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Suigei Drunken Whale Sake Review

Last Updated on May 2024

Welcome, fellow sake aficionados! Picture this: a bustling restaurant in Carmel, California, renowned for its monumental sake collection. Amidst the fast pace and clinking glasses, there emerged a clear favorite among the regulars – the elusive and sought-after Suigei Drunken Whale Sake, so popular that we’d often run out!

But what makes this sake special? It’s all in the label. The Drunken Whale is a Tokubetsu Junmai, a premium grade akin to what we would call a “reserve” in the world of wine. In Japanese,  ‘Tokubetsu’ translates to ‘special’, and believe me, this sake truly lives up to its name. Join us as we explore the distinctive charm of this ‘special reserve’ from the sake world!

Suigei Drunken Whale Sake Overview

Suigei Drunken Whale

Embarking on the Suigei Drunken Whale Sake experience is like setting sail on a flavorful journey. This sake is a testament to the art of traditional Japanese brewing, offering a unique blend that sets it apart from other sakes.

Suigei Drunken Whale is a testament to traditional Japanese brewing, offering a unique blend that sets it apart from other sakes.

  • ✅ Sake Classification: Tokubetsu Junmai
  • ✅ Aroma & Flavor: Hops, Fennel, Rose, Unripe Strawberry
  • ✅ Sake Meter Value: +7 (Very Dry)
  • ✅ Acidity Level: 1.6


  • Unique Flavor: Distinct blend of fennel, hops, and unripe strawberry.
  • Versatile Pairing: Complements a wide variety of dishes.
  • Quality Brewing: Testament to traditional Japanese brewing.
  • Temperature Flexibility: Great served at any temperature.
  • Affordable: Excellent value for money, our top choice of sake under $30.


  • Acquired Taste: Unique flavor might be challenging for some.
  • Availability: Might not be readily available in all locations.
  • Alcohol Content: ABV of 15% might be high for some preferences.

Tasting Notes and Profile

The aroma of Suigei Junmai Tokubetsu Sake is a tantalizing blend of rose and fennel. This bouquet of scents prepares your senses for the first sip, setting the stage for the flavor adventure that lies ahead. The sake is dry, with strong notes of fennel and hops, underscored by a subtle hint of unripe strawberry. This combination of flavors creates a unique tasting experience that’s both memorable and enjoyable.

Food Pairing

When it comes to food pairing, Suigei Drunken Whale Sake is quite versatile. It pairs well with a wide variety of dishes, enhancing the flavors and creating a harmonious dining experience. Whether it’s the light, crispy texture of vegetable tempura, the delicate flavor of albacore sashimi, or the tangy kick of salads with ginger-soy dressings, Suigei Drunken Whale Sake complements the flavors beautifully. It goes great with anything that includes rice, and also pairs well with cheese! This versatility makes it a great choice for any meal, whether you’re enjoying a casual dinner at home or hosting a sophisticated dinner party.

Drunken Whale Sake Alcohol Content

With an alcohol content of around 15%, Suigei Drunken Whale Sake is on par with most premium sakes. This level of alcohol content contributes to a balanced and enjoyable drinking experience. It’s strong enough to be noticeable, but not so strong that it overpowers the sake’s unique flavors. This balance ensures that you can savor the sake’s distinct taste profile while also enjoying the warmth that comes from its alcohol content.

Serving Temperature

To truly appreciate the unique flavors of Suigei Drunken Whale Sake, serving it chilled is a popular choice. The cool temperature amplifies the distinct notes of fennel, hops, and unripe strawberry, offering a refreshing and delightful drinking experience.

However, don’t let that limit your exploration! Suigei Junami Tokubetsu can also be savored at room temperature or even slightly warmed. Warming the sake tends to enhance its sweeter flavors, smooth out its texture, and elevate the umami – a characteristic that many sake enthusiasts adore.

This flexibility in serving temperature allows you to tailor your Suigei Drunken Whale Sake experience to your personal preference, ensuring that every sip is a pleasure to your taste buds. Whether you prefer it chilled, at room temperature, or slightly warmed, Suigei Drunken Whale Sake is a versatile delight that adapts to your palate.

