The Stella has surprised us a few times by standing up to some very prestigious bottles five times the price. The Stella is a limited production with only several tanks made a year and is an excellent choice for both the experienced and novice Sake drinker. Check out our original review below!
Here is a newer Junmai Daiginjo for us, and the first time we have offered this Sake Producer. This is made by Inaba Shuzo brewery, who have been making Sake for 13 generations. The head brewer is Nobuko Inaba who took over her family brewery in 2000 and is one of the few female master brewers in Japan. From Ibaraki prefecture in eastern Japan, Nobuko utilizes the drip method, which common in much more expensive Sakes. Inaba Shuzo is so committed to quality that they track every aspect of the creation process, experimenting with small fractions of time to create the best product they possibly can. Stella starts with 50% polished Yamada Nishiki rice and well water collected from Mt. Tsukuba, one of Japan's most famous mountains. After the rice is fermented, it is placed in hanging bags and slowly filters by gravity, collected droplet by droplet. This time consuming technique provides a purer, more delicate Sake with untampered expression and is the most traditional way to separate the finished Sake from the leftover mash. The Stella is fruity at first with citrus, orchard fruit, and some exotic notes before opening up to a more savory umami core. A bit of upfront sweetness quickly flows into the mid-palate richness uplifted rapidly by the acidity, finishing very smooth and clean. Because the finish is so clean, this can be enjoyed with a variety of western dishes but, of course, goes incredibly well with seafood. There is so much quality for the price here. Stella is a great entry point for those looking to get familiar with the higher end of Sake without the cost but is also an excellent choice for the experienced.