Sake may be on the menu at more festival parties than usual this winter after nearly 700 tipplers sampled over 20 different sake at Sake Experience, a tasting event held from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 November as part of HYPER JAPAN Christmas 2012. Tasting ticket holders were given an unrivalled opportunity to sample sake and umeshu from 10 different breweries, in different styles: warm, on the rocks, at room temperature and chilled.
Although sake is increasingly found on restaurant menus in the UK, and particularly in London, there are few opportunities to sample many sake in a single sitting. At the Sake Experience, however, tasters could enjoy everything from super simple junmai to full-bodied premium daiginjo sake, along with aged, unpasteurized and even sparkling varieties.
The Sake Experience follows on from the success of the inaugural Sake Awards, held at HYPER JAPAN in spring 2012, where seven breweries went head-to-head in seven voting categories. There was voting this time, too, with tasters asked to choose their overall favourite, the perfect sake for a gift, and the best match with British food. Winning the ‘People’s Favourite’ accolade was Dassai 23, a junmai daiginjo with a delicate nose of luscious fruit and florals and a long finish. Dassai 23 is quickly establishing itself as a firm favourite among UK drinkers, having already swept the board at the 2012 Sake Awards in February.