Sake tasting! Mutsu Hassen and Sagaminada

On Thursday (25th February 2021) we had a sake tasting session at Healthy Soba Iki (One Raffles Place) together with food pairings! A sake expert, Yuhei Takata-san, was invited to explain the sake that was being served for the night. This was the biggest sake tasting for us so far, we had six different sakes in one sitting from Mutsu Hassen and Sagaminada!

We started off with three different types of sake from the Sagaminada brand. These sakes were brewed by Kubota Shuzo brewery located in the Kanagawa prefecture. All three sakes had a polishing ratio of 50%, meaning 50% of the rice was milled away and the remaining used for sake brewing. These were paired with some tasty black pepper crusted salami and umami Burrata cheese.

Sakes from the Sagaminada brand from the Kubota Shuzo brewery. From left, the sakes are brewed using Miyamanishiki rice, Yamadanishiki rice and Omachi rice respectively

It was a good selection of the three sakes from Sagaminada because the rice polishing ratio and yeast used for brewing was the same (Kyokai 9 yeast) and the only variation was the rice used for brewing the sake (Miyamanishiki, Yamadanishiki and Omachi). The Sagaminada Yamadanishiki was the lightest bodied of the three – it had a very pleasant, floral scent and also fruity notes like melon and bananas. Despite being light bodied, it had a satisfying, clean finish. The Sagaminada Omachi had earthy notes of mushroom.

Burrata cheese with apricot sauce – great with a light bodied, fruity and floral sake!
Pan-seared duck – great with an umami sake such as the Sagaminada Omachi or the Mutsu Hassen Black Label

We paired the Sagamidada Yamadanishiki and Sagaminda Miyamanishiki with the burrata cheese with apricot sauce – the floral and fruity notes of the sake went well with the soft cheese and slightly acidic apricot sauce. Delicious!

Sakes from the Mutsu Hassen brand from the Hachinohe Shuzo. From left – Mutsu Hassen Black Label Junmai Ginjo, Mutsu Hassen Red Label Junmai Ginjo, Mutsu Hassen Pink Label Junmai Ginjo

Next in line, we have another three sakes from Mutsu Hassen! This is from Hachinohe Shuzo Brewery based in Aomori prefecture. I’m not sure if it was the wine glasses that elevated the aromas, but the aroma of these sakes hit strongly and immediately. Mutsu Hassen pink label had an intense but very pleasant, saccharine aroma of lychee and banana. The acidity hits lightly at the first sip, and grows at the finish.

Mutsu Hassen red label was similarly fruity, but I picked up more banana notes than lychee. It had a consistent, light-medium acidity throughout. My favourite was the Mutsu Hassen black label. It was fuller bodied, with a balanced sweetness and acidity and a nice length. The Mutsu Hassen pink and red label would pair well with fruit and cheese plates and also seafood! Black label would pair well with red meat and grilled meat like salmon because of its fuller body.

We ended the day with a bowl of refreshing Mori soba to cleanse our palates! We were very lucky to have Yuhei Takata-san to explain the sakes and history of the breweries to us on the day. We will talk about the history of these two different breweries on another post so stay tuned 🙂

You can also join us at Healthy Soba Iki every Friday for a sake tasting session where you can enjoy a tasting by the glass! Follow us at @sakeculturesg on Instagram or Facebook to get notified of such events.

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