Tippling Club has collaborated with sake purveyor Mead Asia and sake brewery Yasumoto Shuzo to create Tippling Sake, a sake made using wine yeast.

Award-winning bar and restaurant Tippling Club has unveiled Tippling Sake, a collaboration sake it’s made with specialist sake importer Mead Asia and Yasumoto Shuzo of Japan’s Fukui Prefecture – the brewery behind the Hakugakusen (白岳仙) brand of sake – that happens to combine modernity with tradition.

Yasumoto Shuzo owner and head brewer Takeshi Yasumoto brewed the sake using traditional brewing methods married with modern data management to achieve an ideal level of flavour and fragrance. Yasumoto fundamentally reviewed traditional sake brewing techniques to create his own brand of Yasumoto sake brewing method, which involves the selection of raw ingredients, polishing, malted rice, yeast, and management of unrefined sake, maturation, bottling, storage, and delivery.

Sake enthusiasts would no doubt know that most sake is made using yeasts naturally occurring in the brewery’s environment or cultivated yeasts acquired from the Brewing Society of Japan. But Yasumoto was particularly inspired by the global appeal of wine to adopt winemaking techniques in his brewing, and started to experiment making sake with wine yeast in 2017. His “Hakugakusen Wine Cell” range of sake – officially released in 2018 – was the result. Similarly Tippling Sake is a “Hakugakusen Wine Cell”, made using wine yeast and not sake yeast.

What’s the difference, you ask? Yasumoto uses the same wine yeast that many Yamanashi Prefecture wineries use to ferment wine; while it usually takes 30 days to make a sake with sake yeast, with wine yeast fermentation takes around 30 to 40 days. The slower fermentation leads to a slower production of lactic acid that prevents the formation of unwanted bacteria resulting in a cleaner tasting sake; the result here, along with the use of local gohyakumangoku rice, is a slightly gamier flavour profile with wildly accentuated aromas and acidity, like what you would expect from a sake made using the Kimoto or Yamahai method. It usually also produces sake of a higher ABV.

So yes, what you can expect from the junmai ginjo that is Tippling Sake is a rather funky nose of overripe apricot and other stone fruit, and on the palate you’ll get rounded melon and ripe pear. There’s also a light bitterness undercutting it all, a trait that makes it a great pairing companion to most foods.

“We’re very honoured to be able to work with Yasumoto-san for Tippling Sake, their first-ever collaboration sake,” shared Tippling Club chef-owner Ryan Clift. Clift also shares that Tippling Sake will be one of the sakes that will feature at ma-ho-ro-ba, his new Japanese-inspired dining concept on the upper floor of Tippling Club to be unveiled later this year.

Tippling Club previously also collaborated with Western Australia-based Old Young’s Distillery to create a special gin, the Sons of Tippling gin.

Tippling Sake is available for purchase at S$75++ per bottle at Tippling Club, and is specially brought in by Mead Asia.


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