Gokyo Five – Yellow

Type Junmai
Prefecture Yamaguchi
ALC % Well
SMV ±0
Acidity 2.1
Amino Acidity 1.5
Rice: Kakemai Nihonbare(yamaguchi)
Rice: Shubo / koji Nihonbare(yamaguchi)
Polishing Ratio 80% / 80%
Yeast No. 701
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As many of you know, Gokyo is one of my favorite breweries. From their enigmatic leader to their bold sake and pioneering experimentalism, there’s a lot to love. I find their sake to have big aromas, a relatively weighty texture and what really defines them is noticeably higher total acidity and amino acids than most sake. Not stratospheric levels, but many of their sake are around 2% total acidity whereas your standards are closer to 1.3-1.7%. Check out their youtube channel.

There are four very special Kioke sake below. The “5” series are all brewed in a single wooden vat. This doesn’t give them a bunch of wood flavor as they aren’t rested in new cedar, rather there is a creaminess to them due to the increased oxygen in fermentation. I have exclusive distribution.

Tasting Notes

Gokyo 5 Yellow Junmai Kioke


Many of you likely haven’t tried a white Koji sake before. Koji are the spores which convert the rice to sugars so the yeast can ferment then. Typically sake koji is yellow/green colored but here the more citric acid producing white koji is used. The goal is to develop a wine-like acidity (but not flavor). You can certainly smell the elevated acidity on the nose but there’s also proper clotted cream. The palate is rich because of the kioke of course but also this is 80% polish so there are some of the nonstarch material in the fermentation such as proteins. There’s the expected citrus acidity too, like as if a tangerine had double the acidity. Great with clam chowder. 

Alc 15% – SMV ±0 – Acidity 2.1 – Amino Acidity 1.5 – Nihonbare (Yamaguchi) & Yamadanishiki (Yamaguchi) 80% – Yeast No. 701

From the importer:

Rich type. The refreshing aroma of orange and the mild and tranquil aroma of banana. Brewed with shiro koji. Well-harmonized acidity of citrus fruits with the sweetness of yogurt.Nicely balanced, with a honey aftertaste of koji. Serve chilled or slightly chilled.

Tasting Strategy

Korean-style grilled meat, Steak, Chicken teriyaki, Ginger pork,, Yakitori, Veal cutlet, roast beef, Fried chicken, Chinese-style sauteed strips of beef with green pepper, Cream stew, etc.