SAKE EXPERIENCE 2022

Category: Food & Drink,

Meet the brewers while enjoying their flagship products.

Now well established as a HYPER JPAN must-visit, the Sake Experience lets participants taste, compare and vote for their favourite sake.

This year, eight breweries from around Japan and even the U.K. and France will be taking part, showcasing a selection of premium sake varieties, including junmai daiginjo, sparkling, nigori (cloudy), nama (unpasteurised), and fashionable yuzu and matcha liqueur.

Whether a beginner or an expert, there is plenty to discover, try, and buy!

Get your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Participanting Breweries and Sake for tasting

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Asahi Shuzo is committed to producing only premium junmai daiginjo sake using a careful, experience-led combination of tradition and cutting-edge technology. Asahi Shuzo aims to create the highest quality sake as a means to enhance and celebrate life and to share its values and products globally to enable people everywhere to discover delicious sake.

Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo

  • Type of sake: Junmai daiginjo
  • Rice variety: Yamadanishiki
  • Rice polish ratio: 23%
  • ABS: 16%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp.

Made from Yamadanishiki rice polished to 23%, this signature sake has made the Dassai name known worldwide. It delivers delicate floral aromas with a honeyed palate and an elegant, lasting finish. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this sake will be donated to medical professionals fighting COVID-19. Web

Dassai Sparkling 45

  • Type of sake: Sparkling
  • Rice variety: Yamadanishiki
  • Rice polish ratio: 45%
  • ABS: 14%
  • Best served: Chilled

Naturally fermented in the bottle, resulting in a pleasant fruitiness and refreshing finish, this sake flavour and aroma are both smooth and fragrant. Made with rice polished down to 45%, this uniquely lighter nigori style is reflective of the premium elegance of Dassai Junmai Daiginjo. Web

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The aim of Kayashima Sake Brewing, founded in 1873, was to produce sake representative of the west of Japan, hence the brand name "Nishi no Seki" (champion of the west). Since then, the brewery has refined its traditional handmade methods with an unwavering comittment to good quality and natural deliciousness.

Nishinoseki Classic

  • Type of sake: Junmai
  • Rice variety: Hattannishiki, Hinohikari
  • Rice polish ratio: 60%
  • ABS: 15%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp.

This is the signature sake from the Nishi no Seki brand. It offers rich umami, comforting sweetness, and a refreshing tartness, all of which are a perfect fit for the Kyushu style cuisine local to the brewery. The medium-bodied palate, with its earthiness and mushroomy tones, pairs well with rich food. Web

Nishinoseki Cube

  • Type of sake: Honjozo
  • Rice variety: Hattannishiki
  • Rice polish ratio: 60%
  • ABS: 17%
  • Best served: On the rocks, Chilled

This seasonal sake, designed to be drunk on the rocks to beat away the heat, is only available in summer. Spicy and powerful on the palate, this honjozo sake still offers light and delicate finish. The rich umami of this genshu, or undiluted, sake becomes soft and silky when served over ice. Web

Nishinoseki Hana Nigori

  • Type of sake: Nigori
  • Rice variety: Hinohikari
  • Rice polish ratio: 70%
  • ABS: 15%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp.

With a hint of almond on the nose, a rich and milky texture, and a contrastingly dry profile, this creamily soft nigori (unfiltered) sake offers a beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity, with a lush honeydew melon aroma. It makes a perfect pairing for rich and spicy dishes. Web

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Established in 1724, the Urakasumi Sake Brewery is the designated brewer of sacred sake for the thousand-year old Shiogama Shrine. The Urakasumi name, meaning “misty bay”, is taken from the poetry of Minamoto no Sanetomo, a 12th century Shogun who wrote of the beauty of this seaside region.

Junmai Ginjo Urakasumi Zen

  • Type of sake: Junmai ginjo
  • Rice variety: Yamadanishiki, Toyonishiki
  • Rice polish ratio: 50%
  • ABS: 15.0-15.9%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp., Warm

First brewed in 1973 by the famous Toji brewmaster Juichi Hirano, this now-iconic sake soon became the symbol of Urakasumi as it offers the ultimate balance between aromas, fragrances and umami. A classic and traditional sake with an elegant style. Try pairing with seafood, avocado, quiche, and cream cheese. Web

Junmai-shu Urakasumi

  • Type of sake: Junmai
  • Rice variety: Manamusume
  • Rice polish ratio: 65%
  • ABS: 15.0-15.9%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp.

This pale, lemon-green junmai-shu has a clean and refreshing taste, which harmonises the flavour of rice and acidity. The nose has notes of banana, steamed rice, and caramelised nuts, while the medium-dry palate is characterised by high umami and restrained acidity. Pair with grilled skewers, grilled fish, and highland vegetables. Web

Urakasumi Umeshu

  • Type of sake: Liqueur
  • Rice variety: NA
  • Rice polish ratio: NA
  • ABS: 12.0 - 12.9%
  • Best served: On the rock, Chilled, Room temp.

