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What does Sake taste like?

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What does Sake taste like? 2007/7/23 16:48
And please don't answer "like sake"!

What I mean to say is, is there a western drink that it can be likened to? Is it highly alcoholic and not very nice straight, like vodka, or is it pleasantly drinkable straight?

I want to try sake before going to Japan, but bottles over here only seem to be sold in 70cl volumes, and I don't want to end up buying a whole bottle to find out I don't like it!

by Kelly  

sake 2007/7/24 09:55
Well...
I've had sake once..or twice and the best way to describe it is it reminds me of wine. Not quite but its closest in my mind.

The best way to try sake is to go to a Sushi house or japanese restraunt, they generally have a sake menu or at least have some sake.

by Kayla rate this post as useful

I heard that.. 2007/7/24 10:28
i heard that it taste/feel like wasabi..dry and "cool"
by Alex H. rate this post as useful

... 2007/7/24 13:38
Some (particularly the ones that you drink chilled) taste like very dry white wine (some are so bone dry to the extent they run smooth like water), or fruity (like some white wine), and others more full-flavored. The ones you drink lukewarm/hot in winter are the ones where you instantly feeel the alcohol going around to your head (like you might with vodka).
I think it would be better if you wait till you get to Japan; many bars/"izakaya" (casual bar/restaurant) offer a variety of sake in small glasses/carafes, so you can just try a little :)
by AK (Japanese) rate this post as useful

Cheers 2007/7/24 16:35
Thanks for the advice. I like the idea of some sake being like very dry white wine... sounds tasty!

But on the recommendation above, I think waiting til I get to Japan then trying several different types might be the best option. Many thanks!

by Kelly rate this post as useful

sake 2007/7/24 21:09
I think it tastes a bit like sherry, or port - I find it has a similar aroma/aftertaste.

by furan rate this post as useful

Hot and cold sake 2007/7/25 00:49
I'd agree with going to sake bars as well. Managed to taste one that was made from Scottish (home country) oats, nice.

My question is just an add on. Is there a rule as to certain types of sake that are served warm and cold, or is it just at the choice of the customer? (I forgot to ask my friend who ordered the range for me to try in the bar).

Just that I brought a bottle home with me to let folk try and I served it both ways (a bottle sitting in ice cold water and the other in tepid/hot water) but the chilled tasted nicer than the hot. Not sure what bad/off sake tastes like?

by Adam rate this post as useful

Sake 2007/7/25 06:19
There are so many kinds of sake, it is hard to say what it tastes like. There is very sweet unfiltered sake and then there is very strong, dry clear sake, with everything in between. My favorite is sweet unfiltered served very cold. The best I have had was from Shirokawaga (sp?).
by cf rate this post as useful

To Adam, 2007/7/25 07:51
Good grades of sake are best enjoyed cold, and would be an insult to the sake if warmed up (I mean, you kill the aroma and flavors if you warm it up). WHen I say "grades," they seem to be determined by the ingredients and manufacturing method (made from rice polished how many percent, how much time is spent to ferment it, etc.). Less expensive ones can be enjoyed warm. They taste simply like alcohol :)

So if you go to sake bars, where they specialize in good grade sake from different parts of Japan, they are likely to have only those "top notch" ones, served cold.
If you go to "izakaya," casual drinking place/restaurant, they are likely to have several good sake brands for you to choose from (to be enjoyed cold), as well as a few that can be enjoyed warm as well (some people simply like their sake warm), normally you wouldn't be specifying the brand, you just say "atsukan" (hot sake), and there it comes :)

I (Japanese) didn't know all this until some time ago (I am not a sake drinker) and when I was asked by someone living overseas to bring them a bottle, I had no idea what brand to buy - I ended up buying a bottle of top-notch sake (=best enjoyed cold) for someone who definitely liked his sake warm!! lol

by AK rate this post as useful

Adam, 2007/7/25 07:52
You can find information here:

http://www.esake.com/Knowledge/EtiquetteK/etiquettek.html

I prefer my sake chilled.

by . rate this post as useful

. 2007/7/25 08:50
You may say "I would like to try 'Kiki-Zake'(tasting). Please bring 'Kara-kuchi'(Dry one) and 'Ama-kuchi'(Sweet one)".
by .. rate this post as useful

wine 2007/7/26 05:40
Sake is essentially wine, just made from rice instead of grapes. It tastes like dry wine, thats the best way I can describe it.
by SS rate this post as useful

Cheers to AK and . 2007/7/27 18:32
Thanks for the info. The bottle I brought home, I think cost me 2,500 JYN (maybe middle range sake) so that probably why it tasted better chilled.

I'll try using some of that japanese (AK) for the bar when i go back to Japan next month. Also that website ( . )was pretty cool. I like the idea of chilling the sake and letting it warm to room temp as you sample. Although I can see my senses being a little out of tune by the final sip. :)

Kampi

by Adam rate this post as useful

dry! 2007/7/29 06:00
i have had warm sake and all i remember is that it soaked up all my mouth moisture like dry white wine!
by ashita rate this post as useful

^_^ 2007/7/29 10:48
Thank you all for all your advice!
by Kelly rate this post as useful

Taste like vermouth. 2007/7/29 20:34
I bought some dry sake from the supermarket. It kinda tasted like dry vermouth. So naturally, I put it with quality gin and had a sake martini. Had it warm, but I didn't think much of it. It's like wine though, in that if you're gonna heat it up, make sure it's not the expensive stuff.
by I'm With Stupid rate this post as useful

sake 2007/7/29 21:31
i thought it tastes like whiskey, but i have a piece of advice please dont put it in fridge you probably knew that keep it on a rack afterwards i learnt from my mistake and ruinded its taste when cold its suppose to be warm or room temp.

when i had some after a day while been in fridge it was too strong for sake and tasted like vinigerish ...a bit. i only tried original sake i might try ordering a flavoured one next.

hope i helped

by damian-san rate this post as useful

Sake tastes like 2007/11/10 16:03
I just picked up a decent bottle of Sake from my local booze dealer.1.5L for about $10.00 USD

The brand is (Takara SHO CHIKU BAI Classic} Junmai which means, it has no Ehtyl Alcohols or additives added to it.It is pure rice wine.The smell is captivating, sort of avanilla type smell.

When drank warmly it has sort of a dry robust flavor that awakens the tastebuds.But has a slight burn going down that is very light and subtle.

But there is other types that are more sweet.Take for example Nigori Sake which is cloudy and milky due to lightly straining of the rendered product.Yet it has a sweeter flavor than refined sake.

Refined Sake is best suited for a person or persons that can handle drinking liquors straight without mixers.

by Randy rate this post as useful

Taste is very subjective 2007/11/10 19:50
I find "sweet sake" to be like a fine dry white - a riesling or perhaps semillion.

A "dry sake" is so smooth it hardly has a flavour - goes with everything and is mellow in the warmth it gives your entire body even when consumed cold.

The better the sake, the smoother it is I think.

I've had several different brands both here in Australia that are especially imported from Japan, and in Kyoto.

At cheaper places here in Australia, the sake was rough like a poor vodka.

At good restaurants it has been like the smoothest, most pleasant alcohol you can get.

by Natalie rate this post as useful

osake kdasai 2007/11/10 20:06
in winter season i like azkan warm sake and Oden to make me happy smily face :)
by hodad rate this post as useful

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