Sake Rice Types

Sake Barrel Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made with rice. Just like with grape wine, the rice is fermented with yeast and the yeast turns the natural sugars in the rice into alcohol.

There are a number of rice types that are used traditionally in sake creation. Often bottles of sake will list which rice they use to make their sake with, just like a bottle of wine might say it is made from Chardonnay grapes or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The different types of rice do affect the flavors of the resulting sake.

Yamada Nishiki

Used in Pride of the Village and Wandering Poet, this seems to offer fragrance to its sakes and is used in most of the better quality sake brands.


Used in Dreamy Clouds sake and Nigori "snow maiden" sake, both unfiltered. The rice seems to make smooth, dry style sake.


Used in Heaven's Door sake. Apparently this is a new breed of rice registered in Japan in January 1993.

Miyama Nishiki

Used in Heaven's Door sake. Creates a gentle flavor with some creaminess.

Japonica California

Used by Gekkeikan USA, for their Californian brewed sake. Creates fruity flavored sake.


Used in Nigori "Snow Maiden" sake. I find references to this being tested as a rice at an agricultural station in 2002, so apparently this is a new type of rice.

The Word "Sake"


Sake Links

Wine Types Main Listing