House of Suntory introduces the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 3.36.49 PMAfter being named as the best whisky in the world by Jim Murray’s revered Whisky Bible, the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask from 2013 gets revived for a 2016 release. Aging in sherry casks has been a tradition for the House of Suntory since opening in 1924. Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo personally visits Spain to handpick the oak used to create the casks and oversees the entire aging process, which takes three years before it’s shipped to the distillery. Blends for this batch were chosen from more than 100 malt whiskies to develop the complex flavor and have been aged for two more years than its 2013 predecessor. Fukuyo recommends the spirit to be served neat.

“On its own, there is a clear and fresh top note. A raisin-like, deep sweetness that is both elegant and rich. You immediately taste the complexity of this liquid and the fine balance of maturity and delicateness. Served on the rocks, the flavour opens as you begin to taste the Delaware grape-like sweetness and its slightly bitter acidity. When cut with water, there is a soft sweetness that blossoms like the first apples of the harvest.”

The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 will be limited to just 5,000 bottles globally and is available at select stores now.

UCLA needs Asian Americans for an alcohol study

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The Addictions Research Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at UCLA is looking for Asian Americans who drink alcohol to participate in a study investigating a medication for alcohol use.

Participants must be between 21 and 55 years old. If selected for the study, participants will be asked to provide a DNA sample, take a study medication for 10 days, answer questionnaires and complete two fMRI scans and two alcohol administration sessions.

The study will require multiple visits to the UCLA campus. For their time, participants will be compensated up to $446.

You can find more information and check if you are medically eligible for the study by taking their survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AsianAmericanAlcoholStudy

For specific questions, you can call (310) 206-6756 and mention the Asian American Alcohol Study, or email the lab at raylab@psych.ucla.edu.

Chinese woman chugs entire $200 bottle of cognac that was too big for carry-on

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FoodBeast/Next Shark (by Riley Schatzle):

The security staff at Beijing Capital International Airport forced a woman into the ultimate drinking challenge when they refused to let her bring a $200 bottle of cognac onto a plane.

Last Friday a woman surnamed Zhao was on her way to Wenzhou when Beijing airport security stopped her for having a 700mL bottle of Rémy Martin XO Excellence in her hand luggage, reports the South China Morning Post.

According to China security provisions, however, liquids over 100mL are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

Zhao, 40, decided that a $200 bottle of cognac should not go to waste, so she drank the entire bottle to herself.

When she attempted to board the plane, however, the captain refused to let her on board because she was traveling alone and he was concerned that her condition would be a safety liability once on board.

According to a police officer on the scene, Zhao then began rolling on the floor and screaming uncontrollably.

One of the officers who took Zhao to a convalescence room told the Beijing Times:

“She was so drunk… she couldn’t even stand up herself. We took her to a room in a wheelchair so she could rest.”

Zhao woke up several hours after her flight departed, but she was thankful that the airport security took care of her and contacted her family who picked her up from the airport later in the evening.

Sweat The Style founder Adrianne Ho featured in Hennessy’s “Time Barrel” film short

Standard Films and Hennessy team up to present a new short titled “Time Barrel” featuring model and Sweat The Style founder Adrianne Ho, artist André and Hollywood producer and actor Josef Cannon. Adding to its trademark slogan “Crafting the Future,” Hennessy urges artists, creatives, and individuals to plan and look forward to the future similar to how Hennessy has continued to evolve its products in over 250 years in business.

The short clip above directed by Louis De Caunes provides glimpses into the everyday lives of New York City citizens as the visual experience complements the inspirational mood and backdrop.

Enjoy the short clip, “Time Barrel” by Hennessy above.

Japanese sweet sake found to have beauty benefits

sweet sweet blood candies

RocketNews 24:

It seems like every time you look, there’s some sort of new fad diet or superfood, all purported to be the best thing you can do for your health or to improve your natural beauty. But the good news is, this one’s actually fun to partake in.

Researchers at a university in Japan have now put sweet Japanese sake to the test, and have found it to have a number of positive beauty benefits, including improvement to under-eye health!

Japanese confectionery company Morinaga recently collaborated with Tokyo Engineering University to study the effects that amazake, or sweet sake, has on the drinker’s health.

Amazake, if you don’t know, is a traditional Japanese drink made from fermented rice, and is often sold at festivals, particularly around the new year period. Despite its name, “sweet sake” is actually a very low- (less than 1%) to non-alcoholic beverage, made using the lees leftover from sake production, and a type of mold – called kōji – used in fermenting miso paste and soy sauce. It may not sound very appetizing, but the amazake develops a natural sweetness as it incubates, and is really refreshing served chilled in the summer or hot in the winter.

