Sake Glossary

More often than not, you will come across certain "specialist" terms used on sake labels.

Here is a short list for your ease of reference. If you come across to any terms which you don't understand on any sake purchased from us, please feel free to contact us, we are more than happy to assist.

古酒

Ko Shu

This is aged sake. Not all sake can be aged and the result depends largely on the aging conditions. Although most aged sake becomes "sherry" like, there are some which are aged in ice cold conditions becomes dryer and richer in flavour. Because of the wide variety of results, it is best to consult with our sake specialist before buying a bottle of Ko Shu. 

濁り

Nigori

Also know as "cloudy sake". In nigori sake, the sake is passed through a coarser mesh allowing some of the lees (rice remnants) to pass through. The taste of nigori sake is less refined and more textured and rich. It goes very well with spicy food (such as Korean kimchi dishes).

原酒

Genshu

Usually water is added to the pressed sake, thereby the alcohol level is diluted to 16 to 18%. For Genshu, water has not been added and the alcohol level will be around 20%, the natural rate for sake.

貴醸酒

Kijoushu

Normally water is added to sake after fermentation. For kijoushu, some sake is used in place of some of the water added. The result is a rich, dessert like sake that is often aged/. Many compares this with sherry and port.

生酒

Nama Shu

Sake is usually pasteurized twice, once before storing in a tank and one before bottling. Nama shu is unpasteurised sake and must be stored in refrigerator.

生貯蔵

Nama Chozo

Nama Chozo means rhat the sake is not pasteurized before storage in a tank, but is pasteurized before bottling.

生卸 /生詰

Nama Oroshi/

Nama Zume

Nama Zume is pasteurized before storage in a tank but not pasteurized again before bottling.

 ふなしぼり

Funashibori

After fermentation, sale is pressed. There are different methods of pressing, which will yield different tasting sake. Funashibori is sake pressed in a traditional wooden box and not with a pressing machine.

Shizuku

Shizuku is sake "pressed" by allowing it to drip from cotton bags, with no pressure applied. It is more time consuming and costly than other pressing methods

あらばしり

Arabashiri

After fermentation, sale is pressed. There are different methods of pressing, which will yield different tasting sake. Arabashiri is the first one third of the sake yield, which run off under the pull of gravity alone when pressing with a fune or wooden box. 

中取り

Nakadori

Nakadori is the "middle" yield of the sake. It is the next third of the sake yield after arabashiri. This is often considered the best.

斗ビン(斗瓶)囲い

Toubin-gakoi

Sake is put in 18 litre bottles (called "toubin") when pressed. This term implies that the sake is pressed with a wooden box ("fune") or drip pressed ("shizuku")

 

We will add to this list as it goes.