Welcome aboard your Top Ten Sake list that are all medal and trophy winners at the IWC competition last year and from many years before. These brews are very noteworthy, in the sense that they excelled at the foremost sake-judging event for sakes that are commercially available. This isn’t a list of sakes that aren’t available! Rather, these are the best brews made by sake breweries for you, the end user! They also happened to score gold at the IWC, which is the largest competition for open market sakes in the world. Yes folks, you are drinking liquid medal with these amazing sakes. I’ll start the list with sake from the Dewazakura brewery in Yamagata prefecture. Why? They've won the most medals all time!
10) Dewazakura Sparkling Ginjo “Festival of Stars”
Let’s start with the Sparkling Sake Trophy winner from 2017! Great, even, and a balanced sparkling sake that is not too sweet but is bubbly awesome!
9) Born “Dreams Come True”
Dreams do come true for the brewery known as Born! These guys only makes Daiginjo class sake. So the best of their best is pretty damn besty! They always win medals for good reason.
8) Taiheizan Tenko “Heavenly Grace”
This sake simply wins gold year in and year out! Pretty damn cool as there are both western and Japanese palates judging the competition. So it has to have something!
7) Suehiro Densho Yamahai Junmai
It’s pretty cool when Yamahai Junmais win medals in the Junmai category! Think about that! This brew talks to judges, and it will walk the walk with you!
6) Dassai 23 “Otter Festival”
Ultra popular in the market, doesn’t necessarily translate to medal worthy sakes! Dassai gets medals for this brew that is on the tip of most sake drinker’s tongues.
5) Tsukasabotan Fu-In “Brewers Crest”
New to the podium, this Junmai Ginjo, is a tip of the cap to Junmai category sakes that can do what Ginjo sakes do with aroma and feeling. A great sake to get clean with.
4) Harushika "Spring Deer"
We’ve been selling this sake since day one at True Sake, and I’d like to think that is medal enough! But no! This Junmai Daiginjo is a medal winner that speaks to those who like elegant and passionate sake.
3) Koshi no Kanbai Tokusen "Vanishing Point"
This sake is legendary for that “Other” sake judging competition, but for all the right reasons! The brewers bucked the trend and sold competition quality sake to the masses! And even the bottle they use is a throwback to the Japanese national competition, but it is also a medal sake at the IWC.
2) Shirataki Noujun Uonuma 80%
It’s pretty damn hard to win a medal in the Junmai competition when your competitors are submitting Ginjo-level milled sakes and you bust out a sake that has been polished to 80%. But this brew is all that! It is a medal reminder that Junmai should be Junmai!
1) Ichinokura Wabi Sparkling
We started the list with a trophy winning sparkling sake and we will end with another trophy winner! Wabi is liquid happiness. If gold makes you happy then cool, but if liquid happy makes you happy then Wabi will make you smile. A terrific sparkling sake!
We didn’t even mention the sakes in the store that are so proud of their IWC winnings that they even made “neckers” to designate that they have won big at the IWC! After all it is a selling point and these guys chose to market their IWC success! It’s pretty damn cool and you should really keep an eye out the next time your looking at your next sake to dance with! Each of the photos are of sakes in the store that have won medals including the Grand Champion Trophy for winning the whole damn IWC in 2017.