The Tohoku region, led by sake brewers from Fukushima Prefecture, has been piling up gold medals at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for a number of years.
“Tohoku has the highest reputation for sake in the country amongst people in the industry,” says John Gauntner, a sake expert and author of numerous books on Japan’s national drink, including “Sake Confidential.”
At the annual sake award ceremony, convened by Japan’s National Research Institute of Brewing, hundreds of sake brands from breweries throughout Japan are rated and judged.
For 2018, judges awarded breweries from Tohoku’s six prefectures a total of 69 gold medals out of a national total of 232 in 37 prefectures.
Melinda Joe, a Tokyo-based journalist and a sake judge and panel member at the International Wine Challenge — a separate sake-tasting competition — says that sake from Tohoku is characterized for having a light, clean and elegant style.
“Tohoku sake has a little more voluptuousness — a little more to give,” says Joe. Read more
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