How Many Types of Sake Are There?

The 10 Different Types of Sake

On the above site, 10 different types of sake are divided by the raw materials and manufacturing method. But does this cover all types of sake?

Actually, it does not…

Other than that, you can also divide sake by product condition and storage period.

Here, I want to introduce the differences in storage period of sake, and different types of sake that are with or without heating process (called hi-ire in Japanese).


Presence / Absence and Timing of Heating Process (Pasteurization)

Heating process is pasteurization in the manufacturing process. This process is very important to make stable sake because it stops the enzyme and kill germs in sake.

The following 3 types of sake are defined by the number and timing of heating.

Normal Type of Sake:

[Squeezing] → [Pasteurize] → [Storage] → [Pasteurize] → [Shipping]

1. Raw Stored Sake 生貯蔵酒:

[Squeezing] → [Storage] → [Pasteurize] → [Shipping]

Nama-chozo (生貯蔵) is a type of sake that has been pasteurized just once, before shipping.

2. Raw Packed Sake 生詰酒:

[Squeezing] → [Pasteurize] → [Storage] → [Shipping]

Nama-zume (生詰) is a type of sake that has been pasteurized just once, before storage in bottle.

3. Raw Sake 生酒

[Squeezing] → [Storage] → [Shipping]

Namazake (生酒) has no first and second pasteurization process. It has a fresh taste and aroma, but unfortunately has fast taste deterioration. So, it’s generally difficult to drink except near the brewery.


Storage Period

The following 3 types of sake are defined by the length of storage period.

1. New Brew of Sake 新酒

Sake which is shortly after production. It basically refers to sake being just brewed without pasteurization, or sake that is only half a year old.

2. Old Sake 古酒

Types of sake that have been stored for over a year after production.

3. Long-term Storage Sake 長期貯蔵酒

Types of sake that have been stored and aged for a long period of time. It’s also called “long-term aged sake”. It has amazing aged incense and old sake incense.
Usually it’s a sake that has been stored for more than 3 years, and the storage period is often written on the package of the sake.


So, the answer for the question: How many types of sake are there? is that there are 16 different types of sake in total.

Please check the rest of sake here!
The 10 Different Types of Sake