This premium umeshu stands out from run-of-the-mill umeshu thanks to its sake base, which gives it more umami and a clearer profile. Said profile is elegant and romantic, with a nose of Japanese plum, almond, and brown sugar, and a palate that is velvet-textured and sweetly acidic. Enjoy with dark chocolate and berries. Web

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Shirakabegura is located in Nada, one of Japan’s foremost sake-making regions. Their unique approach combines modern facilities with traditional methods. Here, a passionate team uses an arsenal of techniques to brew stunning sake, almost entirely by hand. Shirakabegura’s truly premium sake boasts a long-running gold medal streak at the Annual Japan Sake Awards.

Shirakabegura Junmai Daiginjo

  • Type of sake: Junmai daiginjo
  • Rice variety: Yamadanishiki
  • Rice polish ratio: 45%
  • ABS: 15-16%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp., Warm

A gently lactic nose of mint and sage together with fruity notes of nectarine and banana. Smooth and well-textured, with acidity and umami that develop with each sip. A balance of honey sweetness, spice, and pleasant astringency, with a lingering finish. Enjoy with Greek salad, Thai green curry, sashimi. Web

Kyoto Yuzu

  • Type of sake: Liqueur
  • Rice variety: NA
  • Rice polish ratio: NA
  • ABS: 12%
  • Best served: Chilled.

This clean, fresh liqueur is made using yuzu citrus grown in Kyoto. The balance of tangy and sweet works well with desserts such as cheesecake and sorbet. Enjoy it on the rocks to savour the sweet, tangy and rich flavour of yuzu, or with soda to enjoy its refreshing aroma.

Kyoto Uji Matcha Liqueur

  • Type of sake: Liqueur
  • Rice variety: NA
  • Rice polish ratio: NA
  • ABS: 12%
  • Best served: On the rocks

Uji matcha, from the leading tea production area of Kyoto, is used lavishly to create a rich matcha liqueur made with barrel-aged shochu that showcases the unadulterated taste and aroma of matcha. Enjoy it on the rocks to savour the taste of authentic Uji matcha, or with milk for a mellower taste. Web

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KANPAI, meaning “cheers”, was founded in 2016 as the UK's first sake brewery. KANPAI sake is made by hand using low interventionist brewing methods to allow the natural characteristics of each ingredient to shine through. KANPAI takes an experimental, explorative approach to sake, using the very best ingredients, custom equipment and love.

KAZE 'WIND' JUNMAI GINJO

  • Type of sake: Junmai ginjo
  • Rice variety: Yamadanishiki
  • Rice polish ratio: 60%
  • ABS: 15%
  • Best served: Chilled

This mellow, easy-drinking junmai ginjo is a small batch, hand-made sake with bright, fruity aromas and savoury cereal undertones. Slow brewing at low temperature results in a complex yet smooth sake for everyday enjoyment with or without food. This modern interpretation of premium sake is vegan and free from sulphites, gluten, and preservatives.

SUMI 'CLEAR' TOKUBETSU JUNMAI

  • Type of sake: Tokubetsu Junmai
  • Rice variety: Gohyakumangoku
  • Rice polish ratio: 70%
  • ABS: 15%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp., Warm

KANPAI’s award-winning flagship junmai sake is a smooth and full-bodied, rich with orchard fruits and umami. Versatile in terms of both food pairings and temperature serves, SUMI is a traditional sake made modern. Low and slow brewing results in a luxurious contemporary sake that’s vegan and free from sulphites, gluten and preservatives. Web

YUZU + CUCUMBER - SESSION SAKE

  • Type of sake: Sparkling
  • Rice variety: NA
  • Rice polish ratio: NA
  • ABS: 5.5%
  • Best served: Chilled

A modern-day classic that’s light, fresh, sparkling, and in a can! Brewed from rice and infused with Japanese yuzu and British cucumber, this harmonious blend of cultures embodies the KANPAI brand. A match made in heaven that works with food or as an aperitif and is vegan and free from gluten and preservatives. Web

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Since its foundation in 1765, the Sasanokawa brewery has dedicated itself to being at the forefront of sake brewing. The brewery aims to craft sake that is not just stand-alone delicious, but pairs well with seasonal foods. Where possible, the team uses locally-grown rice to create superlative sake, and also produces shochu and whisky.

