Singapore home to unique online sake service

Rare and seasonal editions stored in a snow cave for a year are being offered by a new online sake service in Singapore.

Introduced by Sisi Limited, the Sakemaru service delivers premium sakes to customers every month. Subscriptions are priced from S$50 (US$37) a month, and to mark the launch a trial promotion is being offered at a 50 per cent discount for the first month.

Benefits include special logistics and cold storage, product from specially selected breweries, and sake sommeliers.

Leading the sommelier team is Japan International Trading CEO Tadashi Okushima, who first became a sake sommelier in 2007. He is a certified teacher of sake traditions, and in 2014 was appointed Japan’s first honourable sake sommelier.

Sisi CEO Taichi Abe, who is also a sommelier, says sake has seasons. Breweries produce rare limited editions of sake every season. Unpasteurised and unfiltered, the limited-edition sakes have a taste that is totally different from the general line-up.

Winter is the brewing season, and fresh sake nouveau is similar to a sparkling wine. Through spring and summer the sake matures, its taste becoming soft and smooth.

By autumn, after nine months of maturing, sake becomes mild and rich.

Sakemaru stores its rare sake in a specially designed room made entirely from snow. The snow cellar is an ancient Japanese way to keep food fresh. The advantage of storing the sake under snow is that there is no vibration from electricity, it is dark with high humidity.

Japan has about 1500 sake breweries, each producing dozens of labels.

Founded a year ago, Sisi is a platform for introducing Japanese culture worldwide. Its services include trading, promotion, branding and business localisation.

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