What’s the best sake Chris Johnson has ever had?
It’s kind of like the best wine you’ve ever had: Sometimes it’s situational. One of the best sakes I’ve ever had was when I was in Japan at the Masumi brewery in Nagano. We were at the owner’s house having a very nice dinner, then he broke out this special daiginjo for us. It was wintertime. We were sitting by a fireplace and everyone was talking. Then we had this amazing, champion, very small-production daiginjo from Masumi that was pretty mind-blowing.
I’ve had other sakes that are also fantastic, so it’s hard to pick one brewery and give it kudos; but that was a pretty awesome time. It’s just like most everything: When you share it with friends, it’s different from when you’re drinking it by yourself. To be in that situation, that’s what made it great. I had two friends from New York with me, whom I was giving a sake tour around Japan, a bunch of people who were at the brewery and the owner and his family, whom I’ve been friends with now for 15 years — it was a pretty awesome sake.