Anriya Raku, planning to have a drink. We didn't order any food, and really didn't even consult the food menu, because we had already eaten plenty at dinner. However, I delved into the Sake list, and was pleased with the diversity I found. This is definitely a place I want to return to, and spend more time exploring the Sake list and trying some of their food. It is a place with lots of potential, though it needs to provide more information online for potential customers.
We sat at the bar and our server was personable and accommodating, making us all feel welcome. For a Thursday evening, close to midnight, it wasn't very busy though that could be because it is not well known yet. Being off the Strip, visitors to Vegas generally have to take the effort to get there, which many may not do unless they are provided sufficient reason to do so. So, such restaurants and bars need to spread the word wide and far, to gain the notice they deserve.
The Sake uses Notohikari rice, that has been polished down to 55%, which would qualify it as a Ginjo though it is only labeled as a Junmai. It has a higher acidity, at 2.2, than the usual Junmai. The Sake was produced using the ancient Kimoto method, where large oar-like poles, called yama-oroshi, are continually rammed into the yeast starter to produce a paste. This is a laborious task, which is rarely performed in modern breweries, but which can create intriguing Sake, often with a more earthy or gamey taste, as well as greater umami. The Mioya brewery has been using the Kimoto method since its founding.
Most Sake is aged for six months to a year before it is released, but this Yuho is aged for about four years prior to release. This may be why the Sake is so smooth on the palate, an easy drinking liquid which goes down far too quickly. It has a powerful umami taste, with underlying elements of earthiness, some citrus flavors and even Sherry notes on the finish. Nice acidity, a lengthy finish and plenty of complexity. An excellent choice, it garners my highest recommendation and I think it will be enjoyed not only by Sake lovers, but also those new to Sake.
Good luck to the J Sake Bar!