4. Another Terminologies of Sake and Each Characteristics

《Another Terminologies of SAKE and Each Characteristics

GenShu (Undiluted Sake)

Most sake on the market has had its alcohol content adjusted to around 15-16% through dilution with water, but since Genshu is undiluted sake, its alcohol content is often quite high, at 18-20%.

NamaZake (Unpasteurized)

We call unpasteurized sake Namasake. Brewers pasteurize sake in order to stabilize its quality and halt fermentation. For this type of sake, However, brewers do not conduct pasteurization, and that allows fermentation to proceed during storage and after bottling too. So, compared to pasteurized sake, this kinds of sake has unstable shelf-life. Therefore, you should drink it as soon as possible after you buy it, keep in mind it always needs to be chilled. This kinds of sake is not pasteurized, so you can enjoy its fresh taste


Freshly pressed sake is stored at low temperatures, and is pasteurized only once, just before shipping. This sake retains the flavors of unpasteurized sake.


This sake is pasteurized immediately after being pressed. Then, this kind of sake is stored, and moderately matured for a stable product quality. The matured sake is then bottled without a second pasteurization. Generally, Japanese sake is pasteurized twice: after being pressed and before shipping. However, Nama-zume-shu is pasteurized once, only after it is pressed

Arabashiri (First squeeze)

This refers to the very first part of the sake that comes off the press when the moromi is pressed. It contains a few particles and relatively less amounts of alcohol. Its appeal is in the freshly fermented and pleasantly stimulating carbon dioxide.

Nakagumi (Nakadori)

This refers to the middle part of the sake that comes off the press when the moromi is pressed. This part of sake is colorless and has well balanced aroma and taste.

NigoriZake (Cloudy Sake)

This a white, cloudy sake made by straining the moromi through a coarse cloth only. You can enjoy the flavor and taste rice originally has. Nigorizake is shipped without pasteurization, so it still contains living yeast and enzymes.  This kind of sake has short storage life with quick change in flavor, so I recommend you have it as soon as possible. White dregs settle to the bottom of the bottle. When you drink Nigorizake, generally you shake the bottle gently and mix up the dregs. Or, another way to enjoy it is not shaking the bottle and having only the clear part of Nigorizake.


This is a sake that contains a lot of carbon dioxide. There are many kinds of sparkling sake. They contain less alcohol and some of them are sweet, so this is recommended to women and those who are unfamiliar with sake.

ShinShu (New Brewed Sake)

This means “new sake” and refers to sake that was just freshly released by a brewery.

KoShu (Long-Term Aged)

We call matured sake Koshu. Koshu tastes completely different from new sake. The biggest differences between Koshu and new sake are a unique aroma like nuts and dry fruits and its gold color. Koshu has smooth taste and a sweet and rich flavor.

HiyaOroshi (Autumn’s Sake)

This sake has been pasteurized once and stored until fall, and is then shipped without a second pasteulization. Hiya-Oroshi is stored for a while, so it is matured well depending on its storage time. You can enjoy its mild taste and deep flavor

Kimoto Method

Kimoto describes a style of sake that uses the original yeast starter method. The yeast starter for Kimoto sake is rhythmically mixed using long paddles to combine yeast, water rice and koji into a starter mash that naturally promotes lactic acid development. Sake made through this method is known for a robust and sometimes funky flavors.

Yamahai Method

Yamahai is a yeast starter method that was developed after Kimoto, but before Sokujo. Yamahai allows for natural lactic acid production, but does away with the need for “Yamaoroshi” or the labor intensive macerating/mashing of the yeast starter using long wooden poles as has been done for centuries in the kimoto method. Yamahai flavor profiles tend to be full bodied and funky.


This sake is made with sake as a base ingredient in place of water. This type of sake has dense and sweet taste and has been prized since ancient times