Juyondai is one of the most sought after sake brand in the market due to its glamorous and mysterious reputation in the sake world. Whoever tasted it would agree that Juyondai takes Japanese sake to another level one could ever imagine.
Founded in Edo period 1615 with over 400 years of history in the northern Japanese Yamagata Prefecture as the Takagi Shuzo brewery.
The brand Juyondai “十四代” comes from their last toji (head brewer) who is the 14th generation of this historial brewery.
The company president’s son, Akitsuna Takagi (15th generation), then inherited and embark to craft a different sake experience to contrast with the light and dry sakes that became very popular.
Takagi took over and ran the brewery under the brand Juyondai, named in honor of his father, who was the 14th generation owner of the brewery, and crafted extraordinary flavors that quickly earned an outstanding reputation. Airlines like JAL served their first class customers with Juyondai and media NHK has broadcasted the popularity of the brand as well.
There are many brands under the brewery, such as Asahi Eagle, Black Rope, etc., of course the Juyondai is the most famous amongst all.
Juyondai Ryusen Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 诸白 龙泉 纯米大吟酿 )
Ryusen Junmai Daiginjou 龙泉 also known as Da Ji Shang Zhu Bai 大极上诸白is the best and highest grade among all. This sake is brewed using Tasuno Otoshigo “龙之落之子” technique. To honour this technique which is unique to the Juyondai brewery, this bottle is named as 龙泉. Polishing ratio is 35%, matured using Shichidare Nijikkan “七垂二十贯” method.
Juyondai Ryugetsu Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 龍月 純米大吟醸)
Ryugetsu ( 龙月) is a limited sake, brewed from Yamada Nishiki rice ( King of sake rice) and Aiyama rice. The rice polishing ratio is 40%, matured using the ““七垂二十贯” “ method.
Juyondai Soko Daijinjo (十四代 双虹 大吟酿)
Soko Daiginjo is named as Double Rainbow, taking the seven colors of the rainbow, the double rainbow has a total of 14 colors, which exactly corelates to the name of the Juyondai (14th Generation). The rice polishing ratio is 35%, matured using the ““七垂二十贯” “ method.
And only launched once every year in December.
Juyondai Shichidare Nijikkzn Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 七垂二十贯 纯米大吟酿)
Shichidare Nijikkan is named after Takagi special brewing techniques “七垂二十贯 “. Kanji “二十贯” means 75KG of rice water, and “七垂” means 7 drops. You only get 7 drops of sake from 75KG of rice and water. It shows how dedicated the sake is being made. Using Aiyama rice as raw material, with 40% polishing rate. This is a raw sake.
Juyondai Hakuun Kyorai Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 白云去来 纯米大吟酿)
Limited bottle to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the brewery. The name of the sake is taken from the Zen saying “Aoyama Motobu where white clouds comes from.” The sake is brewed from Yamada Nishiki and Aiyama rice, with polishing rate of 40%, using the Shichidare Nijikkan “七垂二十贯 ” method. It is slightly heated after being brewed, undergone low-temperature aging.
Juyondai Gokujo Morohaku Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 极上诸白 纯米大吟酿)
Gokujo Morohaku (诸白) is the Japanese name for sake in ancient times. Juyondai called Ryusen the Great Gokujo Morohaku. This sake can be regarded as the “little brother” of Ryusen. It is one of the masterpieces of advanced models. The sake is made with Yamada Nishiki and Aiyama rice, and the rice is not more than 50% polished. It is a raw sake.
Juyondai Super Special Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 超特撰 纯米大吟酿)
Super Special Edition is brewed by Yamada Nishiki, with a polished rice step of 35%. It is a sake specially selected by the brewery to mature in the fermented mash. It is positioned slightly lower than Ryusen and higher than Zhongto Daiginjo.
For Super Special Edition, “Special” and Limited” Edition are a classification in system of sake, of which special edition is the highest level. The Juyondai uses this as inspiration to name many of its sakes. In addition to this super special edition, there are other options as well.
Super Special was originally brewed from Aiyama Rice, but after 2009 it was changed to Yamada Nishiki. The rice is polished at 50%. This sake is also a raw sake, high acidity is its most distinctive feature, it is light and soft, very suitable as a pre-dinner sake.
Juyondai Nakadori Junmaiginjou Yamadanishiki (十四代 中取 大吟酿)
This sake uses Yamada Nishiki (King of Sake Rice), and the degree of rice is 35%.
Nakadori, meaning “middle take” in Japanese, refers to the middle yield when pressing sake. In the yield of pressing, sake is taken from one of the 3 yields. It’s also referred to as nakagumi or nakadare. Nakadori sake is considered the finest take of the batch for its clarity, well-balanced aroma, and purity of flavor, and is often seen enlisted in competitions or on the labels of premium products.
Juyondai Hizoushu Junmai Daiginjo (十四代 秘藏酒 纯米大吟酿)
While sake can indeed be aged for one to two, aged sake, or koshu in Japanese, is defined by the Aged sake Association as being sake that has been aged for more than three years at its brewery. Richer aged sake can be achieved through aging rich sake varieties, like honjozo or junmai, at room temperature.
In addition, the Juyondai also produced a series of sake named after the unique sake Miryon no Rakuko, Sake Mirai, etc., which cover various levels from pure rice Daiginjo to Ginjo.
Juyondai Honmaru (十四代 本丸 本酿造)
There are more affordable sakes produced by Juyondai. For example, this sake is a bonsai, that is, sake with brewed alcohol.
Honmaru uses Takagi Brewing’s other secret brewing technique, “秘传玉返”. meaning when adding brewed alcohol, self-produced shochu is added, that is, the alcohol obtained by distilling the remaining shochu after brewing. Kasudo shochu has a very rich texture, so this brewed sake also has a more advanced Ginjo flavor. This sake is also a raw sake.
In addition, this series also has raw sake, called Honmaru kaku Shinmoto Brewing, brewed by Miyama Nishiki, with 55% refined rice.
Juyondai Bessen Ginjo Yamadanishiki (十四代 本生 纯米吟酿)
You can also try Bessen, which is a raw sake with active enzyme keeping its freshness. The whole sake making process does not undergo heat sterilization at all. The taste is fresher and refreshing, but it must be stored in the refrigerator and consumed fresh.
Bessen is farmed in class A field among King of Sake Rice; Yamada Nishiki rice. Uses the best of the best.
Lastly, we would like to share with you that, except for aged sake, most sake does not have long shelf life, unless it is well kept in cold storage between 5~10 degrees Celsius. It could last for 2-3 years.
For those who have Juyondai raw sake at home, remember to enjoy it as soon as you can! Cheers!