The Universe has recently opened up a new door for me knowing I do not discriminate my "spirits", I have been recently invited to a sake tasting event with Sake Master Kan Otsuka, the current and 19th generation descendant of the renowned Nabedana brewery from Narita City. In this event, Sake Master Kan Otsuka brought us the legendary Fudoh (不動) sake, the sacred sake for Buddha offered at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, one of the three biggest temples in eastern Japan. Fudoh which means The Immovable, was derived from one of the guardian deity to Buddha by the name of Fudō Myō-ō (不動明王). Yes, Fudoh sake is offered with great honour to those who make pilgrimages to the temple.
|Sake Master Kan Otsuka with the Chef of Ginza Kuroson|
Sake Master Kan Otsuka (who approved my Facebook friend request, yay!) introduced us to the process of sake brewing which involves 8 steps (for more details, you may refer to this link):
- Rice polishing: The finer the rice, the more it is milled away, the softer the taste on the palate.
- Rice washing and steeping
- Rice steaming
- Koji making
- Shubo (Fermentation Starter): +/- 2 weeks
- Moromi (Final Culture): +/- 4 weeks
- Pasteurization and storage: At least 6 months before bottling.
Sake, like any other alcohol, and like any other good things in life, needs lots of patience. I was however, very impatient to taste the sake. Finally, Sake Master Kan Otsuka introduced us to 4 sakes:
- Fudoh Special Junmai
Made from Miyamanishiki rice, polished to 60% it has relatively high acidity level (Acidity: 1.6) and relatively dry (Dryness: +3). It was a great opening that paired well with fish such as tuna, mackarel and kare. Truly refreshing and easy going that you can serve it cold or hot.
- Fudoh Junmai GinjoMade from Sakekomachi rice variety. Polished to 55%, acidity level of 1.5 and dryness +2 (lesser than Fudoh Special Junmai) however it has a more intense taste than Fudoh Special Junmai, which made it suitable to be paired with sushi, tempura, yakitori, shabu shabu, raw sliced red fish, etc.
- Fudoh Junmai DaiginjoIt has all the same specifications as Fudoh Junmai Ginjo except the RPR (Rice Polishing Ratio) - instead of 55%, it is 50%. That 5% really plays a big part in the texture and smoothness of the sake. Recommended to be paired with sushi or raw sliced white fish.
- Fudoh Ginjo Nigori (Unfiltered)
Made from Fusakogane rice grown in Chiba perfecture. Polished to 60%, acidity level of 1.2 and dryness +3. Notice the milkier colour, it is because this sake is purposely made unfiltered. Hence, it has a little bit of powdery texture to it as if you are drinking soya milk with alcohol. The unfiltered sake is a very seasonal and usually consumed during celebrations such as New Year. It has to be drunk really fresh and paired well with Korean BBQ (yes, surprisingly), hot pot and rich tasty appetizer.
If you'd like to try them now, guess what, you can! Beam Suntory, world's third largest premium spirits company to whom Singapore is privileged to be the first country ever outside Japan to try Fudoh sake, has the entire Marquee at Beer Fest Singapore 2014 just to showcase the finest handpicked whiskey, wine, sake, oh you name it. Fudoh sake will be made available from S$8-15/ glass. It will be served in a wine glass instead of typical sake shot so that you will be able to smell the aroma and receive generous portion of sake. Huat ah!
Beer Fest Singapore 2014
Venue: Marina Promenade (F1 track behind Singapore Flyer)
Event Duration: 12-15 June 2014
Time: 13-14 June 6PM-2AM, 15 June 12PM-10PM
Ticket Sales: Starts from $15/person from Sistic
If you'd like to have the chance to win great prizes, tag your pictures at Whisky and Wine Marquee with #BeamSuntoryExp and upload it through Instagram and Facebook. The best 20 pictures will win a bottle of Single Malt Whiskey each!