The Boozy Ingredient That Makes Drunken Wagyu Steak Different

If a juicy steak packed with flavor is one of your favorite meals to splurge on, then maybe you've been lucky enough to try Wagyu beef. Many red meat lovers consider it to be the best beef in the world due to its tender, melt-in-your-mouth marbling, which is what gives this renowned delicacy its expensive price tag. While authentic Wagyu can be difficult to find, Takamori Drunken Wagyu may be even rarer. Yes, the meat is infused with alcohol, but not in the way you'd expect.

For over 400 years, the Japanese town of Takamori on Kyushu island has raised cattle. Today, drunken Wagyu steak is sourced from Iwakuni farm, which is home to 200 cows that have a specialized diet that begins when each new calf is born. The farm partnered with Japan's famous Dassai Sake Brewery to create a unique diet of sake byproducts for the Takamori cattle to munch on. Newborn cattle feed on this sake mash until being old enough to lead to pasture, where grains keep them well-fed from then on. It's this initial sake-based diet that causes this particular brand of beef to develop a distinctly sweet flavor that rivals even the most premium, high-scoring cuts of Wagyu steak.

Drunken Wagyu tastes sweeter thanks to Japan's Meat Master

The farm behind the creation of artisanal Takamori beef has got its flavor profiles down to an art form and is considered one of the best Wagyu varieties on the market. Drunken Wagyu absorbs the sweetness within the sake, giving the meat a much lighter taste than most other umami-rich Wagyu. For this brilliant combo, we have master butcher and Wagyu expert, Noriaki Numamoto, to thank. Beyond his flashy knife skills as a trained connoisseur of meats, Numamoto's strategic partnership with Dassai Brewery has attracted the attention of celebrities around the world, and even Japan's prime minister. It seems that drunken Wagyu steak is in a league of its own.

Drunken Wagyu from Takamori can be quite expensive, running from $85 to over $440. In general, Wagyu beef can sell for up to $200 per pound. In comparison, American Wagyu, which comes from the crossbreeding of purebred Japanese Wagyu black cattle with the popular Angus breed, is cheaper because the marbling isn't on par with its Japanese counterpart. A pound of American Wagyu is typically sold at a much more reasonable price point, so you could purchase some for around $10-$15 per pound.  However, if you've gone ahead and added drunken Wagyu to your foodie bucket list, we wish you luck in finding the real deal.