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Sake Types

 ::: Sake Types :::

Premium Sake types

There are 8 premium sake types called specific class sake. One of the important factors for this classification is polishing ratio. It is expressed as a percentage on the label and this refers to the amount of rice that remains after polishing. The lower percentage, the higher grade of resulting sake.  These premium sake types account for about 30% of all sake production in Japan and the others are ordinary sake (Futsu-shu).

Junmai Daiginjo Polishing ratio is under 50%. Junmai style and brewed with ginjo method.
Junmai Ginjo Polishing ratio is under 60%. Junmai style and brewed with ginjo method.
Daiginjo Polishing ratio is under 50%. Non junmai style and brewed with ginjo method.
Ginjo Polishing ratio is under 60%. Non junmai style and brewed with ginjo method.
Tokubetsu Junmai “Tokubetsu” means “special”. Polishing ratio is under 60% or brewed with special method. Junmai style.
Tokubetsu Honjozo “Tokubetsu” means “special”. Polishing ratio is under 60% or brewed special method. Non junmai style.
Junmai There is no limit of polishing ratio. Junmai style.
Honjozo Polishing ratio is under 70%. Non junmai style.

Junmai style“: Only rice, water, and koji are used. Literally means “pure rice”. Sake which doesn’t include “junmai” on its name is “Non junmai style” sake. In this style, rice, water, and koji are also used such as Junmai style, but in the end of fermentation process, a few amount of distilled alcohol are added for adjustments of taste and flavor.

Ginjo method” :  Careful and delicate method. Sake which includes “ginjo” on its name is brewed with “Ginjo method”. High polished rice is slowly fermented at low temperature. Sake brewed with this method has specific aroma called “ginjo-ka”.

Other sake types

Futsu-shu “Ordinary sake”. This type of sake does not qualify for any level of special designation. Usually made with a combination of sake rice and standard rice.
Gen-shu Undiluted sake.
Nama-zake Unpasteurized sake.
Nama-chozo-shu Sake that has been kept unpasteurized at a very low temperature and is pasteurized as its being bottled.
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