Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura
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Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura

Whiskey isn’t the only game in Otaru. Because of the clean springwater, some of Japan’s best sake is made here. A tour of Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura, which has been creating sake since 1899, reveals how rice can be turned into booze, as well as the whole history and art behind the beverage. And then, of course, comes the tasting. Sake can be consumed warm or chilled, and serious sake drinkers approach the stuff like fine wine: Take a look at the color and swirl, sniff, sip. See if you can find the earthiness, the smokiness, the flower notes.

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