Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kampai Toronto 2014 Sake Festival

The 3rd annual Kampai Toronto Sake Festival (@KampaiToronto) happen on May 29th and I'm glad to say it's bigger and better with a lot of new sake. We have been going 3 years in a row and once again this year we got invited to the Trade & Media Session where we got to avoid the crowd prior to the actual event and chat with the vendors.

  Organizedby the Sake Institute of Ontario (SIO), this is the largest sake festival of it's kind in Canada.  All the Toronto International Sake Challenge (#TISC) winning sake that I mention in the media preview here are available for tasting that day.

 Taiheizan Chogetsu 'Clear Moon' Junmai Ginjo 太平山 澄月
~ Ginjo Category Winner of TISC

Taiheizan Tenko "Heavenly Grace" Junmai Daiginjo 太平山 天巧

Ikezo Peach Flavor Sparkling Jelly Sake
This was probably the most interesting sake of the day, need to shake it before opening and it has a jelly texture with very slight bubble. It's was very refreshing and sweet, liquid dessert. And according to their pamphlet, it's rich in Ceramide and a-EG which are natural skin moisturizer.

 Love the old school packaging of this Japanese Soju

Dad's Sake, still the cutest packaging and one of the easiest drinking sake

 Came with it's own cup which was cute but this is one of the cheaper rougher tasting sake.

 Setsugekka Junmai Daiginjo 雪月花

 As I've mention again and again, I am so proud of our own sake brewery I started not liking them the least bit but it blew me away time after time since then. If you still haven't visited the brewery, I highly recommend it. 

 Born Gold Junmai Daiginjo
Aged only for 1 year compare to the below, this one is only around $40-50 and it's still very complex with beautiful herb and flowery aroma. Rich and creamy on the palate with quite a smooth and easy finish.
Born Muroka Bana Genshu Junmai DaiginjoGenshu
Unfiltered and unprocessed sake, a rich and full bodied sake.

Born Yume Wa Masayume Junmai Daiginjo 梵 夢正夢
Aged in -8°C for 5 years, this sake has a subtle fruity aroma with a very silky and smooth texture. Very complex, rich with sharp lasting finish. Yes, it was amazing but at over $300 a bottle I am not sure if it's a worth it. 

 Yamayuzu Shibori Sake
Probably the only yuzu sake that I like, it's very well balance of yuzu, slight biterness and crisp acidity
Tsukasabotan Daiginjo Shizuku - King of Peony "Droplets" 
Junmai Daiginjo: Super Premium Pure Rice Sake
 Tsukasabotan Fu-In - King of Peony "Sealed Sake"
Junmai Ginjo: Premium Pure Rice Sake

Tsukasabotan Ryoma - King of Peony "Ryoma"
Junmai: Pure Rice Sake
This was my favorite, light and smooth with a hint of melon and dry grain
Tsukasabotan Hana - King of Peony "Flower"
Junmai: Pure Rice Sake

 Wakatake "Demon Slayer"
Had the Junmai, Ginjo and Daiginjo many times but never knew they have a Nigori, this one has a melon flavor which was very light and smooth.

  Okunomatsu Sakura Dai-Ginjo
Daiginjo Category Winner of TISC
This dry yet fruity sake was definitely still one of my favorite and no better bang for your buck at only $40 a bottle.

Kadoguchi Hokko Junmai
Ninki Gold Junmai Dai-Ginjo
Yamada Nishiki

 Urakasumi Ki-Ippon Junmai
The flayor of the rice is drawn out by a slow brewing process which result in a rich full bodies sake. This sake can be enjoy both warm and cold.

Hakkaisan "Eight Peaks Sake"

Not only does these limited edition Nanbu Bijin "Southern Beauty" bottles from Japan look great but taste just as amazing (shhhh but the vendor told me he smuggled it in his luggage from Japan). Definitely a reason why it remain one of my fave sake.

Nanbu Bijin "Southern Beauty" Sugar Free Umeshu Plum Sake 

 Sake Slushie

 Tengumai "Dance of the Raven Dogs"
 It is made by hand, by using the sake master's sense. Shata Shuzo uses a method which is very rare today in Japan, called "Yamaha-jikomi" (one of the methods to culture yeast). With this unique method that accompanies the lactic fermentation, a very rich taste is created. It gives a long-lasting acidic and dry taste. It gives a very unique taste compared to other Japanese sake brands, and matches perfectly with meals.

Still one of my fave event of the year, 3 year in a row.
I didn't go to the actual public event this year since I didn't want to drink too much within one day
The actual public event have more food vendors participating, so worth the $70 ticket price

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