The Nikkei newspaper site reports on the release of three sake blends from the Kazuno Meishu brewery, known for their Chitose-Zakari label.
Kazuno Meishu released three blends using Chitose-Zakari as a base in August 2018. The blends were created by the brewery's managing director Kōichi Kudō, who won the individual section of a national sake tasting competition in 2015. He used his own sense of smell and taste to develop the blends.
With no successor to take over, the brewery became a subsidiary of another company in December 2017. DREAMLINK manages a number of business local to Akita, such as the izakaya Hanbey. Kudō joined DREAMLINK after winning the national tasting competition, and started blending sake at the Kazuno Meishu brewery in January 2018.
The current series of blends are under the banner "Chitose-Zakari KKB - Kōichi Kudō Blends 2018". All three are offered in 720 ml bottles, with Ichi (壱, "one") selling for JPY 2,500, Fu (弐, "two") for JPY 1,500 and San (参, "three") for JPY 1,200 (all prices before tax). [The names are old-style numbering still used today in legal documents.] They all pair well with tofu, kiritanpo (roasted skewers of crushed rice) and sushi.
Production for this season is 60 bottles of Ichi and 250 bottles each of Fu and San, which will be sold in DREAMLINK's bars, restaurants and other outlets in Akita Prefecture. Masahiko Murakami, president of DREAMLINK, commented that Kudō's "golden tongue" had produced fantastic blends that were much more than the sum of their parts. He hopes to go on to offer blending services to other breweries.