Uncompromising Sake Excellence - Sake On-nomi #37
In Sake On-nomi #37, we featured an all-Daishichi, all-Junmai Daiginjo line up to save the best for last!
Daishichi are the top dogs of the sake world. Not only are they defiers of mainstream sake trends, they are trendsetters that others follow suit. They are innovators, yet strict with their own philosophies of what tradition should be. And being an all Kimoto-style brewery, they are consistently producing some of the most exquisite sake in the world - a true connoisseur's brand.
How are Daishichi Sake Brewery different from others?
- Daishichi sakes are typically aged 3 to 4 years. This is different from most breweries that produce their sakes to be drank young. Daishichi brews sakes that are made with long term quality in mind. They believe that the sakes they age will be robust, ripen and blossom over time.
- They believe in following the traditions of making sake very thoroughly. Modern sake breweries have removed inconvenient steps that seem unnecessary to them. Daishichi thinks that modern day methods skip too many steps, resulting in a lost of quality in today's Japanese sakes.
- They stick to only 2 types of sake rice - Yamadanishiki and Gohyaku Mangoku. In this age of sake brewing, many new cross-strains of sake rice are being invented and experimented for sake brewing. However, Daishichi only uses 2 types of rice and at their highest grade, to produce the sakes that fit their ideals.
- Even after choosing the highest tier of rice for their sake, they still re-sort the rice when it reaches the brewery to remove individual grains of rice that they deem unfit. One grain at the time!
- Despite their strong insistence to traditions, they are at the forefront of technology. With such clear and focused ideology on sake brewing, they invented their own technology to attain those ideals namely. They pioneered the Super Flat Polish method and the first Anoxic Bottling System.
- Most of their high-end sakes uses the Shizuku Drip Method, whereby sake placed in a cloth bag and only the naturally dripped sake from it is collected and bottled. This is time-consuming, labour-intensive and costly as only 10% of the entire batch of sake can be collected in this manner to prevent oxidation.
- Sake Blending. Only around 100 Breweries blend different sakes/vintages together to create a new sake.
Daishichi Junmai Daiginjo Minowamon
This is Daishichi's Signature sake as it was the first sake that they had made after inventing Ultra-flat polishing. It would also act as the "control sake" for this tasting session to compare their normal sakes to their ultra-premium ones.
There's a certain richness in aroma, with notes of green apple, anise, liquorish, sweet spice. It has an extremely clear and structured flavour that is very mouth-filling! With its elevated acidity, slightly milky taste, it is the hallmark of Kimoto brewing style. It has mature characteristics of forest-y, shoyu, nuts and grains too. Good pairing with French dishes like Bouillabaisse.
Daishichi Junmai Daiginjo Myoka Rangoku
This sake is the first of the "Myoka Rangoku" series, made to commemorate their 250th anniversary. Daishichi drew inspiration from whiskey breweries and had an idea to create the ultimate sake. By blending from different vintages of sake together and aging it for 4 years, they had found the recipe to use different attributes of each vintages to "fill in/ cover up" for possible weaknesses.
It's a very complex tasting sake with different layers at different sips. Yet, it is still very clean and smooth, with notes of macadamia nut and almond. Adrian Goh refers to it as being "extremely layered, just like an onion" and suggests drinking this sake over a period of time at different temperatures to get the full experience of what this sake can offer.
Versatile sake that can go well with Chinese, Japanese and western cuisine.
Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Grande Cuvee
Grand Cuvee is upgrade of the Myoka Rangoku that is made once every 3 years. It is extremely exclusive with and sake bottles numbers are indicated. Only 12 bottles exported to Singapore a year!
What's more, it's a multi-vintage sake with blends form 1988 to 2012. This means that the oldest sake in this bottle itself is 33 years old and the youngest one would be 10 years old!
Despite this, the Grand Cuvee does not taste very old, pungent, funky at all! Instead it has a bit of hinoki (a kind of wood) and it's smooth and complex. It is a Shizuku Genshu and much more dense and powerful than the Original Myoka Rangoku. It is also very well harmonised with a lot of depth and a very long finish.
We think that it would be good with bear meat or other wild games! Keep your eyes peeled when this sake is back in stock at theartofsake.com in 2022.
Daishichi Tamayori Gozen Kikyo
This sake has a beautiful and meaningful bottle design with metal embossed lotus petals and turtle shell art for label. "Kikyo" directly translates to "turtle mirror", but it can also mean "role model" or "longevity".
Sanboin, the special head temple on Mt Koya in-charge of arranging sake for the rituals on this Shingon Buddhist temple mountain, has assigned the momentous task of brewing the temple’s sake to the Daishichi Sake Brewery.
Thus, Kikyo is not found on Daishichi's official website as it is specially curated as one of the most luxurious single-vintage sakes used at official events of the temples on Mt Koya.
Although it's aged for 5 years, it tastes "young" compared to the other sakes in this line-up. Slightly smoky with anise seed, hinoki and pepper on the nose. Subtle complexity, elegant and a short finish. It's also a Shizuku Genshu, great sake to have when you're in a sombre, thinking mood.
Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Omega
The Omega is yet another variant of the Myoka Rangyoku Series with a whooping price of $1180. Unlike the other 2, this is a single vintage of 2016. It is also the only variant that is Ultra-flat polished to 45%. The Omega is the "Mona Lisa" of Daishichi Brewery, made after reviewing all the brewing processes to attain higher level than that of the Original. This would mean that it is Daishichi's current best work and not available every year.
The Omega smells like the grand cuvee but fresher. It has aromas of ripe winter fruit like persimmons, pomegranate and a hint of pepper. It also tastes better decanted and has opened up.
Quoting Adrian from the session, he says, "It's like a Ferrari. when you drive a Ferrari, you don't expect it to be easy to drive. You expect it to have character and be difficult."
Indeed, the Omega is like a fine art that needs dedicated time to appreciate and understand.
Top 3 sakes of the night, voted by the participants:
1) Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Grande Cuvee
2) Daishichi Junmai Daiginjo Minowamon
3) Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Omega
That's all for now, thank you for reading and see you in 2022's Sake On-nomi Events!
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
1) Daishichi Junmai Daiginjo Minowamon
2) Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku
3) Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Grande Cuvee
4) Daishichi Tamayori Gozen Kikyo
5) Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku Omega
Don't miss another event, stay tuned at https://theartofsake.com/collections/ira-sake-onnomi
Sake On-nomi #36 - End Your Year with a W
Sake On-nomi #35 - Oyster & Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #34 - Experience Kozaemon
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
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