Nagayama Shuzo

Flavor and brand vision

Yamazaru is a particularly richly-flavored Yamaguchi sake that seeks to bring both matured sake flavor to regular drinkers, and evoke the flavor of the seasons.

Techniques and style

Yamazaru has Yamaguchi’s youngest head brewer, Gentaro Nagayama, and he has a very strong vision of the sake he wants to brew: it must be full flavored, it must age well, and it should reflect the changing of the seasons. He focuses on complete fermentation to do this, while still creating clear differences between the different grades of sake, using different rice varieties, yeasts, and styles.


Nagayama Shuzo uses locally grown rice, including the rare variety Kokuryo Miyako, to focus on the natural flavors of Yamaguchi’s rice. Their brewing water is the hardest in Yamaguchi, which helps drive the particularly dry style of kimoto that Nagayama makes. Hard water encourages full fermentation, helping the microorganisms consume all the sugars and nutrients of the rice to make dry, rich, hefty sake.

Recommended temperatures and pairing

Yamazaru sake tends toward rich flavors so it pairs well with heavier meat dishes and robust stewed cuisine. Enjoy it at a wide range of temperatures.

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