▼Outdoor stall selling amazake (甘酒)

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Results from the study have led researchers to believe that the sake lees and kōji mold in amazake are beneficial to personal health and beauty. The study involved 17 participants, all females between the ages of 40 and 60. One group drank a prescribed amount of amazake every morning and evening for one month. The other group was given a placebo- an amazake-like drink, but without the lees and mold found in the traditional stuff.

After the trial month was over both groups were compared. The amazake group were surprisingly reported to have improved, brighter under-eyes than the placebo group. Members of the amazake group were also found to have a slight increase in the temperature of the surface of their skin, which researchers theorize helps promote the excretion of waste from the body, hence giving the test subjects brighter, healthier-looking under-eyes with reduced shadows and eye-bags.

In addition, members of the amazake group also reported having “glossier hair”, and feeling more refreshed when waking up in the morning, while the placebo group did not.

Sound too good to be true? Of course it’s difficult to believe there is a miracle beauty secret out there, and considering the size and short time-span of the study, the results should possibly be taken with a grain of salt, but if you wanted to test it out yourself at home, it would definitely be a tasty experiment. Kanpai!

Japan’s desire to preserve youth continues with collagen and protein fortified “anti-aging beer”

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Audrey Magazine:

The desire to preserve one’s youth or to achieve one’s ideal of physical perfection is now in full swing more than ever. Although plastic surgery is more common in Asia, I can see our fair share in my own backyard. With the recent viral Kylie Jenner lip challenge, it makes me think how much more obsessed society is becoming to look like the celebrities they admire (even though many of them are anything but admirable).

Recently, we showed you Japan and Korea’s beauty trends to achieve a younger look. However, makeup and beauty products are simply not enough. It seems that Japan is quite adamant about maintaining a youthful appearance because now, you can find anti-aging properties in their beer.

Japanese brewery, Suntory, produced a new beer called “Precious.” It contains collagen, a protein that is believed to contain anti-aging properties. This protein is what gives skin elasticity and it decreases as we get older; this is why we get wrinkles and our skin isn’t as… perky (yikes). Japanese women believe that using and ingesting collagen products will make their wrinkles magically disappear. Quite a smart move there, Suntory brewery.

There has yet to be studies that prove this beer’s anti-aging claims are true, but it’s certainly a smart marketing gimmick to attract women. I’m not sure if I buy into Suntory’s claims, but since it’s beer, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Courtesy of fooddiggity.com.

Bottle-blowing meets the sounds of sushi in The Bottle Boys’ new ad for Kirin

The Bottle Boys are a five-piece band from Copenhagen, who shot to fame last year after performing ‘Billie Jean’ using nothing but (a large number of) beer bottles. And now they’ve been snapped up by Kirin Ichiban, in a slick production that sees them team up with Iron Chefs to record a track blending their musical bottle-playing with the sounds of sushi.

In the two-minute video, the musicians play eleven bottles each.

Japanese sake brewers revive interest by using Western fermentation processes to create “Champagne Sake”

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RocketNews 24:

As imports of Western drinks increase, interest in Japan’s native alcoholic beverages has been declining. There have been efforts to bring drinkers back to traditional drinks such as sake and shochu, but they face tough competition from the likes of wine and champagne, which evoke fashionable, sophisticated images in the minds of Japanese drinkers.

One way to revive interest could be to apply Western fermentation techniques to Eastern beverages such as sake, Japan’s “rice wine”, to create unique twists on traditional drinks.Champagne sake” is an example of this done deliciously right.

Traditional or “real” champagne is sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France which, after the usual fermentation process, are fermented a second time in the bottle to produce the carbonation. In other words, it’s this special process of secondary fermentation that gives a glass of bubbly its bubbles. People all over the world, including Japan, like to crack open a bottle to celebrate special occasions. At other times, many Japanese people are partial to sake, or nihonshu as it’s known in its native land, a popular alcohol with a long history made from fermented rice.

But what do you get when you apply the fermentation process used to make champagne to sake? Well, you get an effect similar to champagne, but with that special rice wine flavor!

Because of the in-bottle fermentation process, as with champagne, you get the fizz of fine bubbles jumping out at you when you open the cap. It’s different to “sparkling sake“, which has recently seen a boom in popularity, which is simply sake with added carbonation and is more like an alco-pop with around 5% alcohol content. When using the champagne secondary fermentation process, the resultant drink has a fruity flavor and is around 12% proof. It’s very easy to get carried away drinking too much of it but, since it’s made from only rice and natural water, if you’re going to drink alcohol then this is probably a reasonably healthy choice! Apparently it goes well not only with Japanese food, but with Chinese and Western cuisine, too.

