Japanese Sake

Japanese Sake

Japanese Sake

Japanese sake, also known as "Nihonshu", is a traditional alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. It has been brewed in Japan for centuries and holds a significant cultural and historical importance. 

Japanese sake comes in a wide range of variations, from fruity aromas to robust and complex scents, and from fresh flavors to rich and mellow tastes. Sake is not only a staple at Japanese celebrations and rituals but also pairs well with a variety of foods, enhancing the dining experience. In this feature, several types of Japanese Sake will be introduced.

KUNSHU (Fruity Type) 

KUNSHU is a fruity type of sake, that featuring a fragrant taste with gorgeous aromas of fruit or flowers and a sense of clarity, this type of sake, exemplified by notes of apple, pear, melon, banana, plum, and wisteria, offers a taste characterized by moderate sweetness and roundness, balanced with refreshing acidity, typical of Daiginjo-syu and Ginjo-shu varieties.

SOUSHU (Light and Smooth type)

Characterized by a light and smooth type, this type of sake presents a mild and moderate aroma, with examples including lemon, green apple, lime, grapefruit, and cherry blossom. It offers a fresh taste and a smooth sensation in the mouth. Futsu-syu, Honjozo-shu and Namesake are three varieties of sake that has this type of flavor.

JUNSHU (Full-Bodied type) 

This sake type boasts an aroma reminiscent of natural wood or umami-rich dairy products like soybean and buckwheat. Its taste is notably rich with pronounced umami and a hint of mineral flavor. Enjoyed at different temperatures, it reveals varying nuances; when warm, it offers delicate umami and a crisp taste. Junmai-shu and Kimoto are two varieties known for this flavor profile.

JUKUSYU (Matured Type)

This type of sake is characterized by strong and complex aromas reminiscent of spices or dried fruit, such as cinnamon, incense, nuts, various types of mushrooms, maple syrup, and honey. Its taste evolves with aging, striking a balance between sweetness and acidity. The aroma of spice and nuts extends in the mouth, accompanied by a mellowed delicate umami, resulting in a lingering aftertaste. 

Other Special types

By omitting or adding certain steps to the sake production process, some special types of sake can be produced. Special types of sake include "Namazake", which skips pasteurization for a fresh flavor and must be consumed quickly; "Nigorizake", a cloudy sake with rice solids for a sweet to tart taste; "Koshu", aged for stronger, earthy or woody tones; "Jizake", locally produced by small brewers; and amazake, a sweet, thickened drink served during winter festivals and so on.

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