Atago no matsu tokubestu honjozo

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Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu – The Best Honjozo!

Hello, fellow sake enthusiasts! Today, we’re venturing into the world of my favorite honjozo, the Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo. This isn’t just any sake, it’s a tale of discovery, a surprise that left us all in awe at a tasting event at our restaurant.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were hosting a tasting event with a representative from the brewery, a true sake nerd who could talk for hours about the nuances, notes, and nitty-gritty of sake brewing. We tasted a variety of sakes, each with its unique charm. But there was one that stood out, one that had us all nodding in agreement – the Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo.

The real kicker? It was the most affordable option on the table, holding its own against far pricier competitors. That day, Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo became my go-to recommendation for people on a budget, a high-quality, affordable sake that never fails to impress.

So, buckle up as we dive into the world of Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo, a sake that offers an incredible bang for your buck!

Atago No Matsu: An In-Depth Review

Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake

Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake is an elegant, understated honjozo that’s a personal favorite and a fantastic everyday food pairing sake. Made to the highest quality standards by Niizawa Brewing Company, it’s a traditional brand loved by locals in Miyagi prefecture. The fresh red apple and wild strawberry notes shine when chilled, and the sweet vegetal notes are enhanced when warmed.

  • Sake Classification: Honjozo
  • Aroma & Flavor: Rich, dry with fresh red apple and wild strawberry notes
  • Sake Meter Value: +5.0
  • Acidity Level: 1.7
  • Alcohol Content: 16.0%
  • Rice Polishing Ratio: 60%


  • Perfect for everyday enjoyment and food pairing
  • Exquisite balance of flavors and textures
  • Best served cold (40-60°F), room temp (70°F), warm (85-115°F) or hot (120°F+)
  • Pairs well with seafood and meat dishes


  • Availability might vary depending on location

Understanding Honjozo and Tokubetsu Sake

If you’re new to the sake world, you might be wondering, “What on earth is a Honjozo? And what makes a sake Tokubetsu?” Well, buckle up, sake explorers, because we’re about to dive into the fascinating world of sake classifications!

Honjozo: The Sake with a Little Extra Sparkle

First up, let’s talk about Honjozo. People often think that Atago No Matsu is a Junmai sake, which is a pure type of sake that has just 4 ingredients; rice, water, yeast and koji. However, a honjozo is not a junmai.

In the sake universe, Honjozo is a type of sake that has a small amount of brewer’s alcohol added to it. This single extra ingredient means that it can not be a junmai sake.

Now, before you start thinking that this is some sort of sake cheat code, let me assure you, it’s not. The addition of brewer’s alcohol is a traditional method that’s been used for centuries to bring out the aroma and flavor of the sake.

Tokubetsu: The Reserve of the Sake World

Next up, we have Tokubetsu, which literally translates to “special.” In the sake world, a Tokubetsu sake is one that has something unique about it compared to the rest of the brewery’s lineup. It’s kind of like a “reserve” wine in the vino world.

Just as a winery might designate a particular vintage as a “reserve” because of its exceptional quality or unique characteristics, a sake brewery will label a sake as “Tokubetsu” if it has something extra special about it. This could be a unique brewing method, a special rice variety, or an unusual rice polishing ratio.

So, when you see a sake labeled as a “Tokubetsu Honjozo,” like our beloved Atago No Matsu, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s a sake that’s not just ordinary, but extraordinary. It’s a sake that’s not just special, but super special. It’s a sake that’s not just delicious, but… well, you get the idea!


The Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo is a captivating blend of flavors that will serenade your senses, creating a symphony that’s as delightful as it is memorable. Here’s a little sneak peek into the flavor profile of this exceptional honjozo:

Nose: The aroma of Atago No Matsu is a delightful bouquet that’s reminiscent of a stroll through an orchard. Fresh red apple notes waft up, mingling with the scent of wild strawberries to create a fragrance that’s both refreshing and inviting. It’s a scent that promises a flavorful journey, and trust me, it delivers!

Taste: On the palate, Atago No Matsu is a rich and dry sake that’s as elegant as it is flavorful. The initial taste is a harmonious blend of fruitiness from the apple and strawberry notes detected in the aroma. As the sake warms in your mouth, sweet vegetal notes begin to emerge, adding a layer of complexity to the flavor profile. It’s a sake that evolves with each sip, offering a taste experience that’s truly unique.


One of the many joys of Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo is its versatility when it comes to food pairings. This sake is like a chameleon, adapting to complement a variety of dishes. Here are some pairing ideas that will elevate your dining experience:

Seafood: The rich, dry notes of this sake make it a perfect match for seafood dishes. Whether it’s a delicate sashimi platter, a hearty seafood stew, or a simple grilled fish, Atago No Matsu enhances the flavors of the sea. The fresh apple and strawberry notes in the sake balance the brininess of the seafood, creating a harmonious dining experience.

Meat: But don’t let the fruitiness fool you. Atago No Matsu also pairs exceptionally well with a variety of meat dishes. The sake’s rich, dry profile complements the savory flavors of the meat, while the sweet vegetal notes provide a delightful contrast. Whether it’s a juicy steak, a succulent roast, or a flavorful stir-fry, Atago No Matsu is a companion that won’t let you down.

Alcohol Content

The Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo has an alcohol content of 16.0%, making it a relatively mild sake that’s perfect for sipping. This level of alcohol content allows the flavors and aromas of the sake to shine through without being overshadowed by the alcohol.


The key ingredients in this sake are:

  • Rice Variety: Yamadanishiki. This is a premium variety of sake rice known for its excellent fermentation properties.
  • Yeast Variety: Undisclosed. The specific strain of yeast used in brewing this sake is a closely guarded secret, but it contributes to the unique flavor profile of the Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo.
  • Added grain alcohol: Honjozo sakes are a traditional style that have added distilled spirits to help fortify the sake.

Where to Buy?

Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo was always a hit at the restaurant, but we’ve uncovered a goldmine of sake wonders online at Tippsy Sake.

While traditional brick and mortar stores can sometimes be lacking in their premium sake offerings, Tippsy Sake is a revelation. They flaunt a broad array of sakes, including the cherished Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo, and they’ll deliver it right to your doorstep. You can secure your own bottle of Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo right here.

But hold on, the thrill doesn’t stop there! Tippsy Sake also offers a subscription box service that’s like a monthly sake carnival delivered to your home. It’s a fantastic way to taste a wide range of sakes without emptying your wallet. Each box is tailored to your taste, transforming your sake journey into a personalized adventure. You can plunge into their subscription box over here.

So, whether you’re just embarking on your sake journey or you’re a seasoned sake aficionado looking to widen your palate, Tippsy Sake is your ultimate destination. Here’s to delightful sipping!

Here is the link to the Tippsy Sake subscription box.


In conclusion, the Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo is more than just a sake – it’s an experience. It’s a celebration of flavors, a dance of textures, a testament to the art of sake brewing. It’s my personal favorite honjozo, and I hope it becomes yours too. So why wait? Embark on your flavor voyage with Atago No Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo today!

Atago No Matsu

Atago No Matsu Sake


Step into the world of honjozo sake with Atago No Matsu, an exceptional honjozo that’s a delight to the senses. It’s not just a sake, it’s an experience. With its rich, dry notes and sweet vegetal undertones, it’s a versatile companion for a variety of foods. It’s my personal favorite honjozo, and I hope it becomes yours too.






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