April 2014

TOP TEN – 10 Sakes That Medaled At The International Wine Challenge 2013

Posted by Beau Timken in 2014, April, Newsletter
IWC 2013 Winners 1Okay you sake geeks! It’s that time of year and when you read this newsletter I will be in London chairing the sake side of the International Wine Challenge, which is the largest sake tasting in the world. In honor of this wonderful tasting event I have selected 10 sakes currently at True Sake that won medals in last year’s tasting.

Do medal winning sakes mean that they are special or better than other sakes out there? Good question. I think medal-winning sakes mean that they were the sakes that separated themselves from the pack. So let’s call them special in the sense that they have special character – just like you! I will put them in order of importance to further your sake knowledge and exploration. The lower the number the higher the special-ness!

10) Ozeki Karatamba
  • A super serviceable Honjozo that is very dependable and on a lot of restaurant menus.
9) Born “Dreams Come True” (Call for availability)
  • A super tasty Daiginjo from a brewery that only makes Daiginjo sake. True Sake carries 3, sometimes 4, Born sakes.
8) Yuki no Bosha Yamahai
  • A killer brewery that makes a super silky Yamahai that is very drinkable, unlike most big and fusty Yamahais.
IWC 2013 Winners 2 7) Gasanryu “Gokugetsu”
  • A very flavorful Junmai Daiginjo from a brewery that is known for only pasteurizing their sakes once.
6) Masumi “Yumedono”
  • The famous Nagano brewery makes this Daiginjo and it is the pride of their brewery. Next time at True Sake watch the video of sake being made. It’s this sake!
5) Dassai 23 & 39
  • Two more tremendous Junmai Daiginjos from the uber popular brewery called Dassai. These sakes are made with rice milled to 23% and 39% respectively. True Sake just took shipment of the 39 in 300ml – great to taste size!
4) Ohyama “Tomizu” (Call for availability)
  • Talk about a tasty sake. This Junmai is made in Yamagata prefecture and it is meant to highlight the flavor of water in sake. And the flavor is GOOD!
IWC 2013 Winners 3 3) Masumi “Nanago”
  • Yet another Daiginjo from the popular Masumi brewery, the inventors of the special brewing yeast called Association #7 and this Yamahai celebrates that!
2) Hiraizumi
  • This is a very drinkable and food friendly Yamahai and it comes from a brewery that was founded in 1487 and that is like tasting history in the bottle.
1) Hanahato “Gorgeous Bird”
  • This trophy winning sake is a Kijoshu sake that has been aged for 8 years. Think sherry, think port, think after dinner sake that is sweet and rich! If you have never tried an aged sake or a kijoshu sake then add this to your list!

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