Brewed specifically for the Annual Japan Sake Awards, the most prestigious national sake judging competition, the brewery uses the best quality Yamada Nishiki sake rice that is polished down to only 32% remaining for this sake. The Toji (brewmaster) and the President personally attend to this brewing cycle, providing the utmost attention.
Using the most luxurious and laborious Shizuka technique of drip-filtration, each drop of sake is collected in 18L bottles known as Tobin; traditionally reserved for only the very best sake.
And here's the magic that was shared with me personally by President Watanabe of Taiten Shiragiku.
The 18L bottles are laid out in a line, from the first filled, to the last, in order. Toji and him will then taste the sake from each tobin, working down the line. They will both jointly identify the tobin that tastes the best; that tobin, the one preceding, and the one after, will then be designated as the best sake of that batch and be reserved specifically for the compeition. If you do the math, that equates to only 54 litres.
Minus what is needed for the competition (and I'm sure an extra sip or 2 for each gentleman), these 3 tobin are then finally bottled into these limited availability green 'Tobindori' bottles.
The rest of the batch goes into light blue bottles.
Ultra exclusive, very limited numbers. We've got a small handful of these from the 2018 Gold Medal batch. These bottles are already sold out at the brewery.