Suigei Brewery

Suigei Brewery, nestled in Tosa City, Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku, is a testament to the seamless blend of tradition and innovation. Established in 1872, this brewery has been crafting quality sake for generations, earning a special place in the hearts of sake enthusiasts worldwide.

The name “Suigei” translates to “Drunken Whale,” a playful nod to Yamauchi Yodo, the Lord of Tosa during the Edo Period, known for his love of a good drink. This spirit of merriment and indulgence is captured in every bottle of Suigei sake.

Stepping into the Suigei Brewery, you’ll find a modern tasting room where visitors can sample the dry, elegant sake that Suigei is known for. But what truly sets Suigei Brewery apart is its commitment to high polishing ratios. This in-house process contributes to a more refined taste in the sake, a testament to the brewery’s dedication to quality and tradition.

So, if you’re ever in Tosa City, make sure to pay a visit to the Suigei Brewery. Whether you’re a sake connoisseur or a curious traveler, you’re sure to enjoy the unique experience that this modern brewery offers.

Additional Suigei Sake Options

For those seeking a diverse range of delightful sake flavors, Suigei Brewing Company is a treasure trove. Known for their exceptional craftsmanship, Suigei offers a variety of sake that caters to all taste buds. 

From the savory and sour notes of their “Koiku 54” Junmai Ginjo to the fruity fun of their Junmai Daiginjo “Harmony,” Suigei’s sake selection is a flavorful journey. For the daring, the “SHO” and “MANN” Junmai Daiginjo sakes offer bold taste profiles that break the mold.

Suigei’s dedication to quality and tradition shines through in every bottle, capturing the essence of Japanese culture and craftsmanship. In essence, Suigei Brewing Company’s sake selection is a celebration of authentic flavors and top-tier brewing, offering a taste of Japan in every sip. You really can’t go wrong with any of their premium options.

Drunken Whale Sake Name Meaning

Every sake has a story, and the tale of the Drunken Whale Sake is steeped in tradition. The name “Suigei” is a nod to heavy drinking, or “drinking like a whale” in Japanese, encapsulating the spirit of the Suigei Shuzo brewery.

The name meaning traces back to Yodo Yamauchi, the head of the Tosa clan during the Bakumatsu period. Known for his love of sake, Yodo used the pen name “Geikai Suikou,” which translates to “drunken lord of the ocean where the whales live.”

Lord Yodo, a significant figure in the Kochi prefecture, was not only a leader but also a poet and a known sake enthusiast. His influence extended beyond politics, shaping the cultural and social fabric of the region. His passion for sake was so profound it found expression in his poetry, with themes of loneliness and nostalgia.

This passion lives on in every bottle of Suigei Shuzo’s “Suigei” sake, a mellow, dry variety with a strong character. In essence, the meaning of Suigei and the tale of the drunken whale is a story that connects Lord Yodo’s love for sake with the idea of whales drinking heavily. It’s a story that lives on in every bottle of Suigei Drunken Whale Sake.

Is Suigei Drunken Whale Worth It?

Diving into the depths of the Suigei Sake Drunken Whale experience is not merely a tasting journey, it’s an exploration of Japan’s rich sake culture. Its unique brewing process manifests in a diverse flavor profile, making it an invaluable addition to every sake lover’s collection. Yet, what sets it apart is its extraordinary sake value – offering a premium experience without the premium price tag, thus solidifying its spot as our #1 choice on the best sake under $30 list.

So, whether you’re a seasoned sake connoisseur or a first-time explorer, we wholeheartedly recommend the Suigei Drunken Whale. Its exceptional blend of flavor, tradition, and affordability are set to enhance your sake buying journey. Embrace the adventure and raise a glass – or as they say in Japan, Kanpai – to this remarkable discovery!

Suigei Drunken Whale Sake

Suigei Drunken Whale

Excellent Choice!

Embark on a flavorful journey with the Suigei Drunken Whale Sake, a testament to traditional Japanese brewing. This sake offers a unique blend of hops, fennel, rose, and unripe strawberry. A versatile beverage that pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.






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