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Sake is first of all, a misnomer. In Japan the word refers to any alcoholic beverage, not just the drink called sake outside of Japan. The Japanese word for that specific drink is nihonshu. The sake that we know is a kind of rice wine, although the process of fermenting the rice is more akin to our brewing process. Sake is traditionally matured for 9 to 12 months and has a typical strength of 14 to 16% abv. There are many different types of sake, which are described and categorized in part by the amount of the rice grain which is polished away before fermentation and whether distilled alcohol is added to the finished product. Sake is generally meant to be consumed young, drank soon after its short aging period. However, one kind of sake, goshu (aged sake), is made in a way which makes it suitable for aging. Another style, taruzake, is aged in barrels made from Japanese cedar. Kuroshu is sake made from brown rice rather than the normal white rice.

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Sake Roundup – Fukucho, Bushido, Tozai, Konteki, and Kanbara
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