Available Only Online

The Taste of Time

Gengai is a limited edition, vintage sake initially brewed in 1995. After aging for twenty years, this remarkably complex sake has evolved, melding sweet, tart, bitter, and umami notes in every beguiling sip. Defying expectation and engineering, Gengai is a gem born of nature and time, not to mention the perseverance of dedicated brewers in the face of misfortune. There are only a limited number of bottles of Gengai available and once they are gone, there won’t be another.

Product Details:

  • Polish: 70%
  • ABV: 14.5%
  • SMV: -30
  • Acidity: 5.1
  • Amino Acid Value: 3.1
  • Number of Pasteurizations: 2
  • Volume: 500ml

A deep and alluring amber Gengai entices with a pleasing acidity, a persistent yet mellow sweetness, and a perfect balance of sweet, umami, tart, and bitter. Mature and mellow, sharp and clear, Gengai can only be described as a multidimensional miracle of nature.

Gengai presents a robust aroma of caramel sweetness and chocolate with a mature depth. Swirling the glass brings out the punch of lactic acid with honeyed umami notes.

The robust aroma of Gengai is juxtaposed with a smooth and luxurious mouthfeel that envelops like silk.

The finish is long, profound, and rich - a befitting conclusion to Gengai’s long journey. On the final note it rewards with a pleasing acidity and rapturous balance.

Gengai pairs perfectly with the umami of choice meats and the freshest fish. The complex, mature aroma also makes Gengai an excellent complement to grilled meats, pate, and other rich dishes.

The Nature of Time
When aged under appropriate conditions, sake undergoes chemical reactions that imbue deeper, more complex flavors and color. With a long gestation, a vintage can also develop surprising clarity. These changes cannot be induced purposefully and the exact outcome of the aging process is something only time and nature decide.

In 1995, the Great Hanshin Earthquake nearly leveled Kobe, devastating the brewery and leaving only a few tanks of shubo remaining. Shubo, which means ‘the mother of sake’, is an essential element in the brewing process. Not fit for sale because it had not finished fermenting, the brewer decided to store the batch and hoped time would salvage it. Twenty years later, the batch was rediscovered and found to have undergone a fantastical and miraculous transformation. A bittersweet reminder that from unthinkable disaster, greatness can be born.



Gengai, a limited edition, vintage sake is the silver lining of the earthquake that devastated Kobe in 1995. Discovered after aging for twenty years, this is a remarkably smooth and luxurious sake perfectly balanced with sweet, tart, bitter, and umami notes that culminate in a long, profoundly rich finish. There are only a limited number of bottles of Gengai available and once they are gone there won’t be another.

The Sawanotsuru Brewery was founded in 1717 as a purveyor of rice in Nadagogo, Hyogo Prefecture, one of the three major brewing regions of Japan. They started brewing sake as a small side business but eventually became renowned for their singular focus on bringing out the best in sake rice to produce connoisseur-quality sake.

Recently viewed