In its 37th year, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) is accepted as the world’s most rigorous, impartial and influential annual wine competition.
The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is one of the world’s most prestigious blind tasting boards, founded in 1984. The SAKE division has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2007, making it the largest and most influential event of the Sake Review Board outside Japan. IWC selects medals, champion sake, great value sake, and sake brewer of the year based on quality. IWC’s most important mission is to strongly support the development of sake in the world. IWC welcomes all breweries to participate in the competition as this allows the breweries to benchmark their own sake against the peers and the rest of the world, benefit from millions of pounds worth of free publicity, raise the profile of the brewery’s brand amongst consumers and the trade, as well as to increase sales by using the internationally recognized IWC medal logos.
1. Futsu-shu Ordinary Sake: Sake that does not fall into the rest categories. There is no limit on the rice polishing rate.
2. Honjozo: Sake made from brewed white rice, water, rice jiuqu, and brewed alcohol. The amount of brewed alcohol used does not exceed 10% of the weight of white rice.
3. Junmai: Sake that does not have a fixed rice polishing rate, but does not contain brewed alcohol.
4. Junmai Ginjo: Sake made from white rice with a rice polishing ratio of 60% or less.
5. Junmai Daiginjo: Sake made from white rice with a rice polishing ratio of 50% or less.
6. Ginjo: Sake made from white rice with a rice polishing ratio of 60% or less, and the amount of brewed alcohol used does not exceed 10% of the weight of the white rice.
7. Daiginjo: Sake made from white rice with a rice polishing ratio of 50% or less, and the amount of brewed alcohol used does not exceed 10% of the weight of the white rice.
8. Koshu Old Sake: Vintage or non-vintage aged sake.
9. Sparkling Sake: Among the sakes that fall into any of the above categories, those made by carbon dioxide injection type, in-bottle secondary fermentation method and local manufacturing methods that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Awards: In addition to Medal, Trophy, and Champion, entry liquor will be automatically selected for the following awards.
1. Great Value Sake: IWC, the brands that meet the following conditions are automatically selected.
a. Sake that falls into one of the categories defined by the IWC
b. Sake that has won the gold medal or silver medal of the Jury
c. There is a production volume of 100,000 bottles (or 72,000 liters equivalent) or more in a 20ml bottle
d. 720ml bottle (or equivalent) retail price per to be less than 1,000 yen (excluding tax) in the Japanese market
2. Sake brewer of the Year: All breweries which are eligible to entry into the IWC competition will be automatically selected for this award. Points are available for medals and trophies, scores are based on the number of stocks in the entry.
Judging is split into two rounds:
Sakes are either marked as out, given a commended award or progress to the next round. The IWC Sake Chairs re-taste all outs and commended sakes to confirm the mark. The IWC Sake Chairs may re-enter a sake into round two to give it another chance if they believe the sake is eligible.
Qualifying sakes are re-tasted and marked as out, given a commended award or awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. All sakes are re-tasted to verify the results.
Sakes awarded Gold medals progress to the trophy round for re-tasting. Gold and silver medal-winning sakes that fall into the Great Value category are also tasted at this time. Regional and national trophies and great value medals are awarded. All trophy-winning sakes are re-tasted by the IWC Chairmen who then decide which sakes should be awarded the Champion Trophies.
Results & Awards
Sake Trophy 2020
Sake Great Value Awards 2020