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Shusen Kurano is the oldest sake brewer in Nagano and the seventh oldest in all of Japan, and they are extremely proud of their “champagne sake”, called Kawanakajima-Fuwarin, which is different to all the traditional sake they produce. Founded in 1540, Shusen Kurano has over 470 years of history and it’s even said that the famous daimyo Takeda Shingen drank their sake at the Battles of Kawanakajima. While champagne sake may not have been around at the time, if it had been he surely would have enjoyed cracking open a bottle after a win on the battlefield.

Kawanakajima-Fuwarin retails on the brewery’s website at 450 yen (US$3.70) for 180 ml, 750 yen ($6.20) for 300ml, and 1,250 yen ($10.30) for 500ml. If you do pick any up, be sure to let us know what you think.

Taiwanese single malt whisky awarded “World’s Best” title at the World Whiskies Awards

The World Whiskies Awards just took place, and the best whisky in the world isn’t from Scotland, but from Taiwan. Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique was named the best single malt in the world, boasting 57.5% ABV and produced by the King Car distillery in Taiwan.

The winning whisky is made through maturing the malt whisky in American oak barrels that previously held white and red wines. Other winners included Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year Old from Japan for the world’s best blended malt, and Ireland’s Redbreast Pot Still 15 Year Old for best pot-still whisky.

Check out the full list of winners at Bar Magazine’s website here, and let us know whether you’ll be trying some Kavalan.

From lotus root to alcohol: Are powdered foods the next big boom in Japan?

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RocketNews24:

What’s that crumbly brown stuff on the rice pictured above?

If you guessed that it was some combination of spices, you’re (mostly) wrong. It’s actually the powdered form of a common cooking ingredient that you can find in any Japanese home. In fact, powdered foods in general have recently been drawing a lot of attention in Japan, so we wanted to share some interesting tidbits about them with you. And like the powder in the picture above, you might be surprised by what you find!

Why buy powdered foods instead of the real thing?

When cooking with powdered ingredients, you don’t need to worry about the hassle of washing or peeling vegetables. The fine particles also create an interesting sensation while you’re eating, as if the very foods themselves were melting in your mouth. In addition, powdered and other dehydrated foods have prolonged shelf lives compared with those of fresh ingredients.

Powdered renkon (lotus root)

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Powdered renkon is said to be effective at boosting your immune system and at reducing the symptoms of allergies such as hay fever. Japanese opera singer Keiko Nakajima reportedly consumed renkon powder for a period of five years, after which the allergy symptoms which she had experienced ever since she was a child effectively disappeared. You don’t have to stress about how to eat it, either–one easy solution is to mix the powder into the filling of meatballs or hamburgers. Twitter user @k_parepu offers another idea:

Powdered onion

Onions: red, brown, whole, peeled, sliced, rings.

Quercetin is a substance found in many fruits, vegetables, and grains, with large quantities found in the flesh of onions in particular. It acts as an antioxidant, as well as helping to remove toxins and maintain blood flow throughout your body. Quercetin is also resistant to high temperatures and is easily soluble.

Powdered soy sauce

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Yup, that brown powder topping the bowl of rice in the picture above was nothing other than soy sauce! It may be strange to think about the common kitchen ingredient in a non-liquid form, but it actually makes a great addition to salads, meat, fish, sautéed vegetables, stir-fry, and pasta, and goes especially well with the crunchiness of deep-fried foods such as tempura.

As featured on our Japanese sister site Pouch, you can enjoy powdered soy sauce on:

▼Rice

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▼Deep-fried things

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▼…or even tomatoes!

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Our writer commented that the flavor and aroma of the soy sauce powder intensified when it was sprinkled on hot foods, where the soy sauce flavor combined with yuzu and hints of cayenne pepper was delightfully satisfying.

 

And last but not least, powdered alcohol! 

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Alcohol in a powdered form!? Your nose isn’t lying because that powdery stuff (conceivably) in front of you is alcohol–only with the water removed. Apparently, 17 countries in the world have special licenses to manufacture alcohol in a powdered form, which is subject to the same liquor taxes as regular alcoholic drinks. Got travel plans but no room in the suitcase to bring drinks? Just mix some alcohol powder with water and you’ve got an instant drink!