Senkin "Classic" Kamenoo

Senkin Brewery

Senkin "Classic" Kamenoo Sake. Delicious Junmai Daiginjo Sake. Senkin Brewery.

Senkin "Classic" Kamenoo

Senkin Brewery

A genius sake in its own league, the Senkin Classic Kame-no-o separates itself from the crowd with its higher acidity level. This is in fact a hallmark of all Senkin sakes, heavily influenced by CEO Usui, a former wine sommelier. While the acid numbers are high, nothing is harsh about this sake—take a sip and enjoy the rounded acidity, gentle fruitiness, and reassuring umami.

The Classic Kame-no-o uses the Kame-no-o ("Turtle's tail") rice, the most distinctive of the three rice strains that Senkin Domiane uses. (On a side note, this rice variety is so delicate that they cultivate and harvest it BY HAND. Not surprising coming from a country that give massages and beer to their cows. BTW, piping Mozart into the barn for the cows' listening pleasure is apparently a myth. Yes, this saddened me as well.) As one of the early adopters of the Domaine concept, Senkin only uses rice grown within five minutes from the brewery, and brews using the same water used to grow the rice.

Senkin brews this sake in two expressions: the Classic and the Modern. Both the Classic Kame-no-o and the Modern Kame-no-o uses the same Kame-no-o rice, same polishing rate, and same yeast; the only element they differ is in their brewing methods. The Classic uses the more traditional kimoto method, meaning they use lactic bacteria from the environment instead of adding industrial lactic acid as they do in modern methods. This results in more umami, hence a more "classic" sake taste. A lovely afternoon could be had doing a tasting with these two bottles if you're looking for a fun, at-home activity in these corona and hopefully soon, post-corona days.

With a whopping acidity level of 2.2, both of these sakes have a higher-than-usual amount of acidity compared to other sakes (The average is 1.3. Wine is between 3–4.)—some might say it's a very white wine-like sake in this respect, making this an easy transition sake for people starting to dip their toes in the sake world, but also interesting for sake regulars as it sits in a totally different corner from other sakes out there.

Regular price $36.00



A comforting, fruity aroma of unripe banana and custard, with a richness that promises acidity. The rounded acidity rolls across your palate along with the faint glint of effervescence that comes with the bottle aging. A juicy, stonefruit acidity. It is slightly redolent of a German Riesling or an Alsace wine, which is not surprising since the CEO has mentioned coming to love wines from those regions through his work as a wine sommelier; but make no mistake, this is still very firmly a sake. A thicker texture that coats the palate. A refined minerality. Palate of white mulberry, quince, and truffle-like umami. Aftertaste of lychee and cranberry.


Rice Polishing Ratio

This sake is made from Kame no O Rice that has been polished to 50%.



Pairs well with white fish, spring vegetables, spaghetti, seafood salad, cold steamed chicken, vermicelli salad, shumai, sea urchin dishes, hotpot, pork stir fried with miso, salmon grilled with butter, oysters, basically everything!


Chilled at about 50°–59°F, in a Bordeaux wine glass to really get all its aromas; or warmed at about 113°–122°F, in an ochoko.



One could say Kazuki Usui, head of Senkin Brewery, is the captain that steers the sake ship: not only the ship of his brewery, but the ship of sake trend in general. When Usui, at the age of 28, took over Senkin in 2008 as its 11th generation CEO, Senkin had run to the ground and had to be liquidated. Usui had no experience in sake prior to coming to his family business, but he was coming from the world of wine, working as a restaurant sommelier, then as an instructor at the Japan Sommelier School (now FBO Academy Tokyo) at the age of 22.