Fukushima Ichi Karakuchi "ICHI"

  • Type of sake: Honjozo
  • Rice variety: Hitomebore
  • Rice polish ratio: 65%
  • ABS: 19%
  • Best served: On the rocks, Chilled

The driest sake in Fukushima Prefecture, with a super-dry taste achieved by fermenting rice sugar to the limit. Best enjoyed with ice: as the ice melts, the 19% alcohol content drops a little, allowing the aroma, sweetness, and mellowness of the sake to develop. Pairs well with rich foods. Web

Sasanokanowa Junmaiginjou Fukunoka "FU"

  • Type of sake: Junmai ginjo
  • Rice variety: Fukunoka
  • Rice polish ratio: 60%
  • ABS: 15.3%
  • Best served: Chilled, Warm

This elegant junmai ginjo is made using 100% Fukunoka rice, a new variety designed to be used in sake brewing and grown exclusively Fukushima Prefecture. The deep aroma and beautifully refined taste, rich in complexity, are delicious at any temperature. Web

Sasanokawa Tennotsubu Mukashijitate Junmaishu

  • Type of sake: Junmai
  • Rice variety: Tennotsubu
  • Rice polish ratio: 80%
  • ABS: 15.3%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp., Warm

A junmai-shu carefully brewed using Tennotsubu, a rice variety unique to Fukushima Prefecture. The rice is polished to 80% to bring out the fullness of its flavour and give the sake a stylishly old-fashioned taste. This sake has a rich aroma, a firm taste, and a crisp finish. Web

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Founded in 1637 in the Fushimi region, Gekkeikan has been a pioneer of technological innovation over its near-400 year history, and remains at the forefront of cutting-edge production today. Gekkeikan is an ambassador for the rich traditions of sake culture, not only in Japan but across the 50 countries it exports to worldwide.

Gekkeikan Miyako-Shibori Iwai-mai Daiginjo

  • Type of sake: Daiginjo
  • Rice variety: Iwaimai
  • Rice polish ratio: 50%
  • ABS: 15.5%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp.

This luxurious daiginjo sake is a distillation of the excellence of Kyoto-produced sake, hence its name, which alludes to squeezing the essence of this ancient capital into this superlative beverage. It is made with deeply aromatic Iwai rice (Iwai-mai), grown only in Kyoto. This beautifully presented, richly scented sake is perfect for gifting. Web

Gekkeikan Nigorizake

  • Type of sake: Nigori
  • Rice variety: Japan-produced rice
  • Rice polish ratio: NA
  • ABS: 10.5%
  • Best served: Chilled, Room temp.

Cloudy and creamy nigori (unfiltered) sake is full of the flavour of sake lees, the milky fermentation sediment that has been deliberately retained. This flavour-rich mixture of rice and koji is also believed to improve gut and skin health. Enjoy as an appetiser or dessert sake, or use in cocktails for creaminess and richness. Web

Gekkeikan Kanjuku Umeshu Genshu

  • Type of sake: Liqueur
  • Rice variety: NA
  • Rice polish ratio: NA
  • ABS: 19%
  • Best served: On the rocks, Chilled, Room Temp., Warm, Hot

This authentic umeshu, made only with perfectly ripe Nanko ume plums, represents a culmination of skill and experience. Nanko ume plums are a premium variety with peach-like sweetness and no bitterness, resulting in a rich and slightly tart flavour bursting with sweetness. “Genshu” means that this umeshu has not been diluted. Web

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Wakaze is an experimental, Paris-based brewery making sake for modern times by bringing together Japanese expertise and French influence. Wakaze’s Japanese founder and master brewer are both obsessed with quality, and lead a team inspired by leveraging centuries-old knowledge, French ingredients, and innovative techniques to create convention-breaking sake for the next generation.

The Classic

  • Type of sake: Junmai
  • Rice variety: Camargue rice
  • Rice polish ratio: 90%
  • ABS: 13%
  • Best served: Chilled

The Classic is an original Parisian sake, brewed using organic yeast from French wine and hard water from Ile-de-France. This mineral-rich water creates a complex taste profile that’s hard to find anywhere else while also complementing our fermentation process. The sake is brewed with extreme precision to ensure every element is perfect. Web

Nigori Sake

  • Type of sake: Nigori
  • Rice variety: Camargue rice
  • Rice polish ratio: 90%
  • ABS: 12%
  • Best served: Chilled, Hot

Made with France-grown rice and French spring water, this medium-bodied nigori (unfiltered) sake is characterised by an ultra-soft mouthfeel, delicate notes of rice, an elegant cloudiness, and an overall lightness. With a comparatively low alcohol volume, this nigori sake is intended to showcase the delicious creaminess of unfiltered sake. Web

Yuzu Sake

  • Type of sake: Liqueur
  • Rice variety: Camargue rice
  • Rice polish ratio: 90%
  • ABS: 13%
  • Best served: Chilled

YUZU SAKÉ is a dry and subtle fruit liqueur, made using yuzu grown in Eus, in the south of France, and without any added sugar. Refraining from adding sugar allows the freshness, acidity, and slight bitterness of yuzu citron to shine through, while the addition of mint adds complexity. Web