The results of this year’s Luxembourg Sake Challenge are now available, with eleven types of Sake having received the Platinum top award.
The second edition of the Luxembourg Sake Challenge took place in September 2023 at the Embassy of Japan in Luxembourg; the results were only announced in November 2023.
Sake is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin made of fermented rice; traditionally 1 October is the start date of sake production in Japan. The Luxembourg Sake Challenge took place for the first time in 2022. Held in the lead-up to World Sake Day on 1 October, the second edition presented 56 bottles of sake from many different brewers (from all over Japan, but also from other countries). Four sommeliers from various European countries and several other sake connoisseurs judged the different sake types, using a specially-programmed application. A lunch followed the preliminary sake tasting, after which the bottles’ designs were also judged.
In his opening remarks, the Ambassador of Japan in Luxembourg, Tadahiro Matsubara, expressed his gratitude for everyone’s participation and welcomed newcomers. He said: “Japanese sake is suitable for many kinds of dishes; a variety of tastes are available and sake keeps changing flavours in the glass over time.” He added that he hoped more Luxembourgers would be able to discover and enjoy the taste of sake.
Makiko Gräfin von Oberndorff, Managing Director of Global Link Sarl, added that although the sake market in the Grand Duchy is very small at present, she hoped that the “sun will shine on the sake world in Luxembourg.”
This year's Sake Challenge recognised recipients across various categories with eleven Platinum awards, fourteen Gold awards, fifteen Silver awards and twelve Bronze awards.
The top award, Platinum, was awarded to the following sake types across different categories:
In the Junmai Daiginjo category:
- Nanbu Bijin Junmai Daiginjo Yamada-Nishiki Shinpaku (Nanbu Bijin Co., Ltd, Iwate)
- YOSHITAKE Junmai Daiginjo (Niizawa Sake Brewery Co., Ltd, Miyagi)
- Ryouko Junmai Daiginjo Bizenomachi Hiyaoroshi (Minenohakubai Sake Brewing Corporation, Niigata)
- Kuzo Yamadanishiki Junmaidaiginjo Koyama Honke Shuzo Co., Ltd (Nada Hamafukutsurugura, Hyogo)
- Jakuchu Junmai Daiginjo (Kaganoi Sake Inc., Kyoto)
- Shinto no Inori Mimosusogawa (Shinto no Inori Association, Mie)
In the Daiginjo category:
- Hamafukutsuru Ultimate Daiginjo Genshu (Koyama Honke Shuzo Co., Ltd Nada Hamafukutsurugura, Hyogo)
In the Junmai category:
- Mirror Mirror (Shirasugi Syuzou Co., Ltd, Kyoto)
- Yamatsuru Nagayao sinki kuganesyu (Nakamoto Sake Brewery Co., Ltd, Nara)
In the Special Junmai category:
- Manatsuru Kimoto Tokubetsu Junmai (Tanaka Shuzoten Inc., Miyagi)
In the Sparkling category:
- Sparkling ROSE (SAKE Generation Co., Ltd, Fukushima)