'Tis the season when almost everything around us is slowing down, gravitating toward hibernation. The sake world, however, is just gathering steam with the birth of the brewing season's first batch of sake.

With actual brewing of initial batches beginning in November, right about now is when the first batches are pressed. Naturally this does not apply to large brewers that brew year-round, and there are also many that start earlier or even later than the average. But traditionally and statistically, these few weeks see the pressing of the first tank of the year at many breweries.

And along with this first pressing comes a handful of terms -- with greatly overlapping meanings -- to describe this sake.