IWC 2014 Champion sake

Sake Samurai UK would like to send heartfelt congratulations to Mr Atsushi Hirata from Hirata Brewery, who won the IWC 2014 Champion Sake Award with a 1995 Jukusei Koshu Hidanohana Suiou. The award was presented at the IWC Awards Dinner held in London on 16th July. It was a sensational win for this small family-run sake brewery with only 5 employees, which fought off stiff competition from over 700 other entries to scoop the prestigious title.

Hidanohana Suiou is a 19-year-old koshu (aged sake) with a very small production which was sold out from markets immediately after the announcement of the award result. This undiluted Junmai koshu with rich golden colour and delicate sweetness impressed the IWC judges as a sake which adds another dimension to the range of sake which matches well with rich, full-flavoured non-Japanese dishes as well as traditional Japanese fare.

The home of the champion sake, the city of Hida Takayama in Gifu prefecture, is known as one of the most historic and picturesque regions of Japan. It’s surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers and has been a guardian of the country’s sake heritage for over 300 years. This city would be the ideal destination for those who enjoy sake and Japanese traditions. There are eight sake breweries in the city all producing excellent sake with great flavour and body using unique local rice varieties.

We would also like to extend congratulations to Asahiyama Senjuhai 2013 from Asahi Shuzo in Niigata for winning the Great Value Sake Award, which was introduced to IWC for the first time this year by Sake Samurai Association. This new award endorses and publicises the quality of every-day sake. Asahi Shuzo is widely known for its famous brand, Kubota.