Japanese Convenience Store Sake

In the introduction to our first RANDOM review, I made mention of a sake review that we ultimately had to abandon for reasons of competency—we didn’t have any.

But while we are generally against incompetence around here, incompetency does have an upside: it’s funny.

I said at the top of our Salsitas Spicy Chips review that if enough people expressed interest in some of the highlights from that memorable February evening in Hokkaido, Japan, where we “tested” five bottles of sake that we picked up from two convenience stores, I’d share them.

Well, lots of you wrote in. Don’t think we didn’t notice, however, that few of you had the courage to publicly express in the Comments Section your interest in the sake review-gone-wrong, but opted instead to send private emails. Cowards!

Just kidding. I wouldn’t have owned up to it, either. Nevertheless, I’m still going to take this opportunity to blame all of you for the disastrous non-review that you’re about to witness.


The contenders:

Our five bottles of Sake were purchased at the Max Valu Mart and the Seico Mart. There was:

1) The “Frog One” (cf. the picture of the frog)

Blister Gear Review's Sake review
(We'll explain the pot in a minute.)


2) The “Good One”

3) The “Throw Up One”

4) The “Floral One”

5) The Jar of Sake


Important Note #1: Warm or Cold?

Apparently, some sake is best served warm, others cold. We proposed a number of spectacularly ignorant theories around the table as to how to decide which bottles of ours ought to be served at room temperature or chilled, none (I assure you) worth mentioning here.

Fortunately, reviewer Andrew Gregovich had a conversation about sake the night before with pro skier Sean Pettit, which Andrew attempted to recount—unsuccessfully; we weren’t able to draw from Andrew any principles that Sean had bestowed upon him regarding when and when not to chill.

But let it be known that Mr. Pettit isn’t merely one of the best skiers on the planet and a good guy, he also is (well, might be) a Renaissance Man who may (or may not) know something (anything?) about sake.

So if you ever bump in to Sean and you’re searching for something to talk about, ask him about sake….


Ok, The Review:

First, we decided to serve the Jar of Sake cold. Why, you ask?

“Cause it got put in the fridge with the rest of the groceries.”


At this point, we just started trying all of them.

Blister Gear Review, Sake test
Test Location: The Kitchen Table


Some Key Quotes:

Me: “So how qualified are you guys to review sake? How much have you had in your life?”

Ryan: “Quite a bit.”

Tom: “Not that much.”

Jason: “Not much.”

Julia: “Hardly any.”

Andrew: “None.”



Andrew: “Sake is made from rice, right?”

(Everyone looks at everyone else….)

Somebody: “I think so. I mean, I’m pretty sure….”


Words To Live By:

Ryan: “It is incredibly bad luck to pour your own sake. You’re always supposed to have someone else pour your own sake. Whatever.” (He pours his own sake.)


Tom: “Hey, is it bad to mix wine and beer and sake?”

Ryan: “No, not if you want a hang over.”

Important Note #2: Don’t Mix Whiskey and Sake

In Japan, beer is expensive, while whiskey and sake are cheap. But according to the Culture Smart guide book on Japan, it is allegedly fatal to mix whiskey and sake. We did not, however, experiment to see if this is, in fact, true (well, Tom sort of did). But in the interest of public safety, we’re going to recommend that you don’t mix the two.

7 comments on “Japanese Convenience Store Sake”

  1. Since you guys are stalwartly refusing to include any road bike reviews, I’m glad you are at least keeping me very entertained. Thanks :)

  2. You have convinced me that I should never, under any circumstances, drink sake (let alone learn anything about sake). This is interesting, because I would think that your reviews should inform people about things and make them want to try stuff out.

  3. I would like to add that I didn’t find anything wrong with drinking whiskey and sake in the same evening. Although I feel that I have to mention that I do not remember most of this evening of sake reviewing. Actually the only pure memory of the whole trip was the crazy amount of snow.

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