Discover the Story Behind Aged Sake

4Into the Deeper World of Aged Sake

Last time we have talked about some basic stuff about aged sake, such as aging methods and changes of taste. But what kind of containers do they usually use when they age sake? Let’s take a glimpse of it today.

In the past, lots of breweries used wooden tanks to age sake, especially cedar tanks or cedar barrels. When stored in cedar tanks or barrels, the scent of cedar trees is absorbed by sake, so that people can enjoy the unique wooden freshness when drinking. Among the ingredients they use to make cedar tanks or barrels, Yoshino cedar -from Nara prefecture- is especially famous and often used.
By the way, lots of [sugidama (cedar balls)] are also made from Yoshino cedar.

As Time Went By

However, wooden tanks were not really clean, as a result, sake often spoiled. Therefore, nowadays more and more breweries turn to use metal tanks, such as steel tanks and enamel tanks. No extra cedar taste is involved anymore, but sake has become more stable than before. But if you still want some extra flavor added, you can put some wooden sticks, which are specially produced for sake flavor adding, inside the bottle a couple of days before you start drinking. By the way, my master has tried to do this some times and has had some unique and enjoyable drinking experiences until now.

Besides, sake can also be aged after it’s been bottled. The advantage of storing in a bottle is that the risk of oxidation is lower due to less contact with air compared to tank storage. Also, this means we can age sakes easily by ourselves, just by buying some bottles then forgetting them on the shelf for decades…

Besides these containers, some breweries also use some tanks that have been used to age wine or whisky to age sake, which are what I am really curious about…

During Meiji period, a policy was launched by the government that sake would be taxed since the starting day of aging. It means that the longer sake is aged, the more tax breweries have to pay, the more expensive aged sake is, the less people consume. Therefore, lots of breweries quitted aging sake since that. But from 1950s, the policy was abolished, aging culture has revived. Although aging sakes are still not very popular nowadays, an increasing number of breweries have become willing to try to do that, with different methods, with various containers…

Make a Visit to Sake District in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the big sake producing area in Japan. In Kyoto there’s lots of sake breweries that you can visit.

At the sake experience you can learn the traditional sake making process that has been running for many years.
In the autumn ~ winter season, you also might be able to see the sight of the sake making process.

Not only learning about the secrets of the sake making process, there are some breweries that you can taste the sakes that are made in the brewery. Why don’t you visit Kyoto’s sake breweries and enjoy sake to the fullest?

If you visit Kyoto, there’s lots of experiences that you can do. Why don’t you join these experience and definitely it will be a great time to spend.

And…
If you have interest in sake tour, or in order to enjoy your trip to Japan more, don’t forget to join our tour Kyoto Insider Sake Experience. You will discover more local sakes and learn differences of categories to find your favourite bottle!

 

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Our Sake Tour Reviews

  •   My cousin and I went to this 'sake experience' and what an experience! Kotaro is very welcoming and sweet. He simply created a nice and relaxed atmosphere. The 'Kyoto insider sake experince' is both educational and very interesting. Also, it was interesting to learn more...More

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    8/18/2019
  •   Kotaro spoke excellent english. History of area was very interesting. Sake factory tour was informative and detailed. Got to try many different types of sake back at the HQ with excellent food and an informative review and taste description of each sake. Everything I could...More

    thumb bjpw98
    8/15/2019
  •   Kotaro explaind a lot of things and it was really interesting. It was great to test diffrent type of sake and to know what the diffrences were abbout them. With a little bit of excersie you can read the sake bottles without any help. We...More

    thumb Kira95714
    8/12/2019
  •   Had a great time with this tour, it was easy to find, just down the street from the train station we used to get there. From there it was a small walk to the brewery we visited and was an overall great experience and learned...More

    thumb Mark E
    8/07/2019
  •   great experience with Kotaro. came here with friends. he knows his stuff and is extremely passionate and professional. the food pairing with sake was A+++. thanks!

    thumb Paradise397570
    8/01/2019
  •   We were not well versed on Sake. Trying it here and there. Well now I feel like an expert. The process explanation as well as finding your preferred taste with and without food. Thanks Kotaro was lovely to meet you. The small group was also...More

    thumb Nscook13
    7/27/2019
  •   Had a blast learning about Sake with Rieko and Kotaro. Great value for money as we tasted 10 different kinds of Sake. Each sake was unique, and when paired with food was a whole different experience. One pair even tasted like Tiramisu! Great in any...More

    thumb jingumai
    7/27/2019
  •   A fantastic introduction to the world of sake - the brewery gave us an appreciation of the work and traditions that go into the making of sake. Amazing to find out how long they have been making it and why Kyoto is such an excellent...More

    thumb Clare R
    7/22/2019
  •   We really enjoyed the tour of the brewery in combination with the sake tasting. Not only was the teacher well versed in the material, but he was able to convey the information in a way that we could understand and remember. We used our new...More

    thumb bootop
    7/22/2019
  •   Great way to spend an afternoon in Japan! The class teaches how to interpret, appreciate, and pair different kinds of Sake. An included Sake brewery tour was also a fun way to learn more about the history of the beverage before trying it. Kotaro was...More

    thumb Chillpenguin
    7/21/2019

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