Sohomare "Heart and Soul" Tokubetsu Kimoto

Sohomare "Heart and Soul" Tokubetsu Kimoto

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While Heart and Soul is just a bit too subtle to enjoy as an aperitif, with food, it really shines. The base sake is a blend of kimoto junmai of different ages (roughly 6-18 months old) using the top sake rice in the world:  Yamadanishiki rice from Yokada and Toko, two of the most highly reputed growing villages in Hyogo, the top location for Yamadanishiki.

Notes of bosc pear, raw white mushroom, freshly steamed white rice, roasted chestnuts, and tart creme fraiche. The palate has prominent acidity with very mild sweetness and generous umami. It's delicious lightly chilled to lightly warmed.

  • Prefecture: Tochigi
  • Rice:   100% Hyogo Toku-A Yamada Nishiki rice (the best!)
  • Polishing: 60%
  • ABV: 15%
  • Starter method: Kimoto
  • Grade: Tokubetsu (special) Junmai. In this case, it's special for 2 reasons: 1) 60% polish, 2) 100% sake-specific rice.


Owned and operated by the Kono family since 1872, Sohomare focuses on producing Kimoto style of Sake from high quality, "Designation A" Yamadanishiki under the direction of Tôru Akita Toji, a member of both the Shimotsuke & Nambu Toji Guilds.

Like Urakasumi, Masumi, and Dewazakura, Sohomare is a little-turned-medium sized craft sake brewery, which I could liken to Ridge winery in Santa Cruz. Sohomare has deep historical relevance for their contributions to the jizake (craft sake) movement and has enjoyed a reputation for quality and innovation for ~30 some years. But due to their medium size, it can be difficult to innovate consistently and to continue to push the dial forward, refusing to rest on their laurels. I believe these brands, Sohomare included, are a fantastic balance of precise, quality execution (with thanks to their size, which also grants them access to the best ingredients and talent) as well as innovation and uniqueness (thanks to their craft origins and commitment to retaining that character).