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Sake vol.1 - Judging for “SAKE COMPETITION 2016” conducted

2016.06.30 | Tokyo | Tokyo sta.

World’s largest collection of 1,462 commercially available Japanese sake! Overseas brewers participate for first time! The only competition held specifically for marketed Japanese sake, aimed at providing consumers with a benchmark when choosing sake.

World’s largest collection of 1,462 commercially available Japanese sake! Overseas brewers participate for first time!

The only competition held specifically for marketed Japanese sake, aimed at providing consumers with a benchmark when choosing sake.

The only competition held specifically for marketed Japanese sake, aimed at providing consumers with a benchmark when choosing sake.

 

The SAKE COMPETITION steering committee conducted the preliminary round of judging for SAKE COMPETITION 2016 – the contest to determine the world’s best Japanese sake – on May 17 (Tuesday) and the final round on May 19 (Thursday) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center Taito-kan.

This year’s competition, the fifth since it was launched, received a record number of 1,462 entries (including 21 from overseas), up by 40 percent from the previous year, from 409 brewers (including six from overseas), all vying for the top titles with their best products.

At the preliminary round of judging on May 17 (Tuesday), 1,462 bottles of Japanese sake submitted for the Ginjo, Junmai, Junmai Ginjo, and Junmai Daiginjo divisions were lined up on tables at the venue. A panel of 29 judges, comprising of the “best of the Japanese sake industry” such as industry specialists from nationwide and brewers chosen from among those nominated by such experts, selected 457 entries that qualified for the final round. During the final round on May 19 (Thursday), a total of 37 judges tasted the sake to pick the best of each category (top ranking nominees). Given the high quality of the entries, which impressed even the professionals who already know everything about Japanese sake, all the judges were very focused and conducted the tasting seriously and in a solemn atmosphere. For the “Super Premium” category, which was newly established at this year’s competition, guest judges who are experts in pairing Japanese sake with food were included in the selection process.

After the final round of judging, participating brewers were invited to a sake tasting event and representatives from overseas breweries taking part in the competition for the first time also attended from abroad. While tasting and studying Japanese sake made by Japanese brewers, Ken Valvur from a sake brewery in Canada noted that it is natural that competition is intense as the quality of sake in Japan is very high. Representatives of brewers from overseas proactively engaged in conversations and exchange of ideas with local Japanese brewers, such as on “Japanese sake-making techniques” and “differences in food culture and climate,” creating a lively atmosphere of international exchange sprouting from Japanese sake.

 

Date:

Preliminary Round -- May 17, 2016 (10:00~)

Final Round – May 19, 2016 (9:30~)

 

Venue:

Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center Taito-kan (2-6-5 Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

 


Sake Competition Executive Committee


< Food Culture

About SAKE COMPETITION

Japanese sake is a sophisticated beverage and many consumers do not know what standards to base on when choosing a good one. The challenge faced by the Japanese sake industry is that consumers tend to make their purchase decisions based on brand and publicity. Thus, the SAKE COMPETITION was launched under the concept to “provide a new benchmark to enable consumers to come across truly delicious Japanese sake regardless of brand.” In other words, this is the world’s sole Japanese sake competition held for the sake of consumers. Therefore, strict rules are implemented for all bottles and brands to be hidden to ensure the competition is judged by the blind tasting of the sake only.

 

Significance of SAKE COMPETITION

Japanese sake is enjoying a boom recently and “maboroshi no osake,” which refers to rare sake that are hard to get hold of, are especially popular. The purpose of SAKE COMPETITION, however, is to select Japanese sake that taste good in the ordinary setting and match well with daily meals and everyday lifestyles instead. It is hoped that through SAKE COMPETITION, more consumers including women and young people will become interested in Japanese sake and consider giving it a try, as well as find it easier to enjoy good, delicious sake. Entries in all categories of the competition have become increasingly outstanding in quality over the years and the organizers are eager to further improve the competition by listening attentively to brewers’ requests and opinions.

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