Sake Bust - Volcano Ruins the Day
The best part of this tasting/judging is that the panels are made up of both western judges and Japanese judges in equal numbers. It's a great way to see the variance in tastes. I wrote about this "difference" in palate in the May 2008 Newsletter. The IWC uses a 100 point system and I was both fascinated and frustrated when the western and Japanese judges were 30-40 points off on the same sake. How? So I had to lead the group to explaining their reasonings, and yes, patterns did emerge. The western palate definitely has a taste for larger flavors and more impact. The Japanese palate prefers cleaner and more balanced elements that favor a drier product.
I was really looking forward to see if this trend continued. But alas that volcano kicked my ash! (Oh and it prevented the Japanese team from attending as well!)