Let’s Learn What Aged Sake is

Introduction to Aged Sake

These years, Japanese aged whisky such as Yamazaki is extremely popular around the world. However, aged sake, which has not been known by many people, is still under a mysterious mask.

Aged sake is defined by Long-term matured sake research association, as [Sake (excluding sugar-added sake) that has been aged in sake brewery for more than 3 years]. However, it is not a strict official definition, what we know is just that sake changes a lot by aging. Aged sake tastes so different from regular ones, and even among aged sakes, tastes change according to different aging methods, such as

– Category that is chosen to age
– Aging temperature
– Aging time

In general, less polished sake categories like Junmai and Honjozo, aged in a relatively high temperate around 15°C would become a sake of richly aged type (濃熟タイプ).
More polished sake categories like Ginjo categories, aged in a relatively low temperature around 5°C would become a sake of slightly aged type (淡熟タイプ).

sake tasting

What Aged Sake Tastes like?

After aging, the aroma and color of sake change. Aroma turns milder, and some smell like coffee or roasted caramel. Color turns to be golden like an amber. You can tell the difference even though you don’t taste it, but judge just by smelling and seeing.

The taste of sake after aging becomes mer, round and rich. Both sake meter value and acidity increase. Some people say it tastes kind of like whisky, and some whisky drinkers enjoy aged sake very much. If you want to pair aged sake with food, I would definitely recommend some rich-flavored Chinese cuisine or some sweet creamy desserts. For example, making a sake ice cream with aged sake would definitely be worthy to try!

Although aged sake tastes great and unique, it is not so widely known yet. Even in Japan, not many Japanese have tried aged sake. That is also why aged sake is still ridiculously cheap now. But when people realize its goodness in the future, it must become more and more expensive and difficult to get, like some aged whisky.

Sake Experience


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!

Photo credit @archela

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Our Sake Tour Reviews

  •   My husband and I did the sake experience in late January with Kotaro. We had a great time! It was educational, memorable, and truly unique. We got to learn how sake is made, what sake means to Japanese culture, and more importantly, we got to...More

    thumb Tesstastic
    2/17/2020
  •   Kotaro was our passionate, informed guide. Great balance of education, history and local knowledge, all culminating in a generous sake tasting at the brewery and matched with food in the family home. Make the time to do the 3 hour tour - well worthwhile!

    thumb gregostravels
    2/14/2020
  •   I’ve done beer and whiskey tours before but always wanted to find out more about nihonshu (Japanese sake). Kotaro San was very friendly and informative with a good sense of humor. Definitely would recommend this to anyone coming to Kyoto. We chose this over the...More

    thumb michaellW6020JR
    2/13/2020
  •   My friend and I had an amazing night with Kotaro as our guide. The tour was incredibly informative and interesting. The sake and food pairing was both delicious and enlightening. I highly recommend this experience. My only complaint is that I didn't take the time...More

    thumb ccuellar25
    2/10/2020
  •   This was my girlfriend and I’s first tasting tour and we can only hope that out others in the future will be as professional and well organized as this. Our group was a perfect size and the afterwards sake tasting and food paring was super...More

    thumb ndifel20
    2/10/2020
  •   I am not usually one to go on tours while on holiday, but I am so glad I tried this Kyoto Insider Sake Experience! It was very interesting and insightful, and both Kotaru and Marika (they have a very clever way of remembering their name...More

    thumb sn5
    2/09/2020
  •   My wife and I found a brochure in our hotel in Kyoto and this sake experience sounded interesting, when we got to the start location and meet Kotaro he was most welcoming to all the guests. During our experience he showed us how passionate/knowledgeable he...More

    thumb thomascT7727KP
    2/08/2020
  •   If you are visiting Kyoto, a town well known for sake, you have to join this experience. The tour has a good balance of being informative and interesting, my tour leader (Kotaro) is very professional and explains all I want but not too much (while...More

    thumb lancelotcym
    2/05/2020
  •   Kotaro-san was our guide and he is very meticulous in explaining the process and the different types of Sake. He shared many tips and it was very educating for us. We learnt so much, not only about sake, also about culture, location and history! Highly...More

    thumb momojellies
    2/03/2020
  •   Such an amazing tour- my husband I learned so much about sake and the Kyoto/fushimi area. This was by far the highlight of our Kyoto trip. Would recommend for anyone visiting the area!!

    thumb annabfoley
    2/03/2020

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