“Man sake” (“masculine” sake); “woman sake” (“feminine” sake)

The expression otoko-zake (“masculine sake”) is usually used of sake brewed with hard water (containing large quantities of magnesium and calcium ions and other minerals), which tends to lead to a strong, dynamic fermentation requiring a relatively short time, and a resulting product that tends to dry kara-kuchi sake with high-ish acidity.

As fresh shinshu, it tends to be somewhat rough on the palate, and with flavour that is firm and forceful in a way seen to be masculine, hence the name. However, this type of sake tends to become rounder and smoother during maturation.

In contrast, that called onna-zake is usually made with mineral-light soft water, giving a gentler, slower-fermenting moromi, resulting in sweeter ama-kuchi sake with lower acidity. Soft, smooth and kirei when new, its fine lines make for easy drinking.

Nada sake is usually considered to be otoko-zake, where that from the Fushimi region is considered onna-zake.