression utterly drinkable-- never cloying. This is a nigori that could change the mind of nigori naysayers anywhere.

Notes of velvety coconut milk, French vanilla, Meyer lemon, yellow nectarine, softly whipped meringue, and a texture that takes me to melty milk chocolate. The finish is acid-sharp and juicy, reading barely off-dry despite a -11 SMV. It's not often I take a bottle of nigori home... but that's happening tonight.


  • Brewery: Takeda Shuzo
  • Location: Joetsu, Niigata
  • Classification: Junmai nigori
  • Rice: Koshitanrei, Koshi Ibuki
  • Polishing: 65%
  • Yeast:¬†
  • Starter method: sokujo
  • SMV: -10
  • Acidity: 1.7
  • Water: soft well water
  • ABV: 15.5%


Takeda Shuzo is located in the coastal fishing village of Joetsu. Seizaemon Takeda started brewing in Kamiko Funatsu, a small fishing boat moorage, at the end of the Edo Period (1866). In 1990, his son Shigenori Takeda was appointed the current director and he is now joined by his son Haruki, who represents the 6th generation. As a tiny, but highly awarded brewery, they have only two other kurabito (brewery workers) performing all of the brewing tasks by hand.