After a rousing return of the summer edition of Sake Matsuri earlier this year in June, the largest craft sake festival in Singapore is set to make a return for the autumn season, once again taking over the UE Square, Skylight Atrium space come Nov 5, 2022.
Like the previous event, this fifth edition is one-day-only, with two ticketed time blocks – 11am-2pm and 3pm-6pm – to choose from. During those allocated 3 hours, festival goers are welcome to sample pours by local sake distributors the likes of Inter Rice Asia, Kirei, Kurara, Woodstock Beverages, and more.
Expect autumn seasonals and other new-to-market sakes making their showing on festival grounds for the first time in this edition. Most noteworthy will be the competition-winning sakes, newly crowned at the very first Singapore Sake Awards, being made available for tasting and purchase during Sake Matsuri.
[Read more: With the Asian Wine Lexicon, make better sense of the wines you’re tasting]
The Singapore Sake Awards, held in conjunction with the festival and being organised by a panel of seven judges, seeks to recognise the nation’s love for quality sakes, emphasising the evaluation of real-world consumer bottles and with full consideration of the Southeast Asian palate.
Judges in this debut panel include the likes of sake educator and industry veteran Adrian Goh as head judge; sake industry personality and Sake Central co-founder Elliot Faber as senior judge; certified educator and sake and shochu sommelier Olivia Chey as panel judge; among others.
They will be judging sake entries in a transparent, double-blind tasting format. For this inaugural awards, gold, silver, and bronze accolades for three main categories are up for grabs: Best Junmai Daiginjo/Daiginjo, Best Junmai Ginjo/Ginjo, and Best Junmai/Honjozo.
[Read more: A beginner’s guide to sake]
There will also be three special awards given out. First, a Best of Festival award to recognise the sake that most impressed the judges overall. Second, a Best Value-for-Money Sake that will be given to the bottle that displays peak cost-to-satisfaction ratio. And third, the Sake Matsuri Most Popular Sake Award, which is actually awarded by Sake Matsuri attendees via popular vote.
New to the festival grounds is a blind tasting challenge, where sake enthusiasts can put their palates to the test and see how they fare while voting for their favourite bottlings. If feeling peckish, food options by raw bar The Oyster Cart and mod-sin izakaya The Kongsee will be onsite dishing out quick eats.
Beyond the awards and festival ground happenings, a line-up of masterclasses and workshops – such as a caviar and sake pairing journey, a shochu discovery session, and a sake regionality masterclass – will also be taking place at various locations around town till Nov 5.
Sake Matsuri 2022 autumn edition is held at UE Square, Skylight Atrium, 81 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore 239917. Tickets are S$55 per person, or S$250 for a group of five. Each ticket is inclusive of three hours of free-flow sampling and a tasting glass.
For further details, additional information, and ticketing, head over to sakematsuri.sg.
[Read more: Sake Matsuri festival guide: What to expect, how it works, and how to make the best of it]