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Get rare taste of Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 at Gourmet Japan

At the annual Gourmet Japan series, diners can taste a rare Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 at an omakase dinner

Just 22 diners will get the opportunity to dine at The Sir Stamford Raffles Suite at the Raffles Hotel on April 20, complete with an omakase dinner by chef Koichiro Oshino of Shinji by Kanesaka, and a rare chance to taste the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016.

The prized whisky is the highly anticipated follow-up to the coveted Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, which was named last year's Best Whisky in the World by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible - a respected whisky guide.

In addition, the meal will be hosted by Beam Suntory's global brand ambassador Mike Miyamoto, who has been with the company for 37 years.

The 2016 release was made in response to demand for the 2013 edition. Only 1,000 bottles were released then.

This time, 5,000 bottle are available worldwide, with a limited number set aside for Singapore.

The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 includes whisky that has matured for two years, along with rare sherry cask single malt whiskies, some of which are more than 25 years old. The whisky is on the sweet side and pairs well with desserts and cheese, says Mr Miyamoto.

Acknowledging the surge in demand for Japanese whisky, he says: "We didn't anticipate such a big boom 10 to 12 years ago. That's why we didn't make enough.

"We hope this trend will continue and that in another 10 years, the demand is still there. But we are trying to match demand and have made efforts to expand our distillery by 20 per cent."

He also adds that blended whiskies, which have been regarded as inferior previously, have become "mainstream".

Says Mr Miyamoto: "People like to focus on single malt, but blended whisky has become established."

This dinner is one of many in the annual Gourmet Japan series, which runs from April 20 to May 31 this year.

It is organised by event management and exhibitions company Sphere Exhibits, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, and food and beverage consultancy Poulose Associates.

It is presented by Japanese credit card company JCB International and card-holders receive 20 per cent off all event prices.

New restaurants on the programme this year include Ashino at Chijmes, Beni at Mandarin Gallery and Ushidoki Wagyu Kaiseki in Tras Street.

Other highlights include The Iron Chef Dinner featuring chef Hiroyuki Sakai and chef Chen Kenichi at Me@OUE; a Tantalising Teppanyaki Dinner with The Hakushu Whiskies at Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore; and An Unagi Indulgence with Suntory The Premium Malt's pilsner beer at Chikuyo-tei at UE Square.

For those who want to learn about cooking Japanese food, sign up for The Art of Japanese Cuisine Workshops at ToTT Cooking Studio.


Gourmet Japan delights

THE QUINTESSENTIAL SUNTORY DINNER FEATURING YAMAZAKI SHERRY CASK AND THE CUISINE OF SHINJI BY KANESAKA


Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 PHOTO: GOURMET JAPAN

What: Get a taste of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016, the highly anticipated counterpart to the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, which was named last year's Best Whisky in the World by respected whisky guide Jim Murray's Whisky Bible.

Gain insight into the making of the coveted whisky as the omakase dinner will be hosted by Beam Suntory's global brand ambassador Mike Miyamoto.

Where: The Sir Stamford Raffles Suite, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road

When: April 20, 7pm

Price: $1,118++ ($894.40++ for JCB cardmembers)

MODERN JAPANESE DINING WITH FUDOH SAKE

What: Go for a seven-course menu at Takujo Fine Dining in the Japanese food hub Emporium Shokuhin.


PHOTO: TAKUJO

Highlights include French oysters, USDA prime sirloin with yuzu kosho, six-hour braised bluefin tuna fish head with Niigata rice, with a genmaicha ice cream to finish. Fudoh sake from Nabedana brewery is considered a sacred sake for Buddha, offered at the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in eastern Japan.

Where: Takujo Fine Dining, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, 01-18

When: May 19, 7pm

Price: $188++ ($150.40++ for JCB cardmembers)

AN OMAKASE EXPERIENCE WITH THE WINES OF TOMI NO OKA

What: The citrus notes of the wines from the Suntory Tomi no Oka winery in Yamanashi prefecture, made from Koshu grapes, pair well with the delicate flavours of the Japanese food by chef Kenjiro Hashida.

Where: Hashida Sushi Singapore, 333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, 02-37

When: April 26, 7pm

Price: $468++ ($374.40++ for JCB cardmembers)

BENI PRESENTS THE PATRICIA DINNER

What: Beni chef Kenji Yamanaka brings the best of French cuisine and Japanese produce together with The Patricia Range of wines from Australian wine company Brown Brothers.

Dishes include asperges blanches - French white asparagus, orange- flavoured sabayon, morel and trumpet mushroom puree and fresh pork ham; amadai matsukasayaki, which is pan-fried tilefish with scales, Japanese bamboo shoot, Japanese herbs, green lettuce sauce; and cote de veau, roasted veal from Holland, morel cream sauce, turnip, carrot puree and carrot compote.

Where: Beni, 333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, 04-16

When: April 22, 7pm

Price: $228++ ($182.40++ for JCB cardmembers)

ASHINO PRESENTS A MASUIZUMI SAKE DINNER

What: Savour the sushi from Ashino - where the rice is cooked in a traditional iron kettle with air-flown water from Mount Fuji - together with Masuizumi sake from the Masuda Sake brewery in Toyama prefecture. Chef Taku Ashino will be cooking.

Where: Ashino, 30 Victoria Street, Chijmes, 01-23

When: May 4, 7pm

Price: $398++ ($318.40++ for JCB cardmembers)

A WAGYU KAISEKI DINNER WITH HIBIKI WHISKIES

What: Indulge in a wagyu feast at Ushidoki Wagyu Kaiseki, a wagyu-centric Japanese restaurant. Look forward to a "tongue to tail" experience in the Hibiki whisky-pairing menu, which features Ozaki beef from Miyazaki prefecture.

Menu items include braised beef tongue and seasonal vegetable served in Ozaki beef stock, wagyu tartare and grilled wagyu. Chef Hirohashi Nobuaki cooks.

Where: Ushidoki Wagyu Kaiseki, 57 Tras Street

When: April 28, 7pm

Price: $268++ ($214.40++ for JCB cardmembers)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 03, 2016, with the headline 'Taste rare Japanese whisky'. Print Edition | Subscribe