After precisely eight years, this is to be the final installment of the Nihonshu column. It has been extremely enjoyable write it over the years. The amount I have learned along the way has been nothing less than phenomenal -- and it only got more interesting as time went on.

Let me leave you with a few of my favorites sake, sake pubs and retailers. Forget terminology, technology and analogy; no talk of koji, toji, yeast or rice. Culture, schmulture; history, schmistory.

Admittedly these choices are a tad adulterated with emotion, and who knows whether I could pick them out as favorites in a blind tasting (although I think I could). But over the years they have proved worthy of my unwavering adulation.