Noguchi Naohiko is one of the most important master brewers in Japan, born in 1932 in Ishikawa prefecture on the eastern side of the central coast. Both his father and grandfather were brewers, and Noguchi Naohiko began brewing in 1949 at the young age of 16. Not even old enough to drink yet, he set out on a path that would create the Ginjo category and revitalize the almost forgotten Yamahai technique. At 28, he became head brewer of the Kikuhime, one of the top breweries where he stayed making Sake for 36 years. Noguchi Naohiko eventually retired in 1997 to come back 20 years later at over 80 years old to man a new brewery being built in Komatsu, aptly named Noguchi Naohiko Kenkyusho, doubling as an institute where aspiring brewers come to learn. Muroka Nama is the creation of 80 years of Sake brewing experience from master brewer Noguchi Muroka made with Gohyakumangoku rice polished to 60%, the second most popular rice after Yamada Nishiki. It is an extraordinary Genshu style Sake meaning it is bottled, undiluted, unfiltered, and unpasteurized at cask strength. Notes of white flowers, candied ginger, Nashi pear, toasted sesame seed, mustard seed, cedar, and a high-toned perfume lead to a marvelous array of minerals. The palate has fantastic delivery with a silky texture that starts with a touch of sweetness and rich power that shifts and turns drier and more elegant as it flows over the palate. Showing more hints of fresh Nashi pear with excellent malty rice expression, amplified by a laser-focused acidity, incredibly balanced, and ending on a very long dry extract feel. This is the most surprising Sake we have tried this year and is a top buy at this price point. The Muroka Nama Genshu is a Sake not to miss and made by one of Japan's most legendary brewmasters still living today.