In tonight's session, we tried 5 new sakes from the W sake line up to celebrate our wins in 2021 and usher in more dubs in the new year. Each of the sakes has a big “W” on their label, representing 3 things: Watanabe (the brewery), World & Warai (laughter in Japanese). During production of these sakes, Japanese Comedy TV is played to the fermentation tanks so that the sake yeast stays happy, the brewery staff are happy, and the customers are happy. We can’t think of a more auspicious way to finish the year off right!
While both Hourai and W labels are from Watanabe Shuzo, they are completely opposite of each other. Hourai boasts 3 consecutive years of being #1 at the world Sakagura Ranking ( a system that tabulates the total number of awards won around the world).
On the other hand, there is virtually no information of W sakes on the web. In the sense, they are completely "underground" in terms of their marketing. They also label all their sakes Junmai even though they are polished to 18%-50%, which technically qualifies for a Junmai Daiginjo grade.
Here are the top 3 favourite sakes for the night, with #1 garnering a vote of an overwhelming 42%. #2 and #3 are actually tied at 27% vote each. *drum rolls*
#1 W Yamadanishiki Junmai: Pronounced, lively fruity aromas of musk melon, grapefruit, pineapple & apricot. This is a heavy bodied sake, with fresh yet deep flavours of kiwi and pineapple. Hints of minerals punctuates this sake, and it finishes with a touch of pleasant bitterness and lingering heat.
#2 W underground: A brand new rice polishing machine was bought just to brew this sake. The Underground also uses White Night koji and top grade AAA yamadanishiki rice. Unlike its "hardcore" appearance, this sake has a "fairy-like" and "princess" vibes, where the taste floats around airily on your palate before vanishing in thin air. Very "Kirei" finish indeed.
#3 W Yamadanishiki Platinum: highly sophisticated, juicy and fruity sake. Similar to the W Yamadanishiki Junmai but with much more complexity and elegance!
Other sakes that we tried:
#4 W Takashima Omachi: Takashima omachi is the great granddad of yamadanishiki rice. It has the highest of the 5 sakes with polishing ratio of 50%. This is because Omachi rice cannot be polished too low without cracking due to the softer rice structure. Aromas of earl grey bergamot, orange and ripe banana. Thick and vicious texture and layered, well hidden flavours (just like the camo bottle design). Spice finish.
#5 W Hidahomare Junmai: Aromas of oats, cereals and a hint of fruit Deep, quiet and umami. Taste like a cross between a junmai and ginjo flavour profile. Quite unique!
See other Watanabe Shuzo's sakes here. Try them all before they are all snatched up!
Your Sake On-nomi set will include:
1) a sake tasting flight of 5 x 70ml bottles
2) a placemat containing sake tasting notes and Zoom details
3) an hour's session with our in-house educator, Adrian Goh
Don't miss another event, stay tuned at https://theartofsake.com/collections/ira-sake-onnomi
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Sake On-nomi #33 - Fall for the flavours of Autumn
Sake On-nomi #32 - Sake All-Star! World Sake Day
Sake On-nomi #31 - Mid-Autumn Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #30 - Sake of the Mountain Peak
Sake On-nomi #29 - SG Childhood Snacks and Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #28 - Beginner's Guide to Japanese Sake
Sake On-nomi #27 - World Chocolate Day with Sake
Sake On-nomi #26 - Royals of the Sake World
Sake On-nomi #25 - Sake and Snacks Party with DDDK!
Sake On-nomi #24 - Dreams of Hourai-zon
Sake On-nomi #23 - "Sake Warming!"
Sake On-nomi #22 - Rebloom of Sakari
Sake On-nomi #21 - The Art of Sake x Lion City Meadery
Sake On-nomi #20 - Celebrate CNY with Sake!
Sake On-nomi #19 - Gozenshu: Brewery of Ancient Style
Sake On-nomi #18- Taste Of Manotsuru
Sake On-nomi #17 - Juyondai Vertical Tasting
Sake On-nomi #16 Cheese & Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #15 Toko Virtual Tour
Sake on-nomi #14 Seasonal Sake
Sake On-nomi #13 Daiginjo Kanpai for World Sake Day
Sake On-nomi #12 Chocolate Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #11 Guess the Daiginjo
Sake On-nomi #10 Sake Rice Selection
Sake On-nomi #9 - Aged Ham with Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #8 - Japanese Sake GI
Sake On-nomi #7 - Cheese with Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #6 - Namazake Selection
Sake On-nomi #5 - Sake Blind Tasting
Sake On-nomi #4 - Premium Daiginjo Selection
Sake On-nomi #3 - Unique Style Selection
Sake On-nomi #2 - Niigata Sake Selection
Sake On-nomi #1 - Dewazakura from